Does your before bedtime ritual or routine consist of a snack, television, or checking email?
It is very easy to explain what should be done before hopping into bed, but rarely are we told what not to do. So what shouldn’t we be doing before bed that may be impacting not only the quality of our sleep, but at what time we get to bed and wake up?
The following are some of the pre-bedtime activities that could be hurting your chance at getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Eat anything heavy
The last meal of your night should be at dinnertime, and it is suggested not to eat dinner past 7:00 PM because your body’s metabolism begins to slow down as it prepares for sleep. Many times people will have a craving for a snack pre-bedtime because they are still hungry after dinner. If this is the case, do not dive into the fridge to eat leftovers or into the cupboard for a quick and fatty snack. You do not want to fill yourself up before bedtime, only subdue the hunger until morning.
Everyone has a busy schedule these days and finding time to fit in going to the gym can become more and more of a hassle. Exercising is a great source of energy in the body, releasing endorphins, adrenaline and a range of other hormones and chemicals to help make you feel great. Sometimes, the only option we have is to work out in the evening due to overscheduled days, and this is a big no-no. It is recommended to stop working out at least 3 hours before your bed time to allow your body to wind down and relax.
Studies have shown that pre-slumber screen time can impede your body’s ability to fall asleep. The likely culprit? Well, the bright lights of these screens can hinder the development of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. So close that laptop and turn off that TV about an hour before bed.