The Worst Things To Do Before Bed

by | Jan 25, 2020 | Sleep, Wellness

Canada is the third most sleep-deprived country.

Sleep allows or bodies to recharge, and it is crucial in maintaining a strong immune system.

Without proper sleep, our immune system can become suppressed. Disruptions in sleep can lead to: irritablity, lack of concentration, increased appetite, weight gain, and much more.

Optimally, you want to aim for solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

If you’re having difficulty falling asleep at bedtime, or if you’re not getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night, some of your nighttime habits may be to blame.

Here are  5 common mistakes people make before bedtime that make it harder to get a solid night’s rest:

1. Napping Too Close To Bedtime

After dinner, you may want to get comfy on the couch – to unwind and watch TV – but how often do you end up dozing off?

While power naps can be good for you, doing it within six hours before going to bed can sabotage your sleep.

Napping too close to bedtime will lower your sleep drive; which is what helps you fall asleep.

2. Using Electronic Devices

This includes computers, laptops, cell phones, or any other electronic device which emit blue light.

Blue light emitted from screens – upon striking your retina – will shut down your normal production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It will also increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) to a later schedule.

Before turning out the lights, reading, meditating, stretching, or practicing a gentle yoga flow, have been proven to help promote uninterrupted sleep.

3. Drinking Caffeinated Beverages

While you might rely on cups of coffee or energy drinks as fuel throughout your day, they can also lead to restless nights; which then become sleepy and tired days.

Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours. This means any caffeinated beverage consumed after 4pm could cost you serious snooze time.

4. Going To Bed Hungry

If you find yourself craving something to eat close to bedtime, before you head to the kitchen ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Perhaps you’re just bored or restless.

But, if you’re truly hungry, you shouldn’t ignore your body’s signals.  If you do, it can harm your sleep cycle. You’ll find it hard to fall asleep when your tummy’s rumbling, or your blood sugar is low.

Just make sure you’re choosing the right nighttime snack. It’s best to select a nutrient dense snack that curbs your hunger and keeps you satisfied until morning.

Read More: The 3 Best Late-Night Snacks (plus one that may actually help you fall asleep)

5. Worrying

Worrying is something most of us can’t help do from time to time.  However, if it’s at all possible, try not to let your worries send your mind racing before bed.

To combat a racing mind, try journaling an hour before bedtime. Make a list of the things worrying you.  Try creating a list of things to do, or a list of anything else that may be on your mind.

Getting these things out of your head, and onto paper, will help clear your mind, and help keep your worries from bothering you.

HOT TIP: After you’ve written down your thoughts and your To Do’s, write down 3 things that you are grateful for that day. This will help to shift your worrying mindset into a positive, more relaxed mindset.

Bonus Benefit: Getting optimal sleep each night can help you to lose more weight, and to burn more fat over an extended period of time.

Find out: 10 Ways Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight