Here are seven things you should never do before bed:
1. Taking a hot bath.
Soaking in a hot tub might sound like the perfect end to a long day, but think twice before you mix up the bubbles. Our internal body temperature typically lowers a few degrees before bed, helping us feel calm and drowsy. Raising your body temperature (like, by sitting in steamy water) is likely to make you feel wide awake. So skip the suds or enjoy them earlier in the evening.
2. Eating chocolate.
There’s nothing wrong with satiating your sweet tooth with a square (or three) of dark chocolate after dinner, but make sure to space it out at least a few hours before bed. The caffeine and sugar in chocolate will cause your blood sugar to spike, and the buzz won’t do you any favors if you’re trying to fall asleep.
3. Drinking a glass of wine.
Don’t worry, we’re not trying to discourage you from drinking your special juice at night. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s best to wrap up your alcohol consumption at least two hours before bedtime. First, alcohol messes with your sleep cycles, so even if you zonk out immediately, you’re more likely to wake again in the middle of the night. But alcohol is also a diuretic, which means you’ll probably find yourself getting up a few hours later to pee.
4. Drinking tea.
Caffeinated tea is a no-brainer. Like coffee, sipping a cup before bed will probably make you jittery. But even herbal tea is a bad idea in the sheets, especially if you already have to get up to use the bathroom throughout the night. If this is you, cut off liquids (yep, even water) an hour before bed. Save your hydration efforts for tomorrow morning.
5. Working out.
And by “work out,” we mean running, spinning and other cardio. A nice, meditative candlelit yoga session? Go for it. But if you get your heart pumping too close to bedtime, you’ll get a boost of adrenaline that will keep you tossing and turning. If you’re going to bed at 10 p.m., aim to be home from your boxing class by 8 p.m.
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