Seven things to avoid before sleep
Are you suffering from sleeplessness? Here are the main reasons why this might be happening:
1: E-readers and smart phones
Avoid using electronic devices before bed. Watching TV before sleep is also harmful. Let your brain relax and do not let any modern technologies disturb you. Do not use mobile phones right before your bedtime. Before you go to sleep, stay at least one hour with no light-emitting devices around. The light coming from gadgets stops the production of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for good sleep. If you cannot avoid using iPad or computer in the bed, then reduce your monitor’s brightness. Besides, do not hold the device to close to your face – a minimum distance of 14 inches is absolutely necessary.
2: Coffee (including decaf)
One cup of coffee equals 80-120 milligrams of caffeine. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks have wake-promoting effect. This drink is great to start the day with, but should be avoided at night. Even if you drink it a few hours before sleep, you might suffer from insomnia. It takes time for your body to get rid of caffeine. Usually, it takes this strong stimulant more than 10 hours to completely leave your organism. You should bear in mind that coffee that is consumed after noon can affect your sleep. You can try and replace regular coffee with its decaf version. However, decaffeinated coffee also contains up to 20 milligrams of stimulant.
Tea is another drink that may be the main cause of your insomnia. Most teas contain a lot of stimulants. It does not matter which type of tea you give your preference to, the problem is that most of them won’t let you sleep at night. Fortunately, there is a good way to replace regular tea with other drinks, such as herbal teas. Try peppermint, chamomile or wild thyme tea. You are sure to find your favorite flavor. Another option is to drink fruit teas that do not contain caffeine. If the above mentioned substitutes do not satisfy you, drink your usual tea in the evening, but prior to indulging it, soak the teabag in hot water for a few seconds, take it out, dump it, and make another cup using the same bag. Your second cup will contain much less caffeine.
Caffeine can be also found in chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it may contain. Do not eat dark chocolate at night before the bedtime. The same rule applies to other delicious desserts, such as chocolate ice cream. If you are one of those people who are sensitive to caffeine, then the reason why you cannot sleep well at night is probably one of your favorite treats. Milk chocolate can also have a negative influence on your sleep. A serving of milk chocolate contains up to 10 milligrams of caffeine while a serving of dark chocolate has around 32. Chocolate also contains the bromine, another stimulant that increases insomnia and heart rate.
Alcoholic drinks quickly get into the blood stream. Blood delivers alcohol to the brain and you feel relaxed and drowsy in a matter of minutes. Even if you fall asleep, there is no guarantee that your body will have a good rest at night. The problem is that all night long your inner organs will be trying to remove alcohol from the body. Alcohol dehydrates; you wake up thirsty, exhausted and tired. Most of us can drink a glass of wine with dinner, but alcohol drunk before bed is always a negative habit affecting your night’s sleep.
6: Spicy and rich foods
Give preference to neutral food. Do not add spices and avoid very rich dishes. Your stomach should not be bloated or stuffed with food. Food will only start being digested after 2 hours. That means that all night long you your body will be forced to work instead of resting. It is risky to eat fatty and spicy foods right before the bedtime. All you need is just a glass of milk or, if you feel hungry, a fruit. Late meals will not only affect your sleep, they will also make you gain weight. Late night snacking is not the best thing you can do.
There is not a single sane person who wouldn’t know how harmful smoking is. Nevertheless, people smoke even in the evening hoping that a cigarette or two will help them relax and fall asleep. The fact is that smoking disturbs your sleep. This happens because tobacco contains nicotine, a strong stimulant. The more you smoke, the worse your night’s sleep is. Think twice before lighting another cigarette. This applies to people who smoke pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, chew tobacco or use smoking cessation patches. Do all possible to get rid of your bad habit. There are too many reasons why smoking should be banned. Talk to your doctor, ask for professional help and change your life for the better as soon as possible.