Going straight from looking at a screen to trying to fall asleep is a poor nighttime habit. Screens significantly decrease the quality and ease of falling asleep by increasing alertness and delaying the release of melatonin, the hormone that signals your body it’s time for bed. (4)
The best practice is to avoid screen use in the hours leading up to bedtime. If that is not practical, at a minimum, make sure your pre-bed routine is screen-free. The bedroom should also be a screen-free zone as having a TV, or your phone in your room can reduce both the quantity and quality of rest. (5)
Caffeine and alcohol both negatively impact sleep quality.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and as such, it interrupts the hormone cycle that allows for uninterrupted rest. Consuming coffee or tea as much as six hours before bed will decrease sleep quality. (6) This leads to a cycle of bedtime disruption, which requires more coffee because sleeping was poor, making rest poor, and thus requiring more coffee.
To break this cycle, start cutting off caffeine consumption a little earlier each day until you get to a cut-off of 8-9 hours before bed.
Alcohol too is a sleep disruptor. While many people appreciate the relaxing effect of alcohol as an aid in falling asleep, in reality, alcohol interferes with normal sleep rhythm. A drink before bed results in a less restful night. (6) Ideally, alcohol should be avoided at night or limited to only a few times a week.