7 things not to do before you go to sleep
1. Don’t use any kind of digital technology.
Take a tip from Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor of The Huffington Post, who’sbanned electronics from the bedroom and reads a hard copy book before going to sleep.
2. Don’t take sleeping pills (unless you’ve been diagnosed with insomnia).
But as Harvard sleep scientist Patrick Fuller told Tech Insider’s Julia Calderone, “I think most people that are taking hypnotic medications actually don’t need them and should work to get off of them.”
According to Fuller, even if you have trouble sleeping, you probably don’t have insomnia, and taking sleeping pills probably won’t do you much good.
The medications typically come with a host of side effects, from muscle aches to memory loss. Plus, Fuller said, they can be highly addictive, and your sleeping problems may become worse after you take the pills.
3. Don’t drink alcohol.
But research suggests that it can make it harder to stay asleep. As your body starts to metabolize the alcohol during the second half of the night, you may start to get restless.
As Tech Insider reported, studies have found that drinking before bed suppresses your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in particular, which is important for memory and concentration.
4. Don’t work in bed (or anywhere in the bedroom).
5. Don’t consume caffeine after 5 p.m.
The researchers suggest that people limit their caffeine consumption to before 5 p.m., at the latest.
6. Don’t eat fatty foods.
In particular, eating meals high in fat before bed seems to decrease the time people spend in REM sleep.
If you’re hungry late at night, experts recommend eating whole grains paired with protein, like natural peanut butter on whole-wheat bread.
7. Don’t exercise.
But experts recommend avoiding strenuous workouts in the evening. That’s partly because your body temperature rises during cardio workouts, which could make it harder to go to sleep.
Instead, they suggest doing some yoga or simple stretching, which can help you relax.
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