Getting a good night’s sleep is important for a good mood, positive energy levels, and overall well-being. It matters the most because it is an important aspect of self-care too. We need to pay attention to the things to avoid before going to bed. Our daily activities tend to affect our sleep routine to an extent. It also depends upon our eating habits, the kind of physical activities we do, or how much water we drink. When we exert ourselves due to different activities, we tend to sleep more peacefully. People suffer from insomnia due to several disturbing practices they might be involved in. Our body goes in nurturing mode when we sleep, that is why it is important to get proper 8-hour sleep. We should think about the things to avoid before going to bed.
Have you ever struggled to get a good sleep at night? Do you find it difficult to sleep peacefully when you go to bed?
If yes, you might unintentionally be involved/engaging in certain activities that are making restful sleep difficult. Sometimes, a bad mattress can also cause sleep-related issues. So it also becomes important to sleep on a good & comfortable mattress. Not getting proper 8-hour sleep can lead to a toxic day ahead. So, it becomes important to practice positive and healthy habits in order to get the quality sleep that you all deserve. This will lead you to wake up all refreshed and ready to pursue your day with a smile.
Pre-bed Rituals: have you ever heard about this? These undiscovered rituals help you to get a much better and sound sleep than you would ever expect. These rituals help us take care of the things to avoid before going to bed. So, if you want to make the most out of your precious sleep, prepare yourself and start practicing the pre-bed rituals. It is essential to make some changes in the night-time routine. From the food that should be eaten to the activities that are not negative, you have to keep a close check on your routine.
Things To Avoid Before Going To Bed
There are many points when we talk about things to avoid before going to bed. At some point in our lives, we all have experienced a feeling of being insomniac or have experienced a difficult night’s sleep. There could be many reasons for it; a bad day at work, an argument with a closed one; a disturbing incident that happened in a day, etc. There are several things that we do unintentionally that leads to a disturbed sleep pattern. Thus, it becomes important to rectify those mistakes that we have been making till now. Let us read about a few of those practices that are to be avoided before going to bed.
1. Say No To Caffeine During Nighttime
Caffeine is a stimulant that causes disturbance to our sleep. Hence, we find it difficult to get a sound and peaceful sleep if we consume caffeine during the night. We might also feel like waking up in the middle of the night. A preliminary research/study suggests that caffeine, if consumed a few hours before bed, is more likely to disrupt our body’s internal clock. Caffeine leads to a number of sleepless and restless nights. “Caffeine has a half-life of between 6 to 8 hours”, says Michael Breus, M.D, clinical psychologist, & Author of the book, ‘The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep’. Hence, one should limit the caffeine intake hours before they go to sleep.
2. Avoid Heavy/Serious Conversations
Whether it is a tiff between you & your partner, an argument with someone, a solemn phone call with a friend, or a pesky neighbor who cranks music up too loud; talking or thinking about serious things before sleeping is not right. When we want to sleep, we want ourselves to relax and put our minds in a relaxed zone. But this does not happen in case of confrontations as they lead to a stress response, and our adrenal glands produce cortisol & adrenaline. Dr. Rosenberg says so. Once our bodies produce stress hormones, it becomes difficult to get back to normal and take a sound sleep.
3. Do Not Exercise
When we work out or do other exercises, our heart rate increases and our energy revives. Exercising during the night time can lead to sleepless nights. But, if this is the only time when you can exercise, the best time to do so is 3-4 hours prior to going to sleep. Also, when we work out, we feel like taking a bath due to sweating. Taking a bath at night is also not advisable. This is because our brain knows that we take a bath in the mornings only. So, if we go for a shower during the night, it could even send wrong messages to the brain that can again lead to difficulty in sleeping.
Also Read: Amazing Benefits of Yoga & Exercise
4. Do Not Smoke
Although smokers believe that smoking calms their nerves and can give ‘n’ number of reasons to smoke. I can write a whole article listing down the reasons to not smoke. An evening cigarette actually harms the body than anything else. Nicotine is a stimulant and it leads to difficulty in sleeping. You must be knowing countless reasons to quit smoking, so here’s another one to add to the top of the list.
5. Do Not Use Electronic Devices
Using electronic devices before going to bed is also not advisable. This includes mobile phones, computers, laptops, etc. Playing video games is also not advisable. In short, all devices that emit blue light should be kept away before sleeping. Staying away from the digital world before sleeping is really helpful. This is because the blue light, when strikes the retina, shuts down the normal production of Melatonin (sleep hormone). This not only impairs our ability to fall asleep but also makes us feel sleepy in the morning. Instead of watching TV, using a mobile phone or laptop, it is advisable to do read a book, do stretching, meditating, etc.
6. Avoid Heavy Meals
It is always said that the breakfast should be king-sized, lunch should be normal, and dinner should be light. Late-night cravings are also not good as they can also disturb the sleep pattern. So, if you often feel like consuming meals like pizza or heavy North Indian meals during the night, start saying NO to it. For those dealing with prostate issues or bladder control problems, please avoid liquids after dinner. Doing so could limit the need to get up from sleep and go to the washroom, as this often disrupts our sleep.
7. Avoid Alcohol
Boozing around before sleeping surely makes us feel sleepy, but later on, we end up waking up with a severe headache (hangover). This makes it next to impossible to sleep then. This is because, in the early morning, that alcohol might trigger our sympathetic system. We tend to lose control over our senses. It can even trigger disturbing or scary dreams. This is also known as REM rebound. It takes about 1 hour for the average human body to digest one alcoholic beverage. So, if you decide to have 2 wine glasses, aim to enjoy the last sip at least 3 hours prior to your sleep time.
8. Do Not Watch News
Nighttime might seem perfect to you to catch up on the news. But, this habit can eventually disturb the sleep pattern. No matter how important the news is, most of the information presented is really dramatizing that often scares you to death and make you dislike the world. This fills us with a lot of negative emotions too. So, leave off the news & headlines, and start doing something else that is way more relaxing and calming.
Now when you know about the things to avoid before going to bed, it would be easier for you to implement these in your lives. There are many other habits that are to be developed as pre-bed rituals along with the ones that are listed above. It also varies from person to person, of course. Once we start following these rituals, we will start observing a positive change in our lives. There could be times when you unintentionally disturb your sleep pattern. Hence, we start feeling depressed and we become irritative. To eliminate the sense of irritation, we need to focus on the activities that hamper good sleep and start avoiding them.