Wellness Tip From Our Wellness Director—Ella Kidder
7 Bad Habits That Steal Your Sleep
Doing the toss-and-turn samba in bed lately? Nix these 7 sleep-stealing habits to help you snooze peacefully instead.
1. Avoid caffeine after lunch. Caffeine lingers in your system for up to 12 hours. So that after-lunch coffee can leave you wide-eyed at bedtime. Switch to decaf after mid-morning and try chamomile tea or warm milk in the evening. Both will help you get your ZZZ’s.
2. Downsize those big dinners. Large dinners take hours to digest, making it hard to fall asleep. Make lunch your main meal of the day and limit dinner to fewer than 500 calories. While you’re at it, skip spicy foods and MSG for less heartburn, indigestion, and too-vivid dreams.
3. Work out early. Regular workouts can help you sleep better, but exercising within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime can actually mess with sleep. Shoot for morning, afternoon, or early evening workouts.
4. Skip the nightcap. Booze pulls a bait-and-switch when it comes to sleep. It makes you drowsy so you nod off, then it makes you wakeful and restless throughout the night.
5. Turn off the TV. Glowing screens from electronics such as TV, computers, and even your e-reader signal your brain to stay alert. Power down an hour before bed.
6. Kick the habit. Like caffeine and alcohol, nicotine is a stimulant.
7. Don’t work in bed. The stress of going over spreadsheets and other work-related tasks makes it hard to fall asleep. If you work on your laptop, you’re getting a double-whammy of stimulation because you’re in bed and in front of a glowing screen. Use the bedroom for cuddling and sleep only.