5 Things to Avoid Before Bed
We all do it. You know, those silly things we shouldn't do right before we go get a good night sleep. Here are 5 things to avoid and my suggestions to help or fix the issues.
1. Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulate found in coffee, soda, chocolate and tea, just to name a few. What this does, in my terminology, is it revs you up and keeps you awake. Hence, why people drink coffee to wake up in the morning. This is not conductive to sleeping though.
If you find you have ingested caffeine before bed, I suggest you buckle your seat belt and find something to do. You will be up for awhile so go ahead, read, do laundry, tidy up, or anything that will not wake up the rest of the house.
Your best bet is to know when to stop ingesting caffeine so you can get a good quality night sleep. I had heard at night, your brain goes through your day’s events to catalog them to save or toss. If you do not get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t have the time to do this so it dumps what hasn’t been processed. No wonder you are foggy and don’t remember things the next day!
2. Stress – No brainer, right? Well, easier said than done. When you have stress in your life, whether from work or family, fighting, being worried or anxious, your brain is on overload. For some of us, your brain wants to replay the event over and over ad nauseam. Not only to show you what you did wrong but also to play out different scenarios and responses/actions you could have taken.
There are many ways to help you distress; mediation and journaling are two ways to help clear your head. What helps me is talking to God and asking him to take it all. Mind you, I usually have to do this several times because all that crap comes sneaking back in my brain so I have to release it again and again. If you are not religious, I want you to focus on the key word “release” you need to release your stress to sleep.
3. Salt - This could be more of an individual basis. Too much salt can cause your blood pressure to rise and you can get either heart palpitations or restless leg. Both are not conductive to a good night sleep.
The best way to help you is not to eat salt. Now I know how hard it is especially on Mexican night when you eat all those glorious crunchy chips with salsa while drinking a margarita with salt on the rim. My legs are twitching already just by thinking about it!
I wrote about one way to help you with restless leg here. I swear by lavender oil. It keeps your legs from twitching instantly! Another thing you can do, but it is a catch 22, is drink tea. I know I said tea before bed is a no-no and it is. But tea is a diuretic and helps flush the salt out of your system. You just need to be aware of your time and what it does to your body.
4. Spicy food – Pretty self-explanatory. That spicy food that tasted so good going down doesn’t feel so great coming back up! You could be plagued with heartburn and Tums or others like it can help but it can take a while to finally begin working.
In the past I have used aloe vera juice. It was very beneficial and healthy. It is just not always easy or convenient to carry it with me so it is something I do at home.
5. Alcohol – Oh the stories I can tell about this one…but I won’t. I need that protection! LOL! We have all been there one time, I am sure. The amount of alcohol you have ingested is really what plays a role in this. Too much and you are either worshipping the porcelain god or you are grabbing on the bed (or carpet) so you don’t go flying off while the room is spinning…not that I know anything about either of these.
Most people will tell you to eat bread when you get home to absorb the alcohol. I have a better solution.... be mindful of your intake! I would say don’t drink but that would be hypocritical as I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally; however, you do not need to drink to excess.
The thing to take away is, know your body and know your triggers. Realize what helps and hurts your mind and body and set out to make a plan proactive for your benefit.
When you mess up, and you know you will because you are human, make note of it and move on with life. Don’t sit and dwell on your mistake. It is in the past and can’t be changed, but it can be a lesson for the future. Remember, you are not the only one. We have all been there.
We got this!