We know that getting a good night sleep is very vital for our overall health, it’ll improve our mood, energy levels, more. But, there are a lot factors that contribute to having a good sleep depending on your activities during the day, your diet, how mentally stimulated you are especially in the night time.
“When people suffer from insomnia or other sleep issues, it’s often because of something they’re doing, probably unintentionally, when they should be preparing for rest,” says Michael Grandner, PhD, a psychiatry instructor and member of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
We list down the common culprits you might want to avoid, so that you’ll get the best of your snooze.
1. Drink Uppers
“Alcohol tricks you into thinking you will sleep better, because it often makes you drowsy and makes it easier to fall asleep,” says Dr. Rosenberg. “But as your body begins to metabolize the alcohol, REM sleep, the period where our sleep is most restorative, is reduced.” Impaired REM sleep often leads to waking up tired and unable to concentrate, he adds. Did you know that alcohol is a diuretic- promotes the product of urine, tendency is to get up in the middle of the night so you ornate, thus interrupting your sleep.
2. Habit of using Blue lights
Most studies have suggested that when using electronic devices like e-readers, smartphones, or even simply watching television can disrupt your sleep. Robert Rosenberg, DO, author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day, recommends avoiding these devices for at least one hour before bedtime. Blue light given by these light-emoting gadgets prevents melatonin production- that helps in making us sleepy. So try to avoid chit chatting at night, reading ebooks, watching your favourite series or even working if you want to a have that rest. If it’s impossible for you not to do this, try keep the device at least 14 inches away from your face and turn down the brightness of the screen.
3. Take pills or medicines
If you are on a daily medication that may also cause you of sleeping problems, ask your doctor an alternative if possible. “The effects may be subtle, but some medicines can make you alert for several hours after taking them,” says Grandner. For example, antidepressants can have strong effects on sleep in either direction, and some pain medications may upset your stomach and make sleep more difficult.
4. Consume spicy and fatty foods
It is believed that when you eat meat during the night may help you sleep better because it’s protein has tryptophan that but having a large meal too close to bedtime can make falling asleep uncomfortable because you will eventually feel bloated or painfully full. Spicy or fatty foods are associated with acid reflux, which often rears its head when a person lies down at night. We know that you become more sleepy after that sumptuous meal but ideally, you should have be in bed at least 2 hours after dinner to give your body enough time to begin digesting it. If you’re used to eating something right before bed, try to assess yourself if you really need it more that sleep you’re not getting lately.
5. Drink coffee or tea
You probably know that these drinks are diuretics and should be avoided during the night, because this really disturbs your sleep. Did you know that the caffeine in coffee or tea can stay in the body for up to 12 hours. Tea or even herbal teas could say it’s caffeine-free but there are varieties that are stimulants too like tea that has black, green or white tea.
If you love tea and can’t go a day without it, try to dunk your teabag quickly into a cup of hot water, then dump it out and make a second cup using that same tea bag. Most of tea’s caffeine is released early on in the steeping process, so this may help you enjoy the flavor and warmth without so much of the stimulant.
Another stimulant is the nicotine found in all cigarettes. Most people claim they smoke to relax, but nicotine is a stimulant and if you have insomnia- this can worsen it, especially if you light up close to your bedtime. Other this, avoid e-cigarettes, patches, cigars, pipes and even chewing tobacco- all this can all keep you up all night.
7. Intense Workout
We don want you to get the idea of not working out if it’s too late because it’ll disrupt your sleep. But if it is too strenuous, it’ll not help a lot for sleeping. In fact, getting regular exercise has been shown to actually help treat insomniaand promote good sleeping habits.
8. Eat chocolate
Chocolates are another sneaky source of caffeine, especially dark chocolate with high cocoa contents. “People might not think about ice cream that contains chocolate or coffee as something that might potentially keep them awake, but if they’re sensitive to caffeine that could definitely do the trick,” says Grandner.
9. Drink lots of water
Like coffee or tea, if you choose to stay hydrated, it is a good choice to do it during the waking hours, so as not to keep you awake at night- just to urinate.