People have told you about good sleeping habits before like drinking warm milk before you go to bed or remove the television from your bedroom. However, as much as you follow these different tips, you still find yourself having difficulty catching some much needed sleep in the evening. Have you taken a look at your own habits? Here’s a list of things you should NOT do:

Be an inconsistent eater. When you indulge in happy hour and late night snacks a couple days a week, it’s not just your diet which you’re putting at risk. Studies show inconsistent eating habits especially later in the evening can negatively affect sleep. When it comes to food and sleep, consistency is the key. If you’re going to have dinner late in the evening, that’s ok as long as you stick with it every day.

Keep your mouth minty fresh. Brushing your teeth before bed is a good way to maintain oral hygiene but did you know the scent of peppermint stimulates the brain making it difficult to fall asleep? Try an alternative flavor such as strawberry or bubblegum instead.

Keep a good book on your bedside table. You might have avoided the TV late at night but you may have also unknowingly traded in a few hours of sleep for a few hours of in-bed reading. A good book is wonderful but the emotional and intellectual stimulation it gives you before shut your eyes can result in poor quality sleep.

Smoke before bed. A cigarette in the evening might seem like the best way to calm your nerves but on the contrary, nicotine is a stimulant making it harder for you to fall asleep. Even if you can’t stop smoking, then you should at least say no to pre-bedtime cigarettes.

Shower with cold water. Sure, using cold water helps close pores but it also stimulates the body to produce energy to keep you warm and awake. Try showering with warm water instead and save the cold stuff for the early morning wake-up call.

Drink tea with lemon. Tea is a healthier alternative to an after-dinner coffee but when you put lemon in it, it might keep you up just the same. The scent of lemon and other citrus fruits boosts mental stimulation and increase your energy levels. Skip the lemon-flavored drinks and change your citrus-scented detergent to score some better zzz’s at night.

Pop meds before bedtime. Scheduling pills before bed time might be a great way to remember taking your daily medicines but certain drugs have a steroid component which can affect sleep negatively. Talk to your physician about current prescriptions which could be taken in the morning instead of at night.


There are plenty more things to avoid in order to achieve better sleep in the evening. For more info on how to sleep better at night, click here to schedule a session with one of South Florida’s top sleep therapist, Rebecca Ginder!