Avoiding caffeine

Avoiding caffeine

Don't drink caffeine after dark. If you have your last coffee in the early afternoon, most of the caffeine will have been flushed out of your body by 11pm.

Although avoiding coffee or tea within 6 hours of going to bed will make it much easier to drop off, it is unclear whether there are any benefits to abstaining outside that time period.

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Health

bbc.com

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Keeping a sleep diary of your activity before bed, which helps to ensure you avoid the worst triggers. 

You should avoid doing anything strenuous or stressful within a few hours of sleep time

Reading devices

Many e-readers are backlit with blue frequencies of light, which can fool the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime.

Reading on these devices for a few hours before bed seems to suppress melatonin (the sleep hormone) and therefore makes it harder to doze off, compared to a traditional paperback. The same goes for tablets, MP3 players and smartphones.

“Slumber-foods”

Meals high in carbohydrates and protein (especially oily fish), but low in fat, show moderate benefits to overall sleep duration and quality, provided they are eaten at least 1 hour before you plan to sleep.

Changing sleeping positions

Many restless nights can be linked to sleep apnoea – a condition linked to snoring, in which the airways becomes constricted when you are unconscious.

There are several causes, but some cases may be easily solved by switching from lying on your back, to sleeping on your front or side.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
  • Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating.
Taking A Nap: Sleep Debt

When we constantly get less sleep (even 1 hour less) than we need each night, it is called sleep debt. We may pay for it in daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, moodiness, lower productivity and increased risk of falls and accidents.

Although a daytime nap cannot replace a good night’s sleep, it can help make up for some of the harm done as a result of sleep debt.

  • But avoid taking a nap after 3 pm as late naps may stop us getting to sleep at night.
  • And avoid napping for longer than 30 minutes as longer naps will make it harder to wake up and get back into the swing of things.
Not getting enough sleep

Now that is an issue most of us face on a daily basis: not getting enough sleep because we are too stressed or paying too much attention to our screens, for different reasons.

The bad news is that sleep is essential for the good functioning of our brain. Therefore, we are to find solutions to this problem, as it can have really bad effects on us.

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