20 Things to do before bedtime
Eat cottage cheese, make a list of cases, postpone the phone – we tell you how to cope with insomnia and get the most out of sleep.
- Understand that sleep should be regular…
Night can be the best time to “clean up” your body: in sleep all the processes in the body are ordered, including the use and storage of energy derived from food. In fact, the success of a diet largely depends on just two hormones – leptin and ghrelin, they are your superhero and super villain. The former helps you maintain your diet and regulate your appetite, while the latter stimulates your sense of hunger. In your sleep, the level of leptin increases and ghrelin decreases, so if you watch your weight, a normal sleep is one of the main conditions.
- Drink a cup of tea
Roibosh tea is particularly useful before bed: South African tribes have long used it as a medicinal product, although finding it in a regular shop can be difficult. Aspalatin, one of the tea’s components, helps to fight stress.
If you prefer more traditional teas, mint tea is the best way to deal with a false sense of hunger – especially when you’re just bored.
- Eat some meat
Most meats contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps improve sleep quality. At least a quarter of a gram of this amino acid is found, for example, in a chicken leg or 100 grams of turkey, and even this amount increases the duration of deep sleep. And seven hours of normal sleep, in turn, restores the body after a hard day.
- Eat cottage cheese
Complete refusal to eat a few hours before sleep can only prevent you from sleeping. Hunger often causes insomnia, and if you go to bed without dinner, breakfast is likely to be too thick. It is best to choose a small amount of cottage cheese before bedtime – not only is it rich in proteins and tryptophan, but it is not harmful to the figure.
– It is not recommended to overeat or be undernourished at night, because excessive or insufficient intake will impair the quality of sleep. Of course, smoking and alcohol are excluded. If you have trouble sleeping, many people start taking alcohol in order to fall asleep better. Indeed, the very process of falling asleep may be better against the background of alcohol, but when the metabolism ends (i.e. the process of alcohol processing) the person usually wakes up. And it happens in the middle of the night. This does not mean that a person cannot take alcohol if he has trouble sleeping, but the doses should be small. If you use alcohol to improve your sleep quality, it leads to two complications: chronic alcoholism and chronic insomnia.
- Start making evening habits
By doing the same thing every night a couple of hours before bedtime, you can learn to fall asleep more quickly and easily. It doesn’t matter what you do – write down your thoughts about the past day in your diary, eat a certain amount of cottage cheese or read it. Over time, the brain will begin to associate these activities with sleep and prepare for rest in advance.
- Get rid of the constant snacking
Snacks during the day can be much more harmful than just large portions of food. Fruit and energy bars are not really that harmless when you have trouble stopping yourself and taking breaks between meals. That’s why it’s important to remember that it’s better to eat more, but not to disturb your diet with snacks.
- Take the opportunity to practice at home
You don’t have to dress up and run to the gym before you go to sleep: you can use your own body weight as a simulator. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats – these simple exercises involve different muscle groups and contribute to weight loss during sleep.
– If a person has trouble sleeping, it is not recommended to do active exercise less than four hours before sleep, because it contributes to higher metabolism, higher temperatures and, consequently, lower quality of sleep. But any relaxing physical activity, starting from yoga and finishing with normal exercises, will improve the quality of sleep. However, a person should learn such a technique so that he could easily relax, because many people come home and feel anxious and stressed from work, traveling in transport. If a person knows how to get away from everything, it is in his or her favor.
- Spend time training with resistance
Resistance workouts are particularly effective before bed as they help to optimize weight. According to one study, within 16 hours of such workout, metabolic rate is higher than usual.
Scolding yourself for insomnia and counting how many hours you have left to sleep is useless, and it can only hurt. Postpone all business and forget about the problems, so the very awareness of the possibility of rest already helped to relax. Normal healthy sleep is only possible if you are not too worried about it.
- Follow the rule 20 minutes
It’s very simple: if 20 minutes after you went to bed, you can’t sleep, it’s better to get up, leave the bedroom and do something not too exciting. Start reading a big and boring book or watching golf – it is likely that very soon the body will signal that it is ready to try to sleep again.
- Make a to-do list
Although many people try to keep in mind everything that needs to be done in the coming days, the thoughts of future affairs can be very distracting from sleep. Try to write down your plans before you go to sleep, so the next day will seem more orderly and sleep will be much easier.
- Create a comfortable temperature in the bedroom
Even when you really want to stay warm for as long as possible, it is better to overpower yourself and at least open a window in the bedroom. You should not be too cold, but cool air even in your sleep will make the so-called brown fat – a fabric that consumes energy. Fat cells try to warm the body, thus burning the calories consumed during the day.
– There is an optimal temperature – about +20 … 22 degrees, when a person feels comfortable during sleep. When the temperature rises and falls, the quality of sleep will naturally decrease, so this factor should be taken into account in the same way as humidity. This is of great importance, as many people’s sleep quality deteriorates in the autumn-winter period, when the central heating is switched on and the air humidity in the room drops sharply.
- Take a bath or shower
A sudden drop in body temperature promotes better sleep, which is why it is useful to take a warm or even hot shower or bath before going to bed. Once cooled, sleep will be easier, and sleep will be deeper and longer.
- Turn off all the lights
Studies show that the light turned on not only prevents sleep, but also affects excess weight. According to scientists, the darker the room in which you sleep, the more chances you have of maintaining normal weight.
- Add carbohydrates to your diet before you go to bed
Carbohydrates do not always have a negative effect on the figure: if you eat a small amount of carbohydrate-containing products (apples, berries, quinoa, wholemeal bread), it is easier to get rid of excess weight. The main thing in this case is not to get carried away and do not include carbohydrates in your diet all the time.
- Find your sleep position
We spend a lot of our lives sleeping, but for it to be effective, we have to choose our posture. Observe the position in which you sleep best, and then choose a pillow and mattress based on this. Their different size, shape and thickness will help you get rid of discomfort and pain after sleep.
- Put the phone away
The more gadgets distract you from your sleep in the evening, the harder it will be to rest and recover at night. It’s not easy, but it’s better to send the latest messages at least an hour before bedtime and then leave your smartphone or tablet on your nightstand or in another room.
– It is believed that no gadgets can be used before going to bed, because the light that emanates from the screen disrupts melatonin production. When melatonin was discovered, it was called the “sleep hormone”, but it is actually the night hormone: it gives a command to all organs of the human body that the night has really come. So if a person uses any lighting device – bright light in the room, bright TV, smartphone screen – the quality of sleep can deteriorate. At the same time, negative news on TV is also bad for sleep, but if a person is watching a relaxing movie, some detective without unnecessary emotional shocks, it may, on the contrary, improve sleep.
- Breathe through your nose
Another important detail: nasal breathing not only prevents snoring, but also helps you sleep. Deep breaths allow the body to fully relax and get enough oxygen for a good rest.
- Planning your meals
Small and nutrient-rich meals during the day accelerate metabolism and prevent insomnia caused by hunger. In addition, if you eat regularly, your appetite remains healthy, so hunger after awakening is also easy to avoid.
- Make a dream diary
If you are constantly tired, sleep control can play an important role. To know exactly how much you’ve been sleeping, record the number of hours you spent in bed and even how many hours you’ve been asleep during the day. Start to note what may have affected your sleep – coffee, training, work, and a couple of weeks later, review the notes and draw conclusions.