5 Sleep Stealers to Avoid

Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H. | June 6, 2016 June 7, 2016

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Need Sleep?

Try to stay away from the following stimulants, which can contribute to poor-quality sleep.

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Caffeine

Food, beverages, drugs, and supplements that contain caffeine can activate a part of the brain that causes you to feel alert.

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Medications

Decongestants, diet pills, and other drugs that contain stimulants keep you awake.

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Antidepressants

Certain types of antidepressants can suppress REM sleep. Talk to your doctor about a different type if you’re having trouble sleeping.

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Smoking

Heavy smokers sleep lightly, have shorter REM periods than nonsmokers, and waken after three to four hours as they experience nicotine withdrawal.

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Alcohol

Although a nightcap may lull you into light sleep, it prevents progression into deep and REM sleep stages.