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Routines can bring comfort and stability to our lives. That said, our habits aren’t always good for us. In fact, there are several things that many people do before hitting the sheets that are actually detrimental to their health. Take a look at my top 5 that can be sneaky but oh so damaging.
Bedtime Mistakes #1: Not Brushing Your Teeth
You would think that getting all of the day’s crud off your teeth would be a must. However, we all might be surprised by how many people actually forego this personal care step. My dental hygienist just told me that this is the number one thing that everyone needs to do to prevent tooth decay. I admit that there are times that I am simply too tired to bother with it. “I’ll just do it in the morning,” I grudgingly moan, as I pour into bed.
My hygienist also said that it only takes 24 hours for food particles and plaque to begin to harden on your teeth. And, most of us know what all that leads to…needles and drills. I just had one filled! Not fun! Gum disease is also a concern for the absentee brusher. Simply brushing away the day’s bacteria and acids will help your gums stay healthier.
Bedtime Mistakes #2: Smoking
Years ago, when I smoked cigarettes, I would always smoke right before bed. It was one of those things that seemed logical. Get that last bit of nicotine in before a long night. If you do smoke, consider quitting, but definitely cut out the one before bed. Here’s why: the chemicals in cigarettes are actually stimulants, not relaxants, as many believe. Smoking raises your blood pressure and heart rate. These things are not conducive to sleeping well. Check this article for some interesting facts. https://www.verywell.com/how-does-smoking-cigarettes-affect-sleep-3014709
Of course, do whatever it takes to quit completely, but if you can’t right now, try an alternative such as vaping. You can control the amount of nicotine with the better pens. You can look on sites like https://vaporescence.com/pages/kangertech for quality products and information.
Bedtime Mistakes #3: Snacking
Oh, that wonderful “midnight snack”! It can be so comforting and satisfying! However, you might want to reconsider those nachos or ice cream. Here’s why: when you eat late, your body is forced to engage in digestion instead of the healing tasks it is supposed to be doing. A confused system doesn’t operate efficiently. This could mean improper digestion and a belly ache. All that could lead to poor sleep and a create an ugly, grumpy you for morning.
Let’s also talk about what that extra meal is doing to your waistline. Face it, those late snacks usually consist of foods that aren’t the best for you…am I right? I wasn’t kidding about the nachos and ice cream. One little trick you can do instead of reaching for food is to drink a cup of herbal tea or a glass of water right before bed.
Bedtime Mistakes #4: Using Electronics
Rather than read a book, a lot of people now opt to seek out electronics for entertainment. It’s convenient, fast, and full of options. What more could you ask for? Well, as it turns out, modern electronics like cell phones, tablets, laptops, and even televisions can disrupt your natural chemical balance. Emitting Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs), these beloved items can be the number one cause of insomnia and increased stress levels.
I know we modern folk love to be informed in real time, but some of what we absorb before bedtime will not promote a healthful rest. Things like reading about your best friend’s job loss or Aunt Jane’s pet dog dying can actually put you in a poor emotional state. Any big emotion can prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep. This includes the happy, fun stuff, too. Here’s another resource for how electronics at bedtime can hurt you: http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/6-bedtime-habits-that-are-making-you-gain-weight/slide/4
So, if you want to boost your health and get a better night sleep, turn off your phone and other devices. This is one area that going “old school” is the better option for better health and sleep.
Bedtime Mistakes #5: Drinking Alcohol
Let me be blunt: drinking alcohol before bedtime is a bad idea. First, alcohol prevents you from getting quality sleep, due to the chemical changes it promotes. You may think that it’s relaxing, and it can be, but not in the way your body needs to sleep. Secondly, because of its addictive nature, it’s too easy to become dependent on it. And, there are all sorts of bad roads to go down when that happens. Therefore, stop drinking alcohol at least 2 hours before bed and drink at least a full glass of water.
These tips are nothing new, and certainly are not all that you need to do to maintain good health. It’s all just information and not meant to be a comprehensive guide. If you have questions or concerns about how any of these things are affecting you, consult your healthcare practitioners.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.