It’s all you think about from the second the alarm rings to your third cup of coffee: When’s the next time your head can hit that glorious pillow? But just because the day is over doesn’t mean you can always cave in right away. Whether you heard it from your mom or the know-it-all at work, there are a lot of things you supposedly shouldn’t do before bed. We did some digging to determine which ones are fact, and which are fake.
Don’t Go to Sleep Hungry
Is an empty stomach the enemy to good sleep? Or is it a full tummy? As it turns out, neither stomach rumbling under the sheets, nor a pre-slumber feast is good for your health.
Hunger has a nasty 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 nighttime heartburn. It’s best to eat at least three hours before bed to allow 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. But drying your hair afterwards doesn’t usually make it on the to-do list. Luckily for you, you won’t catch a cold from a wet head alone. But that doesn’t mean all your problems are solved.
Wet hair can make your pillow damp, which in turn becomes a magnet for bacteria. The interaction of your skin with that bacteria can cause acne and infection. If you do plan on sleeping with wet hair, make sure to wash your pillowcases more frequently.
Don’t Go to Sleep Drunk
Whether it’s one too many glasses of wine with dinner or a wild night on the town, research shows that going to bed drunk can seriously disrupt your quality of sleep. Considering that alcohol increases frequent awakenings and intensifies sleep apnea conditions, 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, a concussion doesn’t involve internal bleeding, and sleep is actually necessary for recovery. As long as you’re holding a conversation and showing no additional symptoms (dilated pupils, trouble walking), it’s safe to sleep. Just be sure to consult a medical opinion to ensure there are no further injuries to take care of.
Need some energy to keep you up while you postpone your coveted shuteye? As you might’ve guessed, caffeine is another bedtime ‘don’t’, but here are some caffeine alternatives to hold you over.