You know how you’re always told not to have coffee before bed due to its caffeine content? The same principle applies to cigarette smoking because the nicotine that cigarettes contain is also a stimulant. In fact, smokers are far more likely to suffer from insomnia than people who don’t. If you really must have a cigarette, try and have your last one one-and-a-half to two hours before hitting the hay.
Although exercising generally has a good effect on our sleep, it shouldn’t be done within three to four hours of bedtime. This is because exercise “awakens” your body, so it’s not a good idea to return from the gym and go straight to bed.
8. Drinking water
There's nothing wrong with having a small amount of water before sleeping, but drinking too much can lead to you waking up at night and having bags under your eyes in the morning. This doesn't mean to say that you have to stop drinking water in the evening entirely - you simply need to experiment to find out the suitable amount of liquid not to cause you problems. A glass and a half of water in the evening should be fine.
Napping between 1 and 4 pm is fine as it shouldn’t interfere with your nighttime sleep at all. However, napping in the evening isn’t the wisest idea, especially if you suffer from bouts of insomnia. If you need to take a nap, take it at the same time every day, and make sure you don’t nap for any longer than an hour and a half. Truth be told, you should refrain from napping entirely if insomnia is a problem for you.
6. Being engaged in creative activities
Drawing, writing or playing an instrument are all activities that make your brain go into overdrive. In fact, if you stay up late doing any of these activities, you’re likely to be completely unable to sleep. This is because creative activities require a lot of effort, and the brain needs time to wind down after doing them. That’s why you should read a good book or meditate before bed instead.
5. Using electronic devices
The light emitted from laptops and smartphones is bad for your sleep, so using them before bed is best avoided. It’s much better to read a printed book or off of a special electronic device that’s specifically geared toward use before bed. If you have a tendency to work late into the evening, then you should also consider stopping at least an hour before you plan to sleep. This will prevent you lying in bed thinking about things such as outstanding tasks.
4. Taking pills
Sleeping pills are the only exception you should allow yourself when it comes to taking pills at night. It’s better to take other medications during the first part of the day. Many medications, such as painkillers, simply make your nervous system more alert, thus preventing you from sleeping. Always consult your doctor about the best time to take certain medications and become acquainted with all of their side-effects.
3. Feeling nervous
Volatile emotions aren’t conducive to good sleep, so it’s not the best idea to watch the news or have a big argument on the internet with someone right before bed. Even innocuous things such as reading a scary or sad book can have an impact on your sleep. Lots of excitement can also have a detrimental effect on your sleep, so you really should try and ensure that your mind is calm and relaxed before going to bed.
2. Taking a hot shower
Despite the common belief that a hot bath or shower contributes to good sleep, it’s actually a difference in temperature that helps us fall asleep. Doctors have determined that the higher the difference in temperature, the more we want to sleep. As a result, you can take your pick of whether you want to have a hot or cold bath or shower.
1. Sleeping with pets
Many pet owners choose to sleep with their pets, but this isn’t the best of ideas because animal sleep patterns differ from those of humans, and they also change positions much more often. What’s more is that skin particles and fur can affect your sleep negatively, regardless of whether you have allergies or not.