Yeah, we’re all sleep-deprived. So when you do get the chance to bed down for the night, the last thing you want is insomnia. What should you not be doing at bedtime? 

Exercise. Yeah, we get it. Exercise is a vital activity for your health, and can actually contribute to getting better-quality sleep. The problem, though, is that exercising within three hours of bedtime can raise your body temperature, and make dozing off more difficult.

Watch TV/surf the web. A big no no. Studies have shown that pre-slumber screen time can impede your body’s ability to fall asleep. The likely culprit? Well, the bright lights of these screens can hinder the development of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. So close that laptop and turn off that TV about an hour before bed.

Take a hot shower/bath. Like exercise, hot showers and baths can actually help you fall asleep. The problem, however, comes out of taking one too close to the time you plan on hitting the sack. Being overheated or sweating can make it difficult to sleep. Let your body cool down before heading off to bed. Why is it we see so many commercials and movies showing women taking long hot baths prior to bed?

Drink too many fluids. Caffeine, of course, and alcohol both make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. But drinking a lot of any liquid within the last hour or two before you go to bed will lead to those dreaded late night bathroom breaks, and further disrupt your slumber. You should not go to bed thirsty, however, as you’ll likely wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. So keep a cue from your baby—keep a water bottle by the bed and wear a diaper. Really?

Work. Whatever work or school issue it is, it can certainly wait until morning. Getting work done stimulates your brain and can cause you unneeded stress. And we all know it is pretty much the opposite of what you want to feel if you’re trying to fall asleep.

Read engrossing stories. Ever done this? You’re reading a really interesting novel and you tell yourself, “Oh just one more page!” Suddenly, it’s 2 AM and you have to be awake in four hours. Yep, reading a really interesting book, essay or novel before bed will make it difficult to get to sleep.

Cuddle with your pets. Yeah they can - no they are warm and cuddly. But they can also bark when the wind blows or purr in your ear until the cows come home or have to answer nature’s call, all of which disturb your rest.

Have serious conversations. You have probably heard the phrase, “don’t go to bed angry.” And, as it turns out, it’s totally accurate! Research has shown that sleeping directly after a fight or traumatic experience will effectively preserve your emotions until you awake. The human body is adverse to falling asleep in dangerous situations. It is a defense mechanism. Thus, you’ll have a much harder time falling asleep after a big blowout. It’s best to resolve conflicts before you hit the sack.