Pillow FightThere are many things that can make you eager to get out of bed each day. For some, it is the dream of tackling new challenges and for others it is the goal of completing ideas left over from the previous day. Perhaps for you, it is the simple joy of waking to another day of unknown promise and exciting possibilities.

Not many of us give too much thought to the things that get us into bed the night before. A good night’s sleep is crucial to having enough rest and being ready to take on the day. To prepare yourself for climbing into bed and sleeping peacefully, you probably need to know the best and worst activities to do before going to bed.

Things You Should Avoid Before Going to Sleep

In these times of high-tech gadgets and round-the-clock information sources, we have become accustomed to watching television, playing video games, and checking social media until the wee hours of the morning. After all, there is always something going on and we don’t want to miss it.

Unfortunately, these are some of the worst activities when it comes to relaxing and preparing to go to bed. Experts warn that this constant stimulation can serve to hinder the progression of shutting down mentally and falling asleep.

It is important to power down your devices as well as your brain cells at bedtime. Many of us have a tendency to continually replay the day or worry about tomorrow instead of falling asleep. Doing something that takes your mind off all that can reduce nighttime stress and help you sleep better.

Another mistake people often make is to drink or eat before bedtime. This can lead to a host of problems such as indigestion, acid reflux, or feeling bloated, not to mention the irritation of having your sleep interrupted by a visit to the bathroom. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are also a no-no because, even though you might initially feel calmer, these products actually have ingredients that create the opposite effect of accelerating your heart rate and eventually awakening you in the middle of the night.

In addition to overeating, not eating or drinking enough can also keep you up at night. When your appetite has not been satisfied, you may experience hunger pains, a dry mouth, or headaches from low blood sugar, which are not too pleasant when you are trying to sleep.

Too much rest can be a problem as well. If you sleep for more than nine hours at a time or doze off during the day, you might not be tired at your normal bedtime. Stay active as much as possible and allow yourself only small catnaps. You should also leave enough time between a nap and bedtime to ensure that you will be sufficiently tired when you are ready for bed.

The Best Things to Do Before Going to Bed

Many people have fond memories of getting some milk and a bedtime story and then being tucked into bed by their parents. It turns out that many of these activities have been proven to help in the process of a restful night.

Having a nightly routine is one of the best things you can do to promote healthy sleep patterns. Whether it’s taking a hot bath and curling up with a good book or writing in a journal and preparing your wardrobe for the next day, a bedtime schedule can help you relax and train your mind to get ready for sleep. It is even better if you can do these activities with as little light as possible and be consistent with a set time to wake up in the morning.

You should also make sure that the room where you sleep has an atmosphere that contributes to your rest and relaxation. It should be free of articles and outside distractions that encourage you to stay awake, such as too much light, unnecessary noises, and clutter. Make certain that you adjust the temperature beforehand to one that is restful for you and wear cozy garments that will not obstruct movement or generate discomfort.

The Importance of a Restful Night

When you have not slept well, it can ruin your whole day. You may be tired, achy, and jumpy from drinking too much caffeine in order to cope. All this leads to an overall bad mood and altogether unsuccessful day.

You may find it difficult to function properly when you don’t get enough sleep. This might lead to costly mistakes at work, distracted driving, or even falling asleep at the wheel.

A lack of sleep can also be a symptom of other imperceptible problems, like sleep apnea, a condition characterized by waking frequently during the night with no memory of the event. In addition, those who do not sleep restfully are more likely to develop further ailments such as hypertension.

If you are suffering from repeated insomnia, it is crucial to consult your physician. He or she will be able to diagnose any underlying problems and develop potential solutions.