photo: Show Me Your Mumu
You’re in bed, nice and cosy, watching some easy TV – then you feel yourself drifting off. So, you turn it off and crash your head down onto your pillow, close your eyes… and then you suddenly can’t sleep.
We’ve all been there, but it’s not just your brain being a total moron, you could be to blame too. Make sure you avoid these six things before bed, so you wake up feeling like a Disney princess (sort of), and not like a resurrected mummy!
#1 Eating Greasy or High-Fat Foods
Greasy, fatty foods not only make you feel sluggish the next morning but also make your stomach work overtime to digest all that food, then you just feel way too full; that can make it difficult to sleep. Stay away from fast food, ice cream, and these other foods right before bed – or give it at least two or three hours.
#2 Staring at a Screen
I’ve said it before: Don’t sleep with your phone! The blue light these devices emit stimulates the brain, making it harder for the body to unwind, relax, and sense that it’s time for bed. Even watching your favorite show on TV can cost you a good night’s slumber. Try turning off all electronics at least an hour before you sleep; maybe you can read? Or if you have a partner you can just chat to them until you nod off.
#3 Intense Cardio
Exercising regularly is the key to sleeping well at night, just as little as 10 minutes of aerobic activity can improve you sleep quality. But going for a jog around the block right before you’re about to snooze isn’t the wisest choice.
Aside from needing to eat right after, it revs up your heart rate and your energy levels, making it difficult for your body and mind to settle down enough to fall asleep. For a better night of zzz’s, finish your workout three hours before you plan to hit the hay.
#4 Working Late
You’re home from the office, but you didn’t get round to finishing that report that’s due tomorrow. So now you have no choice but to quickly finish it off at home. I am a believer that you should try and leave your work life and home life separated, but sometimes you just don’t have the option. Don’t frazzle your brain, it needs to be recharged for the next day. Get your work finished off and make sure you stop 2/3 hours before you go to sleep.
#5 Sipping Caffeine
The caffeine found in coffee, tea, and even chocolate is a stimulant that can keep you up longer than you planned. I’m sure you already know this! Some say a good rule of thumb is to ban caffeine after 6pm, but everyone is different. Some people may snooze just fine straight after a cup of joe, whilst I know others who are super sensitive and can’t drink the stuff after 1pm.
Also stay off the vino, well maaaybe one glass is fine, but if you accidently get a little carried away and end up on your third glass; you might find yourself waking up every hour like a baby. A very thirsty one too.
#6 Getting Emotionally Wound Up
Having a heated Twitter debate, watching the news, reflecting on a text message you received that simply just said “K” after you’ve just typed a heartfelt essay – basically anything that will piss you off. Just don’t even go there. Watch some comedy, read a book that doesn’t make you cry, have a soak in the tub, or meditate if that’s your thing.
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