August 11, 2022
We recently covered 5 Healthy Morning Habits to start your day, but many people often neglect developing the same type of healthy habits in their evening routine. What you do during the day, especially a few hours before bed, has a major impact on your sleep. Anything from what you eat and drink to how you schedule your day has an impact on your quality of sleep. Here we are going to list 5 healthy habits to clean up your nighttime routine.
There are few things that can give you a boost throughout the day, like coffee. Over 400 million cups of java are consumed in the United States every day. Although coffee and other caffeinated drinks are great for giving you a quick boost, they should be avoided at night. Caffeine carries a half-life of five hours, which means if you had a cup at 3 p.m. it could still be in your system at 8 p.m. Also, a study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour. You should cut out all caffeine a few hours before dinner to make sure you get a good night’s rest. There are also plenty of less-caffeinated drink options to keep you energized later in the day.
There are plenty of reasons to substitute tea into your late afternoon routine. Even teas that contain caffeine have a much smaller depressing effect (which reduces your energy levels) than coffee. This means that tea will actually boost your energy levels for longer, and it has a host of other benefits. Tea has been known to reduce the chance of developing certain types of cancer and also helps strengthen your immune system. A study published in 2015 found that mothers who added tea to their nightly routine experienced less sleep deprivation and depression than those who didn’t.
Do you dread getting up and doing those pesky chores before you can get your day started? Picking an outfit, making breakfast, and packing a lunch can all be a nuisance right when you wake up. Setting aside some time in the evening to take care of some of these tasks can reduce bedtime stress and keep you relaxed in the morning.
Light levels play a very important role in getting good sleep. Higher light levels lead to suppressed melatonin, a hormone that provides the body’s internal biological signal of darkness. This can delay the time it takes to fall asleep and affect the quality of your sleep. Dim lights however do not suppress melatonin and helps us relax and wind down. Dimming the lights 30-45 minutes before bed will increase melatonin levels and give you the rest you need to wake up energized for the next day.
This might be the toughest habit to break on this list. We know how addicting electronics can be, especially when you’re trying to unwind after a long day. However, the truth is that the light given off by TVs and smart phones reduces your production of melatonin, which is our natural sleep hormone. Almost all electronic devices emit this strong blue light, which tricks our brain into thinking that it is daytime. If you absolutely must use your phone or some other electronic device, try to put it in night mode if possible.
Here's to an amazing night of sleep and healthier you!