Sleep 4

Last week’s post was about what you can do to help yourself have a good night’s sleep. This week it is all about what to avoid doing if you want to sleep well.

  • Nicotine is a stimulant and so may affect your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.
  • Caffeine is also a stimulant and is not only found in tea and coffee, but also in many soft drinks and in chocolate, so avoid more than one or two of any of these a day and especially in the evening if you want to sleep well.
  • Alcohol might make you feel sleepy, but if you have too much you are likely to wake in the wee small hours as your liver sets to work processing it.
  • A big meal too close to bedtime may make you feel soporific, but you are likely to be kept awake by your digestive system having to work overtime.
  • Going to bed hungry can make you wakeful, so a snack rich in complex carbohydrate and protein should help you drift off again if you have woken hungry in the night.
  • Sugary foods and drinks before bed are best avoided as the sugar high may prevent you getting to sleep and the resultant sugar crash is likely to wake you if you do manage to doze off.
  • Stimulating exercise less than two hours before bed is not conducive to getting to sleep.
  • Looking at TV, computer, laptop, tablet and phone screens just before bed can cause insomnia because of the mental stimulation and the light that they emit, so try to set aside time earlier in the evening for these activities if you can or check social media in the morning rather in bed at night.
  • Clock watching when you are awake is likely to make you feel stressed about being awake, which will wake you up even more!

Next week’s post will be about what professional help is out there if you are still suffering from insomnia despite having done all that you can to improve your sleep hygiene.