1. Exercising: Exercising raises your body temperature for up to three hours. That can make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
2. Having a hot shower or bath: Although a bath can be relaxing, if it’s too late at night your body won’t have time to cool down sufficiently - so both your body and mind will be alert.
3. Using your laptop or watching TV: The lights on these screens have been shown to affect the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Hence, they waken you up when you need to fall asleep.
4. Reaching for a drink: Sipping some water will stop you feeling parched but a hot cup of cocoa - or any other drink – may cause you to wake up for a bathroom break. That interrupts your sleep and will leave you feeling tired.
5. Working: Working early in the evening leaves you time to relax. But working till it’s late can leave you feeling stressed – then you can’t fall asleep as you’ve too much on your mind.
6. Having a serious conversation or an argument: A study by sleep researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that an emotional response, and the memories associated with them, are intensified if we attempt to sleep right afterwards.