Sleep, as we all know, is important for the human body.Yet it seems we’re not getting enough of it. Lack of sleep can cause lack of focus at work, poor health and it can cause long-term effects. So if you want to sleep better at night, I suggest that you avoid doing the following six things before bed.
1. Don’t Use a Smartphone, E-reader or Play Video Games
Like many others, I’m guilty of scrolling through my phone before going to bed. However, this is a habit you should start to kick, and this is why.
Several studies have proved that using a smartphone or watching television in or before bed might disrupt your sleep. So what can you do to sleep better at night?
Dr. Robert Rosenberg, author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day, advises avoiding the use of light-emitting technologies for at least one hour before you sleep.
The blue light produced by such light-emitting technologies prevents the production of Melatonin, which helps the body become sleepy.
If you need to use any light-emitting devices before bed, keep it at least 14 inches from your face and reduce the screen brightness.
2. Don’t Drink Coffee or Tea Before Bed, Either
A cup of coffee has around 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. While decaf coffee is available, most samples have around 20 milligrams of caffeine.
Surprisingly, black, green and white tea leaves also contain this stimulant. Caffeine blocks the action of Adenosine, a natural chemical present in our brains that helps us sleep.
If you still want to have a hot drink before you go to bed, try drinking different types of coffee containing Valerian, a herb that promotes sleep.
You can also have a cup of tea by using the one tea bag to make two cups of tea, and drinking the second cup as most of the caffeine is released early on.
3. Don’t Eat Chocolate, Just Don’t Do It
Chocolate is also a source of caffeine, especially dark chocolates that have a high cocoa content. While ice cream that contains chocolate may not affect most people, it stimulates sleeplessness in people sensitive to caffeine.
A bar of dark chocolate might contain around 31 milligrams of caffeine. While milk chocolates contain about 10 milligrams.
4. Don’t Eat Spicy or Fatty Foods, For Sure
Having a large meal, close to bedtime might make falling asleep uncomfortable. Spicy or fatty food create sleeplessness because they are associated with acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a digestive disease in which bile or stomach acids irritates the food pipe(esophagus). You should have dinner at least two hours before you sleep, to give your body enough time to begin digestion.
If you have a habit of eating something right before bed, have a glass of milk or simple carbs.
5. Don’t Drink Booze or Smoke At All Before Bed
You might think that alcohol or cigarettes will help you sleep better at night because they help you relax and fall asleep. But as your body metabolizes the alcohol, it reduces your REM sleep, which will cause you to wake up tired in the morning.
Also, cigarettes contain nicotine, a stimulant which might make your insomnia worse if you smoke close to bed time. You should avoid alcohol and all the different types of smoking ( cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes) for at least one hour before you sleep.
6. Don’t Let Your Pet Into Bed, No Matter How Hard It Is
I know, this one’s a bit hard to hear, but it needs to be said. Because once you invite your pet to sleep up on your bed, it leads to a lot of unwanted awakenings during the night.
While some people are comfortable with their furry friends being next to them in bed, it might disrupt your sleep if your pet climbs onto your bed in the middle of the night.
Also, pet hair and dander on your bed may lead to breathing difficulties, which will also affect your sleep.
Sleep Better At Night With These Tips
If you kick these habits before you go to bed, you’re definitely going to see major improvements in your sleep patterns. Now, go catch some Zs.