Do not do some vigorous physical activities just before bedtime.
A strenuous physical routine like sprinting, football or basketball that raises your adrenaline levels should be done 2-3 hours before your scheduled bedtime. This allows your body to calm down and gives your body time to calm down before sleep.
Activities that don’t push your heart rate so high for an extended period, like yoga, weight lifting or having sex, will not interfere with sleep and can be relaxing.
Avoid stressful, stimulating activities close to bedtime, like in the final hour before you turn in.
Examples are —doing work, discussing emotional issues and so on. You can keep a bedside journal to write ideas down and then close it till later.
Active, stressful thoughts increase Cortisol production, which keeps you alert and prevents sleep.
Avoid staying in bed to sleep when you are not tired.
For example, if you have been in bed for about 20 minutes and have not slept, leave the room and do something else relaxing, like reading or listening to music for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then get back into bed.
Never have late evening naps! The best time to nap if you are into that is early in the afternoon.
Having a rest after 5 p.m. may make it harder for you to sleep well later in the night.
Section 2 – Food/Meals/Drinks
Avoid heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bed.
A very bloated stomach can lead to heartburn and excess acid, making it difficult to get a restful night and sleep.
Keep away from spicy foods, including hot curries, spices or similar food, in the hour before you settle in.
They can also cause excess acid pain and bloating that prevent sleep.
Reduce the stimulants you take in your evening drinks if you want to sleep well. This includes caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks and cola.
Since caffeine affects your ability to fall asleep and prevents deep sleep, you are better off with warm, milky beverages before bed.
If you are fond of a bit of alcohol before bed, don’t make your nightcap too close to bedtime because alcohol can affect your brain in ways that reduce your sleep quality.
Avoid smoking. Studies indicate that Nicotine exposure, including from second-hand smoke, can lead to problems falling asleep, interrupted sleep and sleep dissatisfaction.
Keep your bedroom a little cool and airy instead of warm and stuffy. The former is much more likely to help you relax and drift off easily.
Place any wall clocks in your room turned away from your line of vision in bed so you are not constantly gazing at the time or checking how many hours before you need to wake up.
Don’t lie on stuffy, smelly bedding! This needs planning, but it is important. Change your bedsheets and pillowcases regularly. Fresh bedding scented with essential oils can help you relax and promote sleep.
Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes! Sleep clothing should make you feel relaxed. Choose clothes of stretchy, natural and breathable material.
Avoid anything tight or restricting. Sleeping naked, if possible, is recommended, especially in warm weather.
Section 4 – What’s on Your Mind?
You can avoid going to sleep with worrying thoughts by writing them out. Journaling worrying thoughts can help relax your mind enough to get some restful sleep.
You may also draw up a schedule of activities for the following day, creating a sense of direction and progress.
Keep from going to sleep with a full headspace. You can do so by unwinding for about 30 minutes after watching TV or some other stimulating activity.
For example, you can read a book, listen to gentle music or white sounds and journal. You can also write out any plans or tasks you need to do the next day. Doing so empties your mind and allows you to relax better in a sleep-friendly environment.
So that’s it, my friends; these are 15 things to watch out for to keep your sleep regime smooth and encourage nighttime bliss!
If you are still struggling to get a restful night – drop us a line. Happy Dreams!
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner. To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
Image Credits: Unsplash
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