Have you been having a difficult time falling asleep at night? More than likely you’ve been indulging in one of these 10 activities. By eliminating these habits, you’re giving yourself a better shot at having a good night’s rest. Remember, a good night’s sleep is important for your overall health and well being.
Let’s dive into the 10 things you should never do before bed.
1. Leaving The Lights On
The pineal gland’s ability to produce melatonin can be disrupted by light, as light has the ability to pass directly through the optic nerve to the hypothalamus, which has the responsibility for controlling the biological clock. This can then signal the brain to wake when it’s not time to wake. Keeping the lights off and not turning them on if you awake during the night can prevent this.
2. Working While In Bed
The bed should not be used as an office, or answering calls and replying to emails. The bed’s role is that of a stimulant for sleep and rest, the body can become accustomed to not being at rest in the bed and it would eventually become more and more difficult to fall asleep in your bed.
3. Watch TV Too Late
Watching TV can cause more stimulation than relaxation, which then keeps you awake, depending on what is being watched. Also, televisions emit blue light that affects melatonin (a chemical that aids in making you sleep). The blue light is the most disrupting wavelength.
4. Go To Sleep Immediately After Exercising
Exercising is crucial to good night’s sleep when done at the right time. Although exercise has proven to help you sleep, it also causes you to feel more awake and alert. It is recommended that you avoid active exercise at least two to three hours before trying to fall asleep.
5. Eating Too Close To Bedtime
Eating causes secretion of acid in the stomach which then goes to the esophagus, the body needs to be awake to be able to get rid of this acid. It is recommended that you eat no less than four hours prior to hitting the sack.
6. Alter Your Bedtime Routine
Routines work, that why we have them. Starting your routines sends signals to the brain that it’s time to go to sleep soon. The most obvious nighttime practice is to go to bed at the same time every day. Other activities can include reading or brushing your teeth.
7. Eat Chocolate
Although dark chocolate is considered the healthiest form of chocolate from an antioxidant perspective, it can also contain relatively high levels of caffeine, which can keep you up at night if you’re sensitive to it. Dark chocolate also contains obromine, which is a compound that has caffeine-like effects.
8. Drinking Before Bed
Having alcoholic beverages before bed may make you sleepy, but the after-effects will cause problems in the wee hours of the morning. Your body goes into what is called “fight or flight” mode which makes it very difficult to stay asleep. It can also lead to very disturbing dreams that appear to be very real.
9. Smoking Before Bed
We’ve all seen the messages that smoking is bad for your health, but it’s also definitely bad for sleep. Nicotine which is found in cigarettes harms your ability to fall asleep as it triggers a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that keeps you awake.
10. Scary Movies
By watching scary or movies that provide too much excitement leads to the release of a stress hormone called cortisol. When this rises, it keeps you alert, fidgety and you’ll have a very difficult time falling to sleep. Instead, you should watch a more calming movie, something soothing and relaxing, that will help you to fall asleep and be at peace.
So there you have it, 10 things you should never do before bedtime. If you’ve been having a hard time falling to sleep at night, more than likely you’re doing one of these things before bed. Try changing your bedtime routine to not include these activities and there is a good chance you’ll have a peaceful night’s sleep.