The 10 Worst Things to Do Before Bed
Are you having trouble sleeping every night? Do you ever wonder what the culprit to your insomnia problems could be? Well, the reason behind it could be because some shockingly before-bed habits may be keeping you from getting the good night’s sleep you have been longing.
A good night’s sleep means getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night; anything less than that could set yourself up to real trouble. When we don’t sleep well, our minds become foggy, we often make mistakes and potentially do life-threatening accidents. In a nutshell, sleep is very important for your mood, energy levels, and overall health.
There are several reasons why we may not be getting enough quality sleep daily – so, it’s necessary to practice good habits in order to get the sleep you need and wake up refreshed ready to take on the day.
Here are the 10 horrible habits we do before bed:
1. Eating heavy meals or snacking on fatty foods.
You have probably heard late night eating or snacking is not recommended – and you have heard right. Your digestive system after dinner time was meant to be at rest when you sleep, not hard at work. In fact, the process of digestion is at its lowest ebb during sleep – so if you decided to scarf down a big burger and fries or a few slices of pizza past your bedtime, it’s not prepared to handle the volume.
Eating a large meal too close to bedtime can also make your bedtime uncomfortable and make you feel super bloated or painfully full.
Dinner should be eaten at least two hours before going to sleep, ideally, it gives your body enough time to begin digesting it. Now if you are really hungry before bedtime, eating a small amount of something light or a glass of milk may be helpful.
2. Staring at a computer screen or smartphone.
Studies have shown that the use of electronic devices like laptops and smartphones, and even watching television in or before bed has a negative impact on your sleeping.
Once you hit your bed, it’s good to turn all the devices off and instead read, stretch, meditate or pray. Try this out for a few weeks and you will certainly notice a difference.
3. Taking certain medications.
Do you take medicines or supplements on a daily basis? Some prescription and over-the-counter medications such as Ritalin and Adderall elevate the levels of wake-promoting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which keeps you from falling asleep. Even antidepressants can have strong effects on sleep in either direction and can make your stomach upset.
A sleeping pill is not always the answer and is generally only recommended for short-term use. So if you find yourself taking them regularly, consult with your doctor about other options.
4. Consuming caffeinated beverages.
Did you know a cup of coffee contains anywhere from 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine per cup? Although there are many that need their daily caffeine intake to potentially get a boost to get their day going – hate to break it to you, but it will ruin your sleep. Coffee or any caffeinated beverages should be kept to a minimum in the morning if possible.
Exercise indeed can give you better sleep – but if you decide to do an intense cardio workout before bed, it can do just the opposite. Rigorous exercise will rev up your energy and heart rate preventing you from falling asleep easily.
If you must do an intense cardio workout, try doing it in the early AM or 3-5 hours before bedtime.
6. Chugging a ton of water.
Yes, it’s important to stay hydrated daily, but it’s not best to drink a huge glass of water before bed or sleep with one water by your bed. You don’t want to be getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
It’s essential you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and make sure to use the bathroom before you head to bed.
7. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
Drinking a few drinks may help you knock out later – but in the morning, it may trigger your sympathetic system and make it nearly impossible for you stay asleep. Studies have shown alcohol triggers disturbing dreams, and you may develop increasingly vivid and disturbing dreams as the alcohol wears off.
If you decide to consume any alcohol, try to have it at least three hours before bedtime.
8. Arguing or having a serious conversation.
Arguing right before bedtime can put you in a state of fight or flight, making it hard to fall asleep or have restful sleep. You are also more likely to wake up in a bad mood if you’re still dealing with an unresolved issue from the night before.
Once you get into bed, its best to turn off your phone and end ongoing text convoys. And even if you have fallen asleep, it’s easy to still be disturbed if you sleep with your phone in or near your bed.
Are you constantly thinking about your life and all the worries? Life can be stressful, indeed but worrying too much, can really affect your sleep.
The best way to learn to relax is doing something like yoga, meditation, mantras, or something along these lines – it will help to promote better sleep.
10. Watching a scary or thriller movie.
Scary or action movies can be fun to watch late at night – but if you’re having nightmares, you probably already know why. If you wake up from a disturbing dream, you may find it difficult to stay asleep or go back to sleep. If you must, try watching them during the day or watching a comedy or something less thrilling right after.
Which ones of these do you already do? If you want to get a full night’s rest, it’s best to avoid these 10 things the next time you head to bed.
About The Author:
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at KeevaOrganics.com and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.