Are you craving a good sleep? Do you have the best mattress and the perfect pillow, but sleep still eludes you?
It just may be what you’re doing before bedtime that has you struggling to go to sleep and stay asleep. Here are seven things to avoid right before bed and tips for good sleep.
#1: Don’t Drink Alcohol
If you’re like many people, you like a glass of wine or a beer with your dinner. If so, consider drinking alcohol at least three hours before bedtime for a better night’s sleep.
Some people think drinking alcohol helps them sleep, but that isn’t the case. Alcohol contains sugar which is a stimulant. You’ll find that alcohol can make you feel sleepy, but it will interrupt your sleep later in the night.
#2: Don’t Drink a Lot of Water
You want to be careful with your intake of water the closer you get to bedtime.
Some people don’t drink enough water during the day, so they are extra thirsty in the evening. They drink a lot of water, and they get up several times during the night. This interrupts their sleep and leaves them exhausted in the morning.
While we’re looking at things to drink, you also want to avoid drinking caffeine before bedtime if you find that keeps you up.
#3: Don’t Check Your Email
Stress is the enemy of good sleep. And what could be more stressful than checking your email right before bed and being reminded of all the things you need to do?
You want to resist the temptation to dive into your inbox at bedtime. Instead, turn off your notifications or ignore them altogether.
Just imagine if you open an email at 10 pm only to find there’s a work problem. You’re too tired to deal with it, but you stew about it for an hour and have trouble falling asleep. Just ignore that email!
#4: Don’t Use Your Smartphone
You want to avoid blue light before bedtime, and that means not only your smartphone but your laptop, tablet, and your television, too.
Scientists have linked exposure to blue light to problems sleeping. Why? Blue light messes with your melatonin which is the hormone linked to your circadian rhythms.
Stop looking at screens a couple of hours before bedtime. If you must watch a movie, try to turn it off at least an hour before bedtime. Say goodbye to your addiction to technology and pick up a book instead. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Finally, don’t forget to turn your phone notifications off. Or, better yet, leave your phone in the kitchen.
#5: Don’t Argue
You’ve probably heard the old saying about going to bed angry. Well, it turns out you want to avoid arguing right before bed if you want to improve your sleep.
If you think you’re about to get into an argument, calm down, and try to put off the heated conversation until the next day. In addition to better sleep, you just may find what you were getting ready to argue about isn’t that important after all.
#6: Don’t Work
This goes hand in hand with not checking your email. Set boundaries for your work hours. This means both office workers and remote workers.
To maintain your health and the health of your relationships, leave work at work. If you must work, don’t work in your bedroom and stop at least two hours before bedtime so you have time to relax and slow down.
#7: Don’t Work Out
Finally, while working out helps you sleep better, it’s important to pay attention to what time you do work out. Working out is vital to your overall well-being, but it’s a good idea to avoid it right before bedtime.
Exercise is a stimulant and just may keep you up.
The Sleep Health Foundation says one in three people have sleep problems. This in turn causes many health problems, both mental and physical.
Getting good sleep is first about your mattress and pillows, and it’s second about doing the right things before bedtime.
We’ve talked a lot about the seven things to avoid right before bed, but one thing you should do before bed is soak in a hot bath or a hot tub.
Soaking in a hot tub or warm bath about 90 minutes before bedtime helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Improving sleep can help you feel better the next day and function at a higher level.
So, what are you waiting for? Get a new mattress that works for your sleep style and try some of these tips for good sleep. You’ll find that by making a few easy changes, you’ll be sleeping better and longer in no time.