6 things you should avoid if you have trouble falling or staying asleep

Lifestyle & Tips door thijs

Sleep is so important for our bodies. Not only does it has an impact on our appearance (not sleeping enough could make you gain weight or feel bloated!), it also has an impact on our health. That’s why it is very important to make sure we get enough zzz’s at night. But what if you can’t fall asleep at night even if you feel tired or can’t stay asleep for the whole night? From my own experience I can tell you this sucks! So I decided to do some research as to how to prevent this from happening.

Do you know that Coldplay song which says “when you are so tired but you can’t sleep. Could it be worse?” Well I have just one thing to say about it. No Coldplay, it could not be worse! Honestly there is nothing worse than feeling tired and still not be able to fall asleep. Or waking up in the middle of the night and just not being able to fall back asleep until 5 minutes before your alarm goes off ?. I know how much this sucks, but don’t worry there are some things you can do to make things better. Or better said, there are 6 things you should avoid before you go to bed if you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night.

6 things you should avoid before bed if you have trouble falling asleep:

1) Staring at a screen

Are you one of those persons who uses their smartphone, laptop, or watch TV in bed? These habits, as harmless as they might seem, could cost you a good night of sleep. The blue lights these devices emit, stimulate the brain, making it harder for it to understand that it's time to sleep and send the sleepy signals to your body. If you want to  watch your favorite series before going to sleep, better do it on the couch my darling! As for smartphones, ban them from your bed as well if you want your chances of falling asleep to increase.

2) Eating greasy food or high-in-fat foods

Not only are greasy, heavy-fat foods bad for your health in countless ways, they also make you sleep worse at night. These type of foods make your stomach work overtime to digest all the food, which causes discomfort, which in turn makes falling asleep difficult.  So no more fries, chips, icecream or cookies before going to bed. Remember there are so many healthy options for you to choose instead of eating junk food.

3) Working late

If you have a big meeting in the morning or a project due soon, then it's probably smart to schedule some time after dinner and work on it. Just make sure you put things away and ease your mind at least 1 hour before going to bed. This will give your brain a break and you will go to sleep with a calm feeling. If you don’t give your brain the time to relax, you will end up going to bed anxious and won’t be able to fall asleep.

4) Doing intense exercise

We all know that exercising regularly is the key to a healthy life and a good night of sleep. But hitting the gym or going for a run just before bedtime is not the best idea! Exercise gives you energy, increaser your heart rate and makes you hungry afterwards. The best is to be done with your workout 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed. By then, you’ve already eaten, showered, relaxed and are ready to go to sleep.

5) Getting emotional or upset

In order to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep, you need to feel relaxed when you go to bed. Fighting with your sister, bestie, or boyfriend, or watching a disturbing movie won’t really help on the road to relaxation. Keep that in mind next time you want to watch American Horror Story just before you go to bed. ;)

6) Drinking caffeine

Although this one is as obvious as they come, it is worth talking about it! The caffeine in coffee, tea and even chocolate work as a stimulant that can keep you up longer than you would expect. How much caffeine and how sensitive you are towards differs per person. But if you want to increase your chances of falling asleep and staying asleep longer, you should avoid drinking these type of drinks. Ideally your last coffee should be around 2 pm. After all, who feels sleepy after that time?

I hope you, just as me, will avoid doing these 6 things before going to sleep from now on. Good luck!

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