One of the most unpleasant experiences is tossing and turning for hours, with your eyes wide open while everyone else is peacefully sleeping. Insomnia lasting for days is common, and it’s generally related to stress and what we experience in life each day. One way you can fight insomnia is by having a relaxing bedtime routine. This can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep. Below are some things you should avoid before bed.
Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bedtime
1. Drinking too many liquids.
Staying hydrated is very important but drinking too many liquids before bed makes you wake up many times at night to go to the bathroom. It will be best if you drink anything liquid an hour before going to bed. That way, you will reduce the number of times you’ll wake up.
It would be best to drink plenty of water throughout the day and be sure to use the bathroom before bedtime, even if you don’t feel like peeing.
2. Taking Alcohol.
While a small alcoholic drink can supposedly promote a good night’s sleep, it interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re out, prompting you to wake up during the night. Dr. Rosenberg’s advice that: For most people, it’s okay to have a drink or two with dinner—but skip the nightcap or the glass of wine on the couch right before bed. (1)
3. Big/Heavy and Spicy Evening Meals.
It would be best to eat dinner earlier in the evening and avoid eating spicy or heavy meals within a couple of hours before bed. Having a heavy meal right before bedtime can make falling asleep uncomfortable if you’re painfully full.
Also, spicy foods may be especially risky because they’re associated with acid reflux (a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area).
4. Taking Caffeinated Beverages
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that it be best not to drink caffeinated beverages at least six hours before bedtime. (2)
People who are sensitive to caffeinated drinks may need to stop even earlier. Caffeine can stay up to 12 hours in the body. “Even caffeine at lunch can be too close to bedtime for some people,” explains Grandner.
5. Eating Chocolates
Chocolates, especially dark chocolate with high cocoa contents, contain caffeine. Dark chocolates also contain Theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, which increases heart rate and causes sleeplessness.
It is also interesting to know that the National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding chocolate, tea, and soft drinks before going to bed.
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