Rebecca Q. Scott, PhD, sleep specialist at the New York Sleep Institute and an Assistant Research Professor in the NYU School of Medicine recommends avoiding caffeine at least 6-10 hours before bed (depending on how severely it affects you) and Freytag suggests cutting out caffeine after 5 p.m.
Scott also suggests avoiding heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
… and any other electronics you’re tempted to toy with before bed. Both Scott and Freytag recommend turning down your lights and avoiding electronics (especially from handheld devices and computers) an hour or so before bedtime.
Alcibiades Rodriguez, M.D., the Adult Sleep Director at the New York Sleep Institute and assistant professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine suggests making a habit of getting out of bed every day at the same time.
“Remember how well you slept as a kid after an active day?” questions Freytag. She recommends exercising during the day and adding a calming yoga or stretching routine to your before-bed rituals.
“Go to sleep when you start to feel sleepy,” says Rodriguez.
“If you can’t sleep, stop ‘trying’ and read instead,” says Scott.
“This is a challenge most of my overweight clients had to learn to overcome," says Flores. "Drinking can often cause you to make poor eating choices, which typically leads to consuming too many calories. The compounding effect is what causes weight gain.”
How to Break It: Flores suggests that when you want to indulge in a few drinks, do it on a full stomach. “You'll be less prone to combine the two bad habits and you'll probably have lowered the desire to drink as much, too.”
Sleep needs are different for every individual. Scott recommends finding the amount that works best for you and practicing to get just that amount each night. Avoid oversleeping and limit your time in bed to the amount that works best for you.
“Have methods to reduce stress during the day so your mind isn’t in overdrive when you go to bed,” says Freytag.
“Give yourself permission to end the day with a relaxing bedtime ritual,” says Scott.
Freytag recommends making sure that your bedroom is a clutter-free and peaceful place.
“Don’t keep your bedroom too warm,” says Freytag. If your room is too warm you won’t be comfortable which could cause you to toss and turn.