Now you’re wondering, well.. if that’s the case, shouldn’t it help me sleep better at night?
And the actual answer is that you could fall asleep because of the slowing down of your body and brain processes during digestion, however a nap or a full night of sleep in these conditions aren’t optimal since this kind of sleep tends to be lacking of deep rest and in discomfort.
People tested for this heavy-meal-right-before-bedtime situation showed to have less deep-sleep periods during the night.
Reflux after a heavy meal is also an issue and a “full throttle” digestion is not exactly a relaxed body condition to help you cope with sleep, sometimes you can even experience nightmares out of this discomfort.
So because of all of this you should be taking dinner at least a couple hours before you go to sleep, thus even a somewhat abundant meal won’t make too much of a harm compared to taking it right before heading to bed.
Going to bed on an empty stomach is also a bad idea, this feeling will make you discomforted you’ll have a hard time to fall asleep, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night because of this mistake if too many hours have passed since my last meal.
- Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol
You should consider to stop drinking altogether or at least nearest your sleep time, yes you’ve heard that alcohol can make you fall asleep fast and a speeding train on your head wouldn’t wake you up after a few pints.
The sleep quality you get after some drinking is shallow and often restless.
Experts say that you might skip the “Rapid Eye Movement” stage before getting to the deep-sleep phase if you have ingested even just couple of drinks.
Once the effect of the alcohol drains away you go back to the Rapid Eye Movement stage and usually wake up before you planned to do so and tired.
If you are going to drink then allow some time for the effect of alcohol to wear off before you hit the pillow, how much? well that is really highly variable on every organism.
Your body can process somewhere around a beer per hour but that’s a very rough estimate, will depend on the way you drink, what you have eaten, your age, gender, etc.
Tobacco is also a very well known addiction factor that cause insomnia and/or changes in your sleep pattern, so stop smoking now, again it makes you spend less time on the deep-sleep phase and more on the light-sleep one.
When you wake up after a night of smoking you hardly ever feel “refreshed” or “restored” by next morning
Although you feel relaxed when smoking because of the nicotine effect, cigarettes are stimulating to your organism voiding the relax state you need to fall asleep deeply.
Quitting smoking will have a direct and almost instant impact on the quality of your sleep, so consider it a plus to the other health benefits of getting rid of that addiction besides improved general health, bettering of breathing problems and more energy during the day along many others.
- Get Relaxed and Comfortable
Drinking tea and reading on bed
This recommendation might seem obvious but you could be overseeing some details that might be preventing you to get the sound night of rest you are looking for.
So for starters, get a pleasant place to be and sleep first, disorganized places are less than ideal for the time you are too tired to be wondering where the pillow is below that mountain of bed clothing, yes! make your bed.
You can also help the mood and your body by using scents, an aromatherapy diffuser will help you relax after a tiring day, the most common scents used for this are: lavender, chamomile, jasmine and vanilla, just place a few drops of them on your pillow and enjoy.
Unwind with the help of warm relaxing beverages like chamomile tea, milk (the less sugar the better) or cocoa with semi-skimmed milk is also a good idea.
It is also known by the experts that a fresh room temperature is essential for a good night of sleep, since your body is trying to get to a certain set temperature for its rest, and it is usually lower than what it is when you are awake.