Things Not to Do Before Bed in the Winter

woman on her phone in bed

Sleeping during the wintertime is even more enjoyable than other times of the year. With plenty of cozy blankets piled high on your bed and fuzzy socks warming your toes, it’s incredibly satisfying to curl up under the covers when it’s cold outside. 

But getting a full night of rest isn’t always the easiest thing to do in the winter, as that dry, cold air can wreak havoc on your sinuses and make breathing difficult.

If you’re looking to prioritize healthy sleep habits this winter, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do for a deeper, most restorative sleep.

Oftentimes, we develop habits that can lead to inadequate sleep, such as spending tons of time scrolling through our phone right before we try to fall asleep. 

By avoiding the following bad sleep habits before bed, you can achieve more restful sleep this winter.

1. Drink caffeine in the late afternoon

Though many of us rely on endless cups of coffee or tea during the day to stay energized and motivated, feeling that late-afternoon slump or crash is a real thing. If you immediately reach for another cup of coffee to perk up again, this creates a bad cycle of feeling wired far later in the day than is normal for the body. Instead, skip the late-afternoon caffeine and choose fresh juice instead. Vegetable juice (like celery or carrot juice) in particular can give you a great boost of living enzymes that can keep you going. You can also try other drinks such as kombucha or kefir, which won’t interfere with your ability to wind down at night.

2. Use an e-reader or smart phone in bed

Several key studies have found that using electronics before bed, such as an e-reader, phone, or laptop, can disrupt your sleep. In the winter, it’s easy to want to curl up in bed and binge-watch a new series, but experts advise against this. If you can’t avoid screens entirely, it’s best to turn down the brightness as much as possible to minimize your risk of light-related sleep issues.

3. Skip your wind-down time

Many people will say they have trouble “turning off their brains” or shutting off their mind when it’s bedtime, leading to insomnia and restlessness. If you’re one of these people, you might be finding it challenging to get to bed because you haven’t given yourself enough time to adequately relax and wind down. By putting away anything that’s overly stimulating (like your phone or laptop) and focusing on activities that relax you, like lighting a candle and drinking something warm (but non-caffeinated!), you can bring closure to your day and properly unwind. 

4. Check your work email

Beyond the fact that the blue light from your phone or laptop can greatly impact your body’s natural sleep rhythms, checking your email when it’s time for bed almost always leads to issues. If you aren’t waiting for a particular email that will put you at ease, it’s best to just avoid checking on work when you’re preparing for sleep. The work day is over; checking in with your colleagues or clients is probably unnecessary and will only make it more difficult to wind down. 

By making a concentrated effort to improve your healthy sleep habits this winter, you can get on a better schedule that boosts wellness and results in plenty of good rest. 

As you get rid of those bad sleep habits and learn to unwind at night, have you thought about the materials and furnishings that make up your sleep environment? Check out this blog post to learn more about the importance of choosing natural, non-toxic bedding and how it can impact sleep.