We all have trouble sleeping from time to time, especially in the age of the amazing cell phone. It’s no secret that those bright lights and entertaining content can keep us awake when we should be sleeping, but if you have trouble getting to sleep, it could be more than just using a phone in bed. Avoid some of these things at night if you want to get better sleep—and sleep more quickly.
Cool it on the beverages
Avoid drinking any more delicious, delicious caffeine after lunch. Caffeine won’t leave your system for another four to six hours after you drink it, so it can certainly negatively impact your sleep. Additionally, thought it may seem counterintuitive, you should also avoid drinking any alcohol before bed (even though it can make you feel sleepy). But alcohol can cause disruptions in sleep, including decreased and delayed REM sleep. It can also worsen things like snoring and sleep apnea that will make you (or your partner!) more tired during the day.
Furthermore, don’t chug a bunch of water before bed, either—or you’ll have to get up every hour!
Avoid big meals before bed
It’s best to eat big meals and heavy dinners three hours before bed. Eating large meals before bed can increase obesity and other problems because you’re consuming more nutrients than you’re using. But you don’t want to go to bed hungry, either. If you’re terribly hungry before bed, it’s alright to have a light snack—that shouldn’t disrupt your sleep.
Don’t use your bed for things that aren’t sleep
A bed can seem like the most wonderful place to do anything, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Using the bed for things like working, talking on the phone, or playing on a laptop send your brain signals that you’re awake, you’re doing things. Your brain isn’t getting the message that when you’re in bed, it’s time for sleep, so it’s hard to get any rest. Don’t do anything in bed that doesn’t need to be done there.
Smoking is bad for you, obviously, and quitting will be your doctor’s first advice, no matter what ailment you bring to her door. But smoking is known to harm sleep, too. People who smoke cigarettes report more problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up sleepy. Cigarettes contain lots of stimulants like nicotine, but nighttime can see nicotine withdrawals while you’re asleep for hours, too.