8 Things to Avoid for a Good Night’s Sleep

Daily Health Post, March 11, 2013

We’ve talked about the importance of getting enough sleep before. Yet, countless adults still fail to get the proper amount of high-quality sleep they need to stay healthy and function well throughout the day. In this article, learn how you may be ruining your chances of proper slumber with small choices you’re making during the day and before bed.

1. Eating Refined Carbs Before Bed

If you’re having a late-night pasta dinner or a quick bowl of cereal before you hit the hay, you’re probably going to have some trouble falling asleep. Why? Refined carbohydrates cause your blood sugar levels to rise, giving you a boost of energy that you really don’t need before you turn in for the night.

2. Drinking Alcohol

The idea that a nice nightcap will put you to sleep goes back hundreds of years. While a drink before bed will probably help you fall asleep, it will greatly reduce the quality of the sleep that you’re getting, and will likely cause you to have trouble staying asleep.

3. Letting Pets Into the Bed

Fido and Spot may be quite cuddly, but they’re probably disrupting your sleep, too. Keeping pets out of your sleeping space will cut down on both movement that’s likely to wake you up and minor fur and dander related allergies that might be interfering with the quality of your sleep.

4. Exercising Late in the Day

You may think that a strenuous workout will help you collapse into bed and fall right asleep, but the opposite is actually true. Even though your muscles might be tired, exercise boosts your energy and raises your core temperature, so it’s wise to avoid getting in your workout within three hours of the time you plan to go to bed.

5. Falling Asleep With the TV On

While many people like to use the TV as something of a night light, the visual activity is likely to keep your brain going when you’d prefer it to be slowing down. This is apparently especially true for news reports and violent or action-fueled shows.

6. Having Too Much Blue Light in the Bedroom

This goes hand in hand with the TV tip above. Cell phones, digital alarm clocks, computers, and many other devices emit short-wave blue light, which mimics sunlight and tells your body it’s time to be awake. Try to avoid using said devices within an hour of when you intend to fall asleep, and consider covering alarm clocks and other screens.

7.  Sleeping In on Weekends

It’s nice to be able to get a few extra z’s when you don’t have to get up for work, but those extra hours spent snoozing can disrupt your body clock when it’s time to resume your normal schedule. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body will get into the groove of a regular sleep cycle, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

 8. Drinking Too Much Liquid at Night

That two a.m. bathroom trip is doing you no favors. Stay hydrated during the day, but cut back on your beverage intake two hours before bed. This will help you minimize middle-of-the-night waking, and you won’t have to deal with that bright bathroom light and frigid tile floor, either.


  • http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/13/10-foods-to-avoid-before-bed/
  • http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-facts-information/myths-and-facts
  • http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-benefits-10/slideshow-sleep-tips

What keeps you up at night? Do you have any tips to add to the list?