It is very tempting to use technology before you go to sleep, but this can actually be detrimental to your health and mental capacity. Over 40% of school aged children have been found to be sleep deprived and this is damaging to their academic achievement in school and their general health and well being. Distractions before bedtime are largely to blame for this because they keep you awake and stimulate your mind, making it harder to drift off. Herein we consider how to remove distractions before you go to sleep.

Make Yourself Tired

There is nothing worse than trying to sleep when you are not tired, so think of things to aid your tiredness before bedtime. This could be going for a run, walking the dog after work or participating in an evening sports group or gym class. Exercise is important for your health and plays an important part in your ability to sleep properly. You should not, however, exercise within the two hours before going to sleep because this will raise your heart rate and make it difficult to nod off.

Allow Time to Digest

Likewise, it is important to ensure that you have digested your food properly before you go to bed. Sleeping on a full stomach increases the amount of energy your body stores as fat and it will make it harder to sleep because your body will be working to digest overnight. Simply having food in your stomach can be enough of a distraction to keep you up at night, so be sure to leave plenty of time between dinner and bedtime.

TVs and Laptops

TVs and Laptops should be switched off at night well before you plan to go to sleep. Watching a film whilst you drift off may seem to help you get to sleep but it is actually making it more difficult to do so. The lights and the stimulation from the screen make your brain more active and this is counterproductive to your ability to sleep. Having noise and light in the background while you sleep is also detrimental and can prevent you from achieving essential REM sleep.

Mobile Phones

Texting and using Apps in bed is another significant distraction you should avoid to ensure a better night’s sleep. Receiving texts or Facebook updates overnight can create regular and damaging interruptions. Putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode will block calls and texts until you wake up. This is better than silencing your phone and still allows you to benefit from being able to use the alarms on your phone.

Turn it Off and Relax

Removing all distractions before you head to bed is the best step you can take to reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and the quality of sleep you achieve. Be strict with yourself and turn everything off, even stand by lights, to create a relaxing and peaceful environment an hour before you go to sleep. With fewer distractions, you will notice your rest improving, and your health and cognitive abilities will be sure to follow suit.