A lot has been written on what to do every evening before bed to sleep better and wake up fresh.
But the things we do that we shouldn’t are an even bigger deal.
Most of what we’re used to doing, which happens unconsciously, prevents us from resting properly at night and is often the reason why we’re tired the next morning, before the day even begins.
Breaking bad habits isn’t easy. But if you’re looking to boost your energy for the whole day, do better work, take smarter decisions, be with a clear mind and increase your productivity, you need to stop doing the following things in the evening:
1. Heavy dinner.
Having a big meal before bed is bad for your health.
Going to sleep with full stomach means bad digestion and acidity. So your body can’t really get the rest it deserves.
What’s more, you can wake up constipated and feeling bloated. That would be an awful start of the day and the least you’d want to do would be focused work.
Going to bed on an empty stomach, on the other hand, would leave you dissatisfied and you might keep thinking about food for some time instead of closing your eyes.
So what’s the solution then?
Simply choose a light snack an hour prior to bed. That would do.
2. Caffeine or alcohol.
Any of these stimulants will keep your brain activated and it would be almost impossible for you to fall asleep on time.
Which means you won’t get enough sleep if it’s during the week, and that will affect your performance for the whole day.
Doing this every week, and more than once, will have a negative influence on your job performance in general, and your health.
As for caffeine, stay away from it after the late afternoon. It might be a habit of yours to have one last cup of coffee then and you might think it’s all that keeps you awake till the evening. But the caffeine stays in your organism longer than you think, and is usually still there when in bed.
3. Too much excitement.
Bedtime definitely isn’t the moment for parties, too exciting conversations, exercising, arguments, taking serious decisions, watching scary movies, planning your next travels, or anything like that.
You can’t just do that for a while and then empty your mind in an instant.
Instead, you’ll be thinking about this and be emotional for hours.
4. Thinking about work.
Most people bring their work problems with them at home, and even in bed.
If you hate your job but is all that you do, or if you manage people, run a company or just play an important role in an industry, it’s hard to let go of all the work-related stuff when you leave. But you need to do that in order to stay sane.
You can create a relaxing evening routine where you won’t use any device, will leave everything else for tomorrow, and will just take a bath, read a book, spend time with family, journal your thoughts, or meditate.
All these serve as a therapy and you’re more likely to actually fall asleep and be at ease when in bed.
After all, because of this good night’s sleep you’ll be able to be on top of your game tomorrow when you leave for work.
5. Social media.
I get it. Phones are a worse habit than cigarettes these days.
With all that they give us, it’s easy to get addicted and not even notice to what extent they are affecting our peace of mind.
So you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes here. Not using your phone an hour before bed is a good start.
Prioritize. If you want to feel fresh tomorrow morning and go to bed relaxed, instead of being annoyed or concerned about something you just saw on social media, then put the phone away and forget about it till the morning.
Another bad habit, which is even worse when done before bedtime, is thinking about tomorrow, or any other day in the future, too much.
Because that brings anxiety. And you can’t really fall asleep anxious.
Here’s where meditation and some breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can help.
It’s all in the mind, though. It’s important to understand that the best you can do now to have a successful tomorrow is to get the rest you need.
Writing down your to-do list now might help. As this way you get all your tasks for the next day out of your head and won’t worry you’ll forget anything.
Which of these things are you often doing in the evening?
What’s the first step to breaking the bad habit?