If you are having trouble getting good sleep, Stephen Amira, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, recommends limiting both caffeine and alcohol.
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps wake you up. While that can be beneficial in the morning, it can significantly disrupt nighttime sleep, especially if you’re not careful about your timing.
That afternoon cup of coffee may be tempting, but it’s best to ditch the caffeine at least six hours before you’re ready to call it a night. Keep in mind that while coffee is a major contributor of caffeine, it’s not the only source. Tea, chocolate, soda, and some pain relievers also contain amounts that can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
Alcohol is classified as a depressant, and while it may help you fall asleep initially, it can inhibit sleep after a few hours of being in your system, waking you up at night and decreasing your quality of sleep.
If you choose to consume alcohol, stick to one to two drinks per day, and avoid it completely within three hours of bedtime.