10 Bad Habits Before Bedtime That You Should Avoid

Getting quality sleep is vital. However, there are certain habits that can havoc your sleep quality. These bad habits before bedtime can lead to sleep deprivation, which causes a lot of unhealthy consequences.

Moreover, lack of sleep affects skin health and even men’s prostate health. Although, we’ve covered a few of the unhealthy sleeping habits, this time we’re going over on most obvious but mostly neglected by the majority.

Bad Habits Before Bedtime To Avoid

Every night, you should spend yourself sleeping. You should dedicate this time to relaxing and resting. This is important as you’ve done a lot during the day.

In order to recuperate and expect a more energetic and productive next day, a good quality sleep is necessary. Some people require more hours of sleep up to 9 hours. On the other hand, some are pretty much satisfied and feel rejuvenated at 6 hours.

To help you achieve a good night sleep every night, cultivated healthy and healthful habits. Below is a list of bad habits before bedtime that you should avoid. You may not be able to avoid them at once but make the effort to eliminate them one at a time.

1. Alcohol Consumption

One of the known bad habits before bedtime is consuming alcohol. It may sound a fascinating concept but a small glass of wine before bedtime is bad.

The Sleep Foundation enumerates a few of the bad effects of drinking alcohol before bed including;

  • Interruption of the circadian rhythm
  • Blocking REM sleep
  • Aggravate breathing problems
  • Causes more trips to the bathroom

2. Mobile Phones and Screens

The use of mobile phones prior to bedtime has been mentioned previously. However, it is worth mentioning again. Today, most people are hooked on their phones even younger people.

There are studies1 2 proving that using mobile phones or being in front of screens like watching TV prior to bed can disrupt sleep. Moreover, spending a long time on screens is one of primary causes of blindness.

Hence, avoid using your phone 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Using your phone while on the bed and using it as something that can bring you to sleep is one of the bad habits before bedtime.

3. Consuming Caffeine

Caffeine is good when consumed in the morning as it stays in the body for 10-12 hours. Therefore, drinking a small cup of coffee containing 80 to 120mg of caffeine at 3 PM is not a good idea.

Hence, avoid caffeine right after lunch. Instead, drink enough water to maintain proper hydration. This also avoids feeling tired during mid-afternoon.

By the time you get home after work, you’re free of caffeine and ready to sleep.

4. Chocolate

After dinner, it is good to have some dessert. But, don’t eat chocolate as your dessert. Chocolate is one of the best foods to eat but it’s not good at night or before sleep as it contains caffeine.

Instead, choose fruits like apples and berries as your dinner dessert.

5. Drinking Too Much Water

Drinking enough amount of water during the day is a healthy habit. It’s good for hydration and supports many health benefits.

However, at night, it’s not a good idea to drink a lot of water as it will disrupt your sleep. It can cause you to pee and results in more trips to the bathroom.

So, drink a glass a few minutes after dinner and that’s all for the night.

6. Eating A Big Meal

One of the bad habits before bedtime that some people are ignoring is eating a big meal. Hence, just eat enough that helps you through the night. If you’re into intermittent fasting, you can just drink a glass of water and sleep.

Eat your dinner 3 hours before bedtime to allow time for your body to optimize blood sugar and melatonin levels.

Furthermore, eating big meals during dinner can cause an increase in blood flow to the digestive tract. In turn, this causes the stomach to secrete more gastric juice and keep your intestinal muscles working hard.

This activity can cause a stimulation of your body’s metabolism, which you don’t want during night time as you sleep.

One more reason to avoid a big meal during night time is it can cause acid reflux, as well as weight gain. It’s something you want especially if you’re into losing weight.

7. Smoking

If you’re a smoker, this is something you should avoid. And, perhaps, a good start to quit smoking. It’s clear that smoking is bad for health and that even a single stick of cigarette is not safe.

Cigarette smoking affects and disrupts sleep in many ways than you think. In one study3, researchers find that night smokers report significantly greater disturbances in their sleep.

Moreover, an earlier study also found that smoking is linked to sleep disturbances. In another study4, researchers find that smoking is linked to sleep apnea.

8. Exercise

Regular exercise is a good and healthy habit for both physical and mental fitness. But, don’t do it before bedtime.

The reason for this is it activates the hormones responsible for feeling good such as dopamine. This keeps you feeling active and awake, as well.

However, one expert says that this does not affect everyone. Hence, he recommends that people who have trouble sleeping should not exercise before bedtime.

Dr. Stuart Quan, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School told the Independent;

There may be some people who won’t have any problems. However, if the person already has trouble going to sleep, an exercise in close proximity to bedtime may worsen the problem.

On the other hand, doing meditation 5 and/or along with some yoga before bedtime can be helpful in achieving good quality sleep.

9. Eating The Wrong Foods

Eating a protein-packed breakfast is good but don’t do it for dinner. Proteins take time to digest and it just sits your stomach, which keeps you awake at night.

However, you don’t have to avoid all proteins. Instead, consume proteins in a small amount during dinner and you’ll be just fine.

Foods like containing high carbs, or in other words, sugar foods should be avoided during night time. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels making your energy spikes and plummets, as well. This pattern can cause a disruption in sleep.

10. Taking A Warm Bath

This last one is actually good and although we’re talking about bad habits here, it’s worth including as part of healthy sleeping habits. While cold showers is great in the morning, taking a warm bath at night before bed helps your body to achieve relaxation.

So, it’s a good idea to take a warm bath before bedtime. Of course, you don’t want to sleep with a wet hair though.

Final Thoughts On Bad Habits Before Bedtime

Just like water, solid foods, and air, sleep is necessary for existence. In fact, we spent two-thirds of our lives sleeping as a standard. Of course, some people defy it by working at night and working more hours than normal.

But the fact is we need sleep and not just sleep but good quality sleep between 6 to 9 hours per night. Sleep has many functions. It allows the body to rejuvenate by repairing and growing new tissues.

Moreover, sleep is the only time in which the brain performs its cleaning process. Studies find that lack of sleep predictor of cognitive problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Hence, it’s worth making and maintaining the efforts towards achieving quality sleep.

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