Health & Medical Mental Health

How to Sleep Better at Night

    • 1). Avoid eating or drinking anything 1 to 3 hours before bedtime. You have probably heard that eating after a certain hour of the night can make the storage of calories a lot easier. Eating and drinking right before bed can also cause interruptions during sleep. Instead of sleeping undisrupted, reports say that 1 in every 80 humans will eat something or drink something (more than 12 oz.) at least an hour or less before bedtime and of these, 1 in 13 will not sleep through the night undisturbed because of this. If you usually go to bed at 10 or 11 p.m. it is recommended that you have your last meal at 7 or 8 p.m.

    • 2). Avoid smoking before bedtime. Smoking so much as 2 to 3 hours before bedtime can cause you to lie awake at night or not sleep straight through the night. The nicotine in cigarettes can cause the blood vessels to restrict and cause jitters which are both factors that explain why some people who smoke can't get the sleep they should be getting. If you have to smoke, try not to do so after dark (after 6 p.m.) to ensure that all of the active nicotine is out of your system. If you need help quitting, you can talk to your doctor or find a support group.

    • 3). Don't drink any caffeine before bedtime. You should avoid caffeine consumption (soft drinks, coffee, chocolate) at least 3 to 5 hours before bedtime. Caffeine causes full alertness and a jittery feeling that can last for hours. If you have soft drinks for dinner, try having a drink with no caffeine in it. You may also try having a drink that is low in sugar, because sugar can cause effects on the body similar to those of caffeine.

    • 4). Ask your doctor about prescription sleep medication. Some people do all they can to sleep better at night, but it doesn't work. Some sleeping problems lie deeper than our lifestyles, some need medical attention. You need to see your doctor if you believe you may have a chronic sleep disorder. Make sure you discuss all of the benefits and side effects of some sleep medications, because most sleep medications carry the risk of dependency.

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