It’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine to help your mind and body prepare for sleep. This can include brushing your teeth, reading a book or telling your children a bedtime story, or even relaxing in a nice lavender-scented bubble bath. These things help calm you down so that when your head hits the pillow, you can relax in a deep sleep.
However, there are also some things that many of us do before bedtime that can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. So if you frequently do one or more of these three things, try to take them out of your bedtime routine and see how much better you feel when you wake up the next day!
1. Drink a glass of alcohol or caffeine.
Although many people already try to avoid coffee before bedtime (and really, it should be avoided any time after noon), they forget to avoid other caffeinated beverages like tea or soda. Although these drinks don’t have as much caffeine as coffee, they can still prevent you from feeling sleepy at night.
And although a glass of wine or an alcoholic nightcap may seem like it helps you fall asleep, the sleep that you get is not as relaxing and rejuvenating. Alcohol interferes with the body’s natural internal clock, which disrupts many different systems. This includes liver functioning, digestion, and the natural sleep-wake cycle. It’s best to leave the glass of wine or cocktail to dinner time and let it leave the system before bed!
2. Eat certain foods.
Although a small bedtime snack is not a bad thing in and of itself, there are certain foods that are more likely to give you an upset stomach during the night. First, try to avoid chocolate close to bedtime. The small amounts of caffeine may prevent you from falling asleep right away. Also, a dessert that is high in fat and sugar can also keep you awake. The sugar creates a rush of energy and sends the body into digestion mode… not great when you’re trying to relax!
Also, citrus fruits should also be avoided right before bed. The citric acid may cause acid reflux or heartburn while you’re sleeping, which can wake you up in the middle of the night. Instead, consider a small snack like a cup of yogurt, a handful of nuts, or a piece of cheese. These snacks will tide you over without disrupting your sleep too much.
3. Spend time on your phone or tablet.
Because your mobile devices light up, they can trick the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. The blue light from your phone or tablet mimics the natural daylight you see during the day, so your circadian rhythm doesn’t know that it’s time for the brain to shut down.
So instead of reaching for your phone and checking Facebook if you have trouble falling asleep, try reading a book for twenty minutes and see if that helps your mind relax. You could also listen to calming music or incorporate a few minutes of meditation into your routine. Whatever alternative you prefer, you’re better off leaving your phones on the nightstand or dresser where it belongs!
If you have sleep problems or you have trouble falling asleep at bedtime, you could try making the small changes listed above. Your mattress may also be causing discomfort and preventing you from developing good sleep habits. If you can’t remember how long ago you purchased your mattress or you feel noticeable lumps and dents in your mattress, it’s time for an upgrade. Sleep USA has affordable innerspring, memory foam and hybrid mattresses at different levels of comfort and support. Try out our models to ensure that you’re getting the perfect combination for your unique body type and needs, then you can even buy your favorite online!. Visit the store to find the mattress of your dreams and speak to our sleep specialists for customized advice!