If you are trying to sleep don’t drink coffee, tea or soft drinks within five hours of your bedtime and don’t eat high sugar foods (including chocolate). Ensure you don’t drink alcohol 3 hours before you wish to sleep and definitely don’t smoke; nicotine is worse than caffeine as it stimulates brain-wave activity and also increases your blood pressure and heart rate. All these stimulants affect the onset of sleep and make it harder to reach a level of REM sleep.

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