7. Avoid Stimulants
Along with external stimulants there are several internal stimulants that you should try to avoid. The following foods and beverages contain caffeine, sugars, and chemicals that may affect the way you relax, think, and feel.
This does not mean that you have to eliminate these substances from your diet entirely. It only means that you should avoid them in the evenings after your last meal of the day.
- Caffeine affects everyone differently but is generally considered a stimulant that increases your heart rate and wakens your mind and body.
Try to have your last beverage that contains caffeine at least three to four hours before bed. Caffeine can be found in drinks other than coffee. This includes colas, non-herbal teas, and chocolate drinks.
- Chocolate contains both caffeine and enormous amounts of sugars. Your body reacts to sugar much as it does to caffeine. It stimulates your body and mind for a short period of time (chemical reaction needed here). Try to avoid chocolate in any form at least two to three hours before bed.
- Soda Drinks contain huge amounts of sugar and colas have the added impact of caffeine. The carbonation of pop drinks can cause bloating and stomach gas which can create discomfort. Try to eliminate soda beverages from your evening diet.
- Alcoholic beverages should be avoided before bed. Alcohol may make you drowsy and cause you to fall asleep easily. However, you may find yourself waking during the night feeling dehydrated and have difficulty falling asleep again.
- Smoking can signal your body to wake during the night as your body's need for nicotine increases toward the morning hours. If at all possible try to reduce the amount you smoke before bed.
Your goal is not only to fall asleep naturally, but also to remain asleep for the entire night.
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