The day is finally over, and you can’t wait to change into your pajamas, snuggle into your bed sheets, and turn on your newest Netflix obsession. You stream a few episodes, and then before you know it, it’s 12 a.m. and you have to be up for work in a short seven or eight hours. You click the TV off, shut your eyes…and proceed to toss and turn for a solid hour or so before you actually fall asleep. Sound all to familiar? Believe it or not, it might be your pre-bed habits that are making it hard for you to doze off at the end of the day. Here are a few things you should never do before you go to bed in order to get that beauty rest your body needs.
Don’t work out.
If you’re getting home late from work and you want to spend your downtime doing a quick session of yoga, that’s totally fine. In fact, that may actually mellow you out enough to fall asleep right after. However, squeezing in a high-intensity cardio session too close to bed is something you should stay away from doing. Getting your heart rate up that close to bedtime results in a rush of adrenaline that will only keep you up counting sheep. Try to get your cardio in at least two hours before your bedtime, instead.
Don’t text your friends.
Texting your friends about the weekend plans can wait until the morning (shocking, we know). If you plan on sending just one text right before you’re ready to close your eyes for the night, it never stops at just one message. So instead of getting stuck in a never-ending cycle of incoming and outgoing messages, cut the cycle short by putting your phone down and resolving not to pick it back up until tomorrow morning.
Don’t eat chocolate.
We get it: saying no to dessert after a long day is not easy, but it’s crucial if you’re trying to clock some quality hours of shuteye. The caffeine from the chocolate will raise your blood sugar, and will leave you too hyper to fall asleep when it’s bedtime. So yes, dessert is okay and you don’t need to cut it from your diet. But try to leave a good few hours in between consuming your sugary treat and going to sleep.
Don’t have a glass of wine.
Like dessert, it’s okay to have a glass of wine when you get home to help you unwind from a stressful day. Contrary to popular belief, it actually isn’t a good idea to have alcohol before bed, and drinking wine doesn’t exactly help you get to sleep. Sure, you may fall asleep right away, but alcohol tends to mess up your sleeping cycle, so you will most likely be waking up in the middle of the night from drinking that glass too close to bed.
Don’t take certain medications.
While we’re not likely to question what our doctor prescribes or recommends to us, it is possible that certain medications are throwing off your sleep. If your prescribed medication is giving you problems at night, it might be time to talk to your doctor about the problem. Maybe the time of day that you’re taking your pills, or your particular dosage is keeping you up. Some medications, like antidepressants, can have conflicting effects on your sleeping cycle (negative or positive), and pain medications tend to cause side effects to flare up, like stomach pain, which disrupt your sleep. If you suspect that your pre-bed meds are keeping you up at night, have a chat with your doctor and see how to get the problem resolved ASAP.