On this website, we have mainly talked about common issues with sleep. We have listed explanations and reasons as to why they occur, we have shown how to deal with them in order to overcome them, but we’ve never ever really paid attention to how we can prevent such issues from happening to us.
In this article, we will mainly focus on the things you should never do before bed, in order to avoid having sleeping issues.
Let’s start with the obvious.
It has been discovered that there are approximately 110 milligrams of caffeine in one cup of coffee, which is why one should not drink it before bed. Nevertheless, many people still enjoy taking their cup of a hot drink before going to bed, as a part of their routine. And even if that hot drink happens to be coffee, people still don’t realize that although they still don’t plan to sleep, that sole cup may disturb their whole sleeping schedules because of the caffeine it contains. That is because caffeine isn’t flushed out of the body before 12 hours after its consumption. Which means that even a cup of coffee drunk at lunch may hinder one’s sleep.
And curiously, studies have shown that even decaffeinated coffee isn’t that safe, in the sense that it has been found that some decaffeinated capsules still contained around 20 milligrams of caffeine, which of course may disturb one’s sleep. However, there exist some brands of decaffeinated coffee which, despite containing a little bit of caffeine, are composed of valerian as well, which is a herb used to treat insomnia.
Texting a friend or a family member
Whenever you feel like texting a friend, a family member or joining a conversation in a group chat before or even when you are in bed, then think twice. You probably think that texting instead of making a phone call is less likely to make you lose sleep, but that is just a myth. You have to know that the mere fact of having your phone near your bed when you’re sleeping is enough to disturb your sleep as you keep expecting texts and replies.
Actually, a study has shown that around 10% of teenagers wake up every night in the middle of their sleep because of a phone call or a text.
The best way to deal with this would be to turn off your phone when you get in bed. You should make sure that your kids don’t use their phones before sleep, because as we’ve highlighted in the past, sleep is really important to young children.
Drinking water right before bed
You have to pay attention to the words « right before » because that’s the most important. Of course, drinking water is essential for your body and your brain. But you have to restrict it to daytime and make sure to get yourself the amount of water you need hours before bed. Otherwise, if you drink water before going to bed, you may wake up in the middle of the night, needing to urinate, which disturbs your sleep.
Exercising immediately before bed
Just like drinking water, even if it sounds counter-intuitive, you shouldn’t exercise right before bed.
It is of course good to do so during daytime, but not when you’re going to sleep. It is because when you move your body to exercise, your brain releases endorphins and just basically all those hormones responsible for lifting up your mood and making you hyper. Your heartbeat increases and that is how you become much more alert and awoken, thus not being able to fall asleep.
Remember, exercising doesn’t necessarily have to be doing 10 jumping jacks, even exerting yourself by simple actions like making the bed before you jump on bed can potentially delay you falling asleep.
Arguing with someone
Even if it has been discovered that feeling angry is good for your health, if you don’t deal with it the way you should, then that may badly affect your mental health and that may endanger your relationships.
When you have an argument with someone before you go to bed, then your whole mind gets focused on either fighting or closing off, which obviously hinders the quality of your sleep. Besides, as your blood pressure increases with anger, that makes it more likely for you to wake up in the middle of the night in a very bad mood, your sleep thus completely disturbed.
For this reason, some scientists advise to keep arguments out of the bedroom and dedicate the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only. Even if you argue outside the bedroom before you go to bed, the bad temper can really mess with your sleep hormones.
We have talked about it before already, but you should note that aside from coffee and tea, another way to consume caffeine is through chocolate, in particular dark chocolate. And even more than that, but all the people who are especially sensitive to caffeine should even avoid eating chocolate or coffee ice-cream as the little bit of caffeine it contains might perturb your sleep.
And not only caffeine, but studies have shown that chocolate contains theobromine as well, which is a stimulant that promotes sleeplessness and that also increases one’s heartbeat.
Checking your mails
When you use your phone or laptop to check your mails, the light emitted from those devices unfortunately hinder the quality of your sleep, as they either make you less sleepy, or make your sleep fitful and restless. There are also other issues related to checking your mails before going to bed or while being in bed. It is obvious that if you consult anything that has something to do with work will make you think or even overthink your work and what you have to do the day after, which may keep you awake for much longer than you expected. That is why it is strongly advised to not use your phone at all before you sleep. A poll has even shown that people who check their phone for work at night tend to feel more tired the day after.
Eating spicy food right before bed
If you eat too much before bed, then you will feel bloated which will make it very uncomfortable for you in bed to fall asleep. It is even worse if you have spicy or greasy food as these tend to cause acid reflux which will make it very uneasy for you to lay down to fall asleep. In this case, you would be very lucky if you had an adjustable bed as adjustable beds allow you to sleep in the position you want. That way, you could set your adjustable bed in a way that you wouldn’t have to lay down.
Scientists advise to eat your last meal of the day at least two hours before going to bed so that you have enough time to digest what you have eaten. Naturally, you should absolutely avoid late night snacks.
Instead of doing any of the above, what you should really do is to listen to some nice, calming sleep music. That is bound to help you relax and fall asleep like a baby!