Avoid This Before Sleeping At Night
1. Anything that's too exciting
Reading in bed can be a great pre-slumber activity, and if it helps you wind down and makes you tired, then go for it. The same goes for any routine habit that helps you get to sleep—chatting on the phone with your best friend, organizing a photo album, or knitting, for example.
2. Alter your routine
Doing the same thing every night before bed is one of the tenets of good sleep hygiene. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, and laying out your clothes for the morning, for example, can all send a signal to your brain that it's time for bed — especially if you do them in the same order, at the same time every night.
But switching up that routine, by doing things out of order or earlier in the night than usual, can disrupt that mental process. Without a consistent bedtime routine, your brain doesn't go into sleep mode until you crawl into bed and turn out the light. You'll fall asleep much faster if you can start that process a little bit earlier, as you're getting ready.
3. Chug lots of water
Staying hydrated is important, but it may not be the best strategy to drink a huge glass of water before bed or sleep with one water by your bed, unless your goal is to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Instead, , make sure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day — and always be sure to use the bathroom before you head to bed, even if you don't feel like you have to.
4. Eat spicy or fatty foods
Having a large meal too close to bedtime can make falling asleep uncomfortable. You should have dinner at least two hours before going to sleep, to give your body enough time to begin digesting it.
5. Skip your wind-down time
When people say they can't shut their mind off in bed, it's often because they haven't given themselves adequate time to relax in the hour or so beforehand. When you're going from one distracting activity to another and not giving yourself time to sit back and reflect on your thoughts, it's no wonder that your mind is racing when you finally climb into bed. Take at least 30 minutes before you head into your bedroom to put away anything that's too stimulating, thought-provoking, or absorbing—anything from action-packed TV shows to work that you've brought home with you. Instead, focus on activities that relax you and bring closure to your evening, like making a to-do list and packing a bag for the next day.
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