You know the saying "Don't go to bed angry", well, it's true. Holding onto tension and unresolved issues can affect us mentally and emotionally. This in turn means we are not getting quality sleep and our performance can suffer the next day.
Here are some 'never to repeat' things we should all try to avoid right before we hit the hay.
Overeat or eat high carb foods or fatty foods: Research has found that going to bed with an uncomfortably full stomach can stimulate brain waves, which can result in nightmares—and the more unhealthy the food, the more disturbing the dreams. With each meal, chew small bites least 15 times before swallowing.
Drink Caffeine: It's an obvious one these days, but far too many of us are drinking our last cup too late in the day. Try to avoid any caffeine drinks and even chocolate a few hours before bed. Same goes for alcohol which can also be a stimulant. So limit the intake and you will feel much better for it the next day.
An Intense Workout (especially cardio): Working out is always a positive, and will actually help you sleep better. But accelerating your heart rate right before sleep time can make it difficult to unwind and fall asleep with ease. Plan to finish your exercising around three hours before bed.
Working Late: Whether you're catching up on emails or planning for a big meeting the next day, strenuous workload before bed doesn't allow your brain time to relax and recoup. And it will just keep ticking long after you shut down, so you might find you toss and turn in bed and wake up worrying about tomorrow's deadlines.
Unresolved anger: Hold off until tomorrow to have it out with your sister about that annoying comment she made. Instead of feeling cathartic, it's probably going to rile you up, and your churning mind will continue to keep you awake into the wee hours. Stress and overstimulation before bed are said to be the main causes of delayed sleeplessness, or "parasomnia."
Make the hour before bed your peaceful period, and avoid conversations that will rattle you.
Staring at a screen (Laptop, smartphone, tablet): Researchers have found that before-bed exposure to the blue light from computers, tablets and smart phones suppresses melatonin levels, which can throw off your body clock as well as increase your risk of obesity.
Log off at least one hour before bed, and set your alarm an hour earlier in the morning to catch up on work. You could also try dimming your screen as much as possible, or downloading a program like F.lux, which adjusts your computer's display to be a warmer colour at night.
Take a Hot Bath: It's true that a warm soak can help you fall asleep, but not if you're climbing out of the water immediately before climbing into bed. Here's why: Your body temperature dips at night, starting at around two hours before sleep. A hot bath causes your temperature to rise and then cool down afterward, which will help you relax. It's this drop in body temperature that knocks you out, and the steeper the drop, the deeper you'll sleep.
Pay attention to timing, which is key. Bathe too close to bed and your temperature will stay elevated, keeping you on high alert. Make sure you're toweling off at least an hour before turning in.