We’re always hearing that folks just aren’t getting enough sleep, and while sometimes our schedules may be to blame, for a lot of folks, actually falling asleep is the real problem. And apparently, a lot of the things we’re doing may be the reason our body just can’t shut down in order for us to get enough sleep so we’re not cranky in the morning.
So, what should you do, or rather not do, if you want a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep? Well, here are some things you should probably avoid:
- Bright Lights – Bright lights can suppress melatonin levels, also known as the sleep hormone, and you need those to help you drift off to sleep. If it’s too light it will likely result in less of a chance of you naturally getting tired. And when we say lights, we not only mean lights in the room, but also the lights from your devices, so turn them off at least a half hour before bed time.
- Violence – Maybe you shouldn’t watch that action or horror flick before going to bed. Such graphic violence or scary scenes on TV can keep your mind from relaxing, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Exercise – While exercise in general does help you sleep better, you should avoid doing it at for at least two hours before hitting the sheets.
- Caffeine – It seems pretty obvious that a cup of coffee before bedtime is going to prevent you from sleeping, but in reality you should probably cut out the caffeine a lot earlier. Research suggests you should nix the caffeine boost at 2:00 pm or at least eight hours before bed, whichever comes first.
- Second Wind – Between 10:45 and 11:00 pm your body is likely to naturally feel tired, and experts suggest that’s when you should probably go to bed. If you don’t, you risk getting a cortisol-driven “second wind” that could keep you up for hours.
- Stress – If you try to go to bed stressed chances are you’ll be laying in bed with your eyes open. Experts suggest trying to clear your mind with deep breathing, mediation or even yoga before bed to help your brain shut down.
Source: New York Post