It’s nighttime. You want to eat a plate of cheese and grab a glass of wine, but is that the best thing to do?
You have a long day ahead of you tomorrow and your actions tonight will have an impact on your day tomorrow. So what can you do tonight to make tomorrow move as smoothly as possible?
We reached out to Raj Dasgupta, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAASM, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School Medicine of USC, to get his top five tips for preparing for tomorrow.
1. Avoid late night drinks and meals
Dr. Dasgupta explains that eating and drinking before bed can have a negative impact on your sleep. Late night meals can cause indigestion and certain foods can cause heartburn. Try to avoid foods that contain caffeine or else you will remain awake all night counting sheep. Drinking before bed can cause those unwanted trips to the bathroom. Don’t be dehydrated, but eat and drink in moderation as bedtime approaches.
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2. Avoid late night alcohol and cigarettes
Dr. Dasgupta knows it may be tempting for some to have that glass of wine before bed, but alcohol causes frequent night awakenings. For those who smoke, avoid smoking at night. Nicotine is a stimulant and causes frequent arousals from sleep.
3. Create a ritual
Dr. Dasgupta understands that sleep does not happen easily for all individuals and sometimes we need to work at getting a good night’s rest. Try to develop a consistent ritual before bedtime. This will tell your body and mind that it is time to relax. Some ideas to transition from wakefulness into sleep are taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book or listening to soothing music.
4. Avoid bright lights
Try to avoid the TV, cell phones and computers as part of your bedtime ritual. The light emitted by these devices can cause insomnia by preventing the release of a natural sleep hormone in your body called melatonin. Create a room that’s cool, quiet and dark.
5. Buy new pillows
Your mattress and pillows can contribute to better sleep. Changing your pillow every six months is recommended especially if you have allergies.
By doing these five things, you can have a smooth transition into sleep every night. This will help you feel refreshed and energized for your next long workday. Want to know more things that you should be doing? Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to get more insider tips to get you through the night.
by Leonard Kim
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment.