Some people are just naturally bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. Other folks, myself included, need to consume approximately two gallons of coffee before attempting to face the world. Regardless of which category you fall into, getting a good night's sleep is a key element of being able to function the following day. Even if you think you've followed all the best rules and remedies when it comes to rest, you may be surprised to discover that there are certain things you should never do before bed, if you don't want to wake up feeling like sh*t.
As it turns out, if you're unknowingly committing some of these cardinal sleeping sins, it can be virtually impossible to get your day off to a good start. But before you beat yourself up about indulging in bad bedtime habits, remember that arming yourself with knowledge is the first step towards avoiding these slumber mistakes. Once you know what not to do, you'll be well on your way to hibernating happily.
It may seem cheesy, but I've found that how you begin your morning truly does set the tone for the rest of the day. So if you want to wake up without feeling like sh*t, then check out what things you should never do before bed.
1. Cardio Exercise
"Exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which brings up your heart rate, breathing rate, and adrenaline levels," researcher Dr. Anthony C. Warren tells Romper. "Avoid strenuous exercise within two hours of sleep time." If a little yoga helps you mellow out, that's great. But just make sure not to work yourself up too much.
2. Stare At Screens
Energy management specialist Dr. Stephanie Sciamano tells Romper that engaging in electronic screen time before bed is a big no-no. Sciamano says that the blue light which these gadgets emit can signal your brain to stay alert when it should be winding down. So put the tablet, computer, and smartphone away when you're getting ready for bed.
3. Eat Carrots
Sciamano says you should stay away from eating carrots before bedtime. "They are a diuretic and will make you get up to urinate." There are few things that annoy me more than having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Skipping this snack could be the key to keeping your bladder from interrupting your sleep.
4. Drink Alcohol
Sleep expert Carolyn Schur tells Romper that alcohol and a good night's sleep simply don't mix well. "Though it promotes relaxation it reduces deep sleep." If you don't ever fall into a heavy slumber, you'll be more likely to wake up feeling groggy and tired the next morning.
5. Eat Hot Foods
"Eating spicy foods close to bedtime is a bad idea," sleep specialist Dr. Robert. S. Rosenberg says. "Spicy foods increase core body temperature and can promote acid reflux [which is] counterproductive when it comes to sleep."
6. Check The News
"Don't watch the news at night," therapist Kimberly Hershenson tells Romper. "Violence and politics are big issues in the news that can cause you to get upset." To combat any anxiety about the current state of the world, try creating a relaxing routine instead.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.