Can't sleep? You might be surprised at what's keeping you up
Can’t sleep? Being unable to sleep well can be extremely infuriating, especially when the clock is ticking and you know that you have a busy day ahead – but the good news is there are things you can do to help aid a restful night when you can’t sleep.
A lack of sleep effects every area of your life – from concentrating at work to the mood you are in when you get home and how much energy you have to do the things you love. That’s why it’s so important to understand why you can’t sleep and resolve the problem quickly.
The way you behave right before bed time can make a real difference to your body’s ability to relax. We all know that jumping in to bed without winding down can make for a restless night, but some of the bedtime habits that are stopping you from nodding off might come as a surprise.
Did you know that late night exercise is probably keeping your brain active? Or that eating a curry for dinner fires up your metabolism when you least need that boost?
Click through to find out the surprising culprits that mean you can’t sleep and discover a whole new way to get a restful night….
If you enjoy ending your day with exercise, try and schedule it to
finish at least two hours before you hit the hay. Or better still move
your workout to the morning.
A study by Runners World revealed
that of twenty adults asked to try a 30-minute workout routine at 7 a.m,
1 p.m and 7 p.m, all reported they woke up fewer times overnight on the
day their workout session fell before noon.
Surprisingly, celery is a natural diuretic, so if you eat this low
calorie snack a little too close to bedtime it's likely you will be
woken in the night needing the toilet. Stick to using celery as part of
lunchtime salads instead.
While a late night curry might be a nice treat, spicy foods will not
help you sleep. Instead they fire up your metabolism and brain activity
after its begun to wind down and can produce stomach acid which is the
main cause of bloating and heartburn. To avoid a fitful nights sleep go
easy on the hot sauce and aim to finishing eating two to three hours
before you go to sleep.
Whilst red meat is a great source of protein and iron, you might want to
resist tucking into a steak less than two hours before you intend to go
to sleep. Protein and fat digest really slowly and as we all know
sleeping on a full stomach is a recipe for lots of tossing and turning.
Having a tipple or two after a long tiring day to relax, might be the very reason you're tired in the first place.
Alcohol temporarily spikes your sugar and serotonin levels which in turn raise your mood and energy. However shortly after your last drink they will begin to drop just as quickly as they rose which leads to dehydration and a disruptive nights sleep. If you enjoy a glass with dinner aim to finish it three hours before bed to enable your body to balance out.
Whilst there is nothing more indulgent than a late-night bowl of ice cream, it certainly won't sooth you into a peaceful slumber. In fact not only will the high sugar content of this creamy treat keep you awake, it can also give you nightmares. Not too mention the high calorie count which you won't have time to burn off before bed.
It's tempting to have that comforting cup of coffee before bed, but it could be seriously disturbing your sleep due to the high levels of stimulant caffiene. Warm milk will be better for your digestion, and won't leave you full of energy right before bed time.
It's well known that chocolate contains high levels of sugar, which are best to avoid before bed time. But what if you can't resist a little piece? It's best to go for white chocolate, which has less caffeine than dark.
We've all been known to get distracted by phones or laptops right before
bed, but it isn't just late-night browsing that could disturb your
peaceful slumber. Studies have shown that the light emitted from screens
can hinder the development of melatonin, the hormone that promotes
sleep. Moral of the story? Switch off to switch off!