5 THINGS TO AVOID BEFORE BEDTIME TO PROMOTE BETTER SLEEP
Getting a good night rest sounds easy, but is a challenge for many. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 Malaysians have some level of insomnia and have one or more kinds of sleeping problems, which happens at least three times a week for more than three months.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have sign and symptom of “difficulty initiating sleep, increased time spent in lighter sleep, frequent early morning awakening or daytime sleepiness causing frequent daytime naps”.
While it is difficult to treat insomnia, here are some suggestions for good sleep include the following:
1. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime
Research has found that eating within two hours of bedtime can cause harmful effects to sleep quality, especially in women. This is because digestion slows down while you are sleeping, and having large amounts of food before bed can cause indigestion, making it harder to stay asleep. Hence, instead of consuming a full meal near bedtime, melatonin-promoting foods such as cherries, honey, and almonds are recommended.
2. Avoid caffeine within 8 hours before bed
The effects of caffeine on body can last 6 to 8 hours within a human’s body, and cutting caffeine at least 8 hours before sleep can help you in getting that well-rested sleep at night. Not just found in coffee, caffeine is present in tea, energy drinks and some soda drinks. Non-caffeinated drinks for sleep-inducing ones such as chamomile tea, cherry juice or plain water. It is also important to note that you should not consume too much water before bed as you will be awakened with the need to urinate during the night.
3. Avoid using electronic devices before bed
Research has shown that being exposed to the blue and white light from electronic devices at night prevents melatonin, a hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycle, from releasing, thus affecting our sleep. Put away your electronic gadgets at least an hour before sleep. Instead, pick up a book for some light reading before bedtime.
4. Avoid alcohol drinks before bed
For some, drinking alcohol makes them sleepy but just for a short period of time, as alcohol affects your ability to stay asleep. While most will experience “deeper-than-usual sleep in the first half of the night,” but “followed by disrupted sleep in the second half of the night.” Especially on weeknights where you have work the next day, drink calming lavender tea or warm milk to facilitate better sleep throughout the night.
5. Regular exercising but not before bedtime
Exercises before bedtime will cause your body temperature to rise, and increase heart rate will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Wake up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to exercise instead. Giving your body the energy boost to start the day, your body will also produce endorphins that will improve your mood and prepare you for work.
- MyHealth Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Insomnia. Retrieved from: http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/insomnia-2/
- Ang, W.T. (2021, October 18). Five things not to do before bedtime to promote a better night’s rest. Yahoo Life Sea. Retrieved from: https://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/things-not-to-do-before-bedtime-to-promote-a-better-night-rest-033551647.html
- Tan, S. C. (2018, May 17). Survey says: 9 out of 10 Malaysians suffer from sleep problems. The Star. Retrieve from: https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2018/05/17/malaysians-jsuffer-sleep-problems/