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The Don’ts of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

While most people focus on the do’s of how to get a good night sleep, many wonder at why they still wake up feeling tired.  When it comes to your sleep routine, there are a number of pre-sleep activities you should be avoiding.  We will explore them here—along with the scientific reasoning behind it.

1.  Avoid exercise a few hours before bedtime.

You have probably heard that exercising is beneficial for getting a good night’s sleep.  And this is usually the case, with one condition.  Exercising right before bed can actually prevent you from falling asleep because it increases your body temperature, heart rate, and adrenaline levels which causes your brain to feel more alert.  Sleep experts recommend doing aerobic and high intensity workouts at least 3 hours before you head off to sleep, while opting for yoga and other low intensity exercises are better before bed.

2.  Your diet can impact your sleep.

Sleep disturbances can also be caused by a number of dietary sources that you should be avoiding.  Apart from the obvious one—caffeine—it’s best to avoid spicy foods and unhealthy fatty foods before bed.  Eating junk food before bed has been found to trigger more brain waves, leading to a higher level of nightmares, while eating spicy foods before bed raises body temperature and can lead to sleep disturbances.  As long as you are strategic about when you consume food, it won’t impact on your sleep too much.  Sleep experts recommend avoiding eating any kind of food at least 3 hours before bed since it will ensure you have the optimal levels of blood sugar, leptin, and insulin to get a good night’s sleep.

3.  Technology can affect sleep quality.

The most detrimental activity you should be avoiding before bed actually has to do with your use of technology.  Devices such as your smartphone, laptop, and television emit a blue light that can disrupt our circadian rhythm, influencing not only the quantity, but the quality of sleep.  Blue light is associated with dawn and can mess up our circadian rhythm—the internal clock that helps us stick to a routine sleep-wake cycle.  Sleep experts recommend blocking blue light at least 3 hours before bed for a normal circadian rhythm.

Want to ensure you are reaching a deeper level of sleep?  Health Gauge can advise you on how to improve your sleep.  For the latest research on bedtime routines that facilitate deep sleep, check back for our upcoming blog.

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