Your daytime habits play an important role in how well you sleep, particularly as you approach the evening hours leading up to your bedtime.
Though initially soothing, alcohol, nicotine and certain foods provide a false sense of comfort in your attempt to unwind after a long day. In fact, they may seriously impair your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. And after a poor sleep, it’s tempting to refuel on caffeine, sugary foods or a cigarette when waking up, thus creating an unhealthy cycle of bad sleep, coffee to wake up, alcohol to relax, bad sleep again, and on and on.
To improve your sleep and overall health, avoid the following foods and stimulants:
Caffeine is found in many of the drinks and foods we consume. These include tea, coffee, chocolate and cola drinks. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may need to limit the amount of caffeine you have. Try slowly cutting back – and not having any at least four hours before bed. If that doesn’t work, try eliminating caffeine after lunch – or having less overall.
Nicotine is a stimulant. Not only will it disrupt your sleep, smokers may experience withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to avoid cigarettes altogether, and if you can’t, avoid them for at least a few hours before going to bed.
Although alcohol may help you get to sleep, it disrupts your sleep later. You may wake up often, have nightmares, headaches and start the next day feeling more tired than ever.