When Should I Worry About...

QUIZ: Are These Afternoon & Evening Habits Ruining Your Sleep?

June 14, 2022 - Katie McCallum

In the afternoon and early evening hours, you're probably not thinking about sleep — but maybe you should be.

More specifically, it might be time to consider those seemingly harmless habits that affect you for hours to come, especially when you're trying to fall and stay asleep.

How to not sabotage your sleep

1. Avoid naps and caffeine after 3 p.m.

Both can keep you from falling asleep at a normal bedtime.


2. Eat about three hours before bedtime

Eating or snacking before going to bed can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. A late big meal can cause heartburn that keeps you awake.


3. Know that alcohol reduces your sleep quality

While it may seem like alcohol makes you sleepy at first, it eventually acts as a stimulant and leads to increased heart rate. Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime can suppress REM sleep, cause night sweats and more.


4. Don't work out right before bed

The health benefits of exercise are well documented. But because it revs up the entire body, which can keep you from falling asleep, your workout is best finished at least 90 minutes before bedtime.

5. Avoid screen time before bed

Anything on a screen typically stimulates us more than it relaxes us, so avoid screen time about 30 minutes before bed.

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