Your dinner is early
If your supper is around 5 p.m. and you don’t hit the hay until 11 p.m. or later, hunger may interfere with your sleep. You might need a small snack a couple hours after dinner to send yourself to dreamland. “The perfect bedtime snack would be something like cheese and crackers,” says Michael Breus, PhD, a California-based board-certified sleep specialist, author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep. Choose a hard cheese instead of a soft cheese, advises Dr. Breus; hard cheeses are higher in tyrosine, a compound which helps with sleep. Your bedtime snack would ideally be 65 percent carbs and 35 percent protein and about 250 calories, suggests Dr. Breus. A small bowl of cereal with low-fat milk is another great evening snack idea. But don’t eat too late night or you could get heartburn or other health problems.
You took an afternoon coffee break
You might think you need the afternoon java fix to improve focus the last few hours of the day, but it takes six hours for your body to process and eliminate just half of the caffeine consumed. This stimulant can also cause nervousness and contribute to insomnia, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Three eight-ounce cups of coffee (about 250 milligrams of caffeine) daily is considered a moderate amount of caffeine. Many sleep experts suggest eliminating caffeine in the afternoon if you’re having falling asleep at night. Here are other surprising tips to sleep better from medical doctors.