3 things you should avoid
Avoid drinking caffeinated or alcoholic drinks in the evening
Caffeine will affect our cortisol levels and impact our circadian rhythm. We want our cortisol to decrease in the evening not elevate.
Alcohol can cause increased sleep disturbance events as well as decreasing blood oxygen levels. Basically, it can negatively impact your sleep. In this study the negative sleep effects of alcohol extended into the second night even without further alcohol.
Put away your technology
Our phone, tablet and computer screens emit blue light and stimulate cortisol, reducing melatonin levels affecting our circadian rhythm.
Another reason for putting away our technology is to shut our brains down for the evening. I have a small notebook on my bedside table to write down ideas and get them off my mind. This helps me ‘turn off my brain’ and have my notes available for the next day to review.
Try reading a book or listening to music or an audiobook.
Don’t drink water before bed
Don’t drink water or fluids before bed. This will help reduce your likelihood of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Going to the bathroom before bed can also help reduce night time visits.
Do you have a sleep disorder?
You have tried to improve your sleep but you are still tired. You may have a sleeping disorder. Start by taking the GASP Questionnaire. These questions may not fully eliminate a sleep problem but when you answer yes to most of the questions it is more likely that you have obstructive sleep apnea. An ‘at home’ sleep study is a great test to screen for a sleep problem.