Whether you heard it from your mom or the wiseacre at work, there are a lot of things you supposedly shouldn’t do before bed. Here’s the lowdown on which are facts and which are fabrications.
Don’t Go to Sleep Hungry
Is an empty stomach the enemy to good sleep? Or is it a full tummy? It turns out, neither under the sheets stomach rumbling, nor a pre-slumber feast is good for your health.
Hunger has a habit of keeping you awake throughout the night, making it harder to enter the deeper stages of sleep. On the other hand, laying down right after a meal can cause acid reflux and heartburn. It’s best to eat at least three hours before bed to allow your body ample time to digest.
Don’t Go to Sleep Angry
The age-old saying “never go to bed angry” isn’t just an old wives’ tale. It’s backed by science. A study from Nature Communications found that sleeping with fresh, unpleasant memories deep roots them in your brain, making it harder to let go of anger in the morning.
Negative and traumatic events tend to be stored as long-term memories, and sleeping puts that process in motion; so sleeping on it’ll only make matters worse when the sun comes up.
Don’t Go to Sleep with Wet Hair
Nothing’s better than a hot shower after a long day of work. The good news is you won’t catch a cold from a wet head alone. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
A damp pillow damp is a magnet for bacteria, which can lead to acne and infection when it comes in contact with your skin. If you do plan on sleeping with wet hair, wash your sheets and pillowcases more often than the recommend twice per month.
Don’t Go to Sleep Drunk
Though booze can help you fall asleep faster, going to bed drunk can seriously disrupt your quality of sleep. Alcohol increases frequent awakenings and intensifies sleep apnea conditions, so it’s better to curb your pre-sleep drinking to get good rest — and prevent a hangover.
Don’t Go to Sleep if You Hit Your Head
It’s widely held that sleeping with a concussion can lead to a coma or loss of consciousness. However, sleep is actually necessary for recovery. So as long as you’re holding a conversation and showing no additional symptoms (dilated pupils, trouble walking), it’s safe to snooze. Just be sure to first consult a medical professional to ensure there are no further injuries.
Too tired to wait it out? As you might’ve guessed, caffeine is another bedtime ‘don’t’. Here are some caffeine alternatives to hold you over.