12+ Things To Stop Doing Before Bed For A Better Night’s Sleep

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Did you know that one in three adults in the United States have trouble sleeping or don’t get enough sleep? It’s a pretty alarming statistic. If you have problems sleeping and rarely wake up feeling well rested, you may be guilty of making these common pre-bedtime mistakes. Here are 13 things to stop doing before bed to improve your sleeping habits.

1. Exercising

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If you’re someone who likes to exercise late at night, you might want to stop. Exercising too close to bedtime doesn’t allow your mind or body the chance to wind down, relax, and recognize that it’s time for sleep.

2. Drinking Caffeine

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This one shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages in the hours leading up to your bedtime stimulates the brain and increases energy levels, making it extremely difficult to fall and stay asleep.

3. Drinking Water

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It’s important to drink lots of water throughout the day. But in the hour or so leading up to your bedtime, try to avoid it. The less water you drink before bed, the less likely you’ll be to require frequent nighttime bathroom visits.

4. Looking At Technology

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Technology is probably the main culprit in sleep-related issues. Staring at the electronic screens of phones, iPads, and the TV stunts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you need something to do to unwind a little before bed, read a book!

5. Cranking The Heat

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Did you know that the ideal sleeping temperature is anywhere between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit? If you’re someone who likes to crank the heat at night, it could be affecting your sleep.

6. Taking Naps

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Even if you feel oh so tired in the morning, taking that afternoon nap can make it extremely difficult to fall and stay asleep when it’s time for bed. Try to avoid afternoon naps if possible!

7. Having On Bright Lights

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Being exposed to extremely bright lights before bed also decreases the production of melatonin, and doesn’t signal to your body that you’re ready for sleep. Try to be in rooms with soft, dim lighting in the hour before bed to prevent this.

8. Eating Junk Food

Everyone likes some good junk food every now and then, but eating it too close to bed forces your stomach and digestive system to kick into overdrive. Not only is this bad for your sleep cycles, but it’s also bad for your metabolism.

9. Drinking Alcohol

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Although drinking alcohol before bed may help you to initially fall asleep, chances are you’ll wake up a few hours later and have trouble falling back asleep. Drinking alcohol before bed can also cause restlessness and unpleasant dreams.

10. Stressing And Dwelling

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It’s all too easy to stress and dwell on life the second your head hits the pillow. Negative thoughts can make falling asleep seem impossible. If you find this happening to you on a regular basis, try reading, yoga, or meditating before bed.

11. Watching The News

On a similar note, watching the news before bed can cause you stress that makes shutting your brain off quite difficult. If you watch the news, try to do so earlier in the day.

12. Procrastinating Sleep

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If you procrastinate going to sleep, you will likely have a hard time actually falling asleep – even if you feel really tired. This is because putting off sleep messes with your circadian rhythm. Try to establish and maintain a regular, reasonable sleep schedule to avoid this.

13. Being Social

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We’re all for being social, but being social too close to bedtime can make sleep difficult. Even if you’re just chatting with a friend on the phone, your brain will replay the conservation and pull up little details afterwards. Try to wedge a bit of time between socializing and bedtime for this reason.