There are some common habits that most of us do before sleeping. Avoiding these takes some practice but ensures lifelong benefits:
● Don’t do vigorous exercise too close to your bedtime: While reading about how to get sleep, you may have learned about the importance of physical activity in helping you sleep. If you do vigorous exercise before bed, you may find that it is harder to fall asleep. This is because you are mentally stimulated after a workout, making it harder to relax.
● Do not consume caffeinated beverages: We all know the function of caffeine. It’s to keep us awake. Naturally, consuming caffeinated beverages before bed is a bad choice. This includes soda, coffee, energy drinks etc. which contain a good amount of caffeine.
● Do not eat food that is spicy and heavy: Spicy food or heavy food is known to increase the core temperature of the body. This is because the body has to work hard and burn calories to digest it. While most of us experience sleepiness after a heavy meal, if you pay close attention, you don’t feel as rested. This is because your body is actually in overdrive. Spicy and heavy food can also cause indigestion which is one of the primary causes of poor sleep.
● No phones or devices at least 2 hours before bed: We’ve been told many times that the blue light from screens disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm. This means that it will be difficult for you to fall asleep because your brain will not be able to sense that it is time to sleep. Additionally, there is so much content at our fingertips today that you become overstimulated. As a result, it becomes very difficult for your mind to relax.
● Do not stay awake in bed for more than 15 minutes: You go to bed on time but pay attention to whether you are able to sleep or not, if you are not able to sleep then it is a good idea to try doing some quiet activity. The idea is. Take a walk or read a book instead of staying awake in bed and scrolling through your phone.
● Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid: Many people believe that drinking alcohol before bed will help them sleep better. You may fall asleep quickly but alcohol consumption is known to disrupt the REM phase of your sleep cycle. This is when you experience the deepest sleep [stage three of sleep]. As a result, you wake up feeling tired and uncomfortable.
● Avoid too many fluids before going to bed: Going to bed with a full bladder will disrupt your sleep. Waking up several times at night does not allow you to rest properly. Make sure you don’t drink more than a cup of tea or a few sips of water before bed.
There is an Irish proverb that says “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures written in the doctor’s book”. Good sleep is the best preventive measure that can be taken against a myriad of health problems. This is also the best way to overcome existing ones. So, make sure you are conscious of your habits before sleeping.
Being well rested should never be underestimated. It helps you think better, deal with stress better and feel healthier.