A good night’s sleep is something we all value. Scientists tell us, and we know from experience, that it refreshes us, helps us perform better, and contributes significantly to health and happiness, especially in children. And yet, there are millions of us suffering from ongoing shortage of sleep.
Here are things to avoid before going to bed :
- Don’t use digital technology – The blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which lets your body know when it’s time to hit the hay.
- Don’t take sleeping pills – Sleep scientists say few people actually have insomnia and need sleep medications. In fact, those pills typically come with a host of side effects, from muscle aches to memory loss.
- Don’t drink alcohol – A nightcap can help you fall asleep, but studies show that it can make it harder to stay asleep. As your body processes the alcohol you may get restless.
- Don’t work in bed – Experts advise reserving the bedroom for sleep and sex exclusively. Otherwise, you won’t associate the bedroom with rest, and might have a harder time falling asleep.
- Don’t eat fatty foods – Eating fatty meals before bed seems to decrease the time people spend in REM sleep. If you are hungry late at night, try while grains and protein, like peanut butter on whole wheat bread.
- Don’t consume caffeine after 5pm – One study found that consuming coffee even six hours before bedtime disrupted sleep. Specifically, those who consumed a caffeine pill slept about an hour less than when they didn’t consume caffeine.
- Don’t exercise – Experts recommend avoiding strenuous workouts in the evening. That’s part because your body temperature rises during cardio workouts, which could make it harder to go to sleep. Instead, try some yoga or simple stretching.