8. Caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants – use sparingly if you're a new mum and your sleep is already being disrupted!
Caffeine has a direct impact on reducing sleep quality. The half-life of caffeine is approximately five hours. This means that it can take up to 10 hours to completely remove all of the caffeine from your body if you drink a cup of tea or coffee. If you are having problems sleeping or are waking up feeling tired no matter how much sleep you get, minimise caffeine and increase your fluid intake by drinking more water, herbal teas and dilute fruit juices.
Alcohol is the most commonly used sleep and relaxing aid in the world as it initially has a sedative effect that can help you drop off to sleep. However – alcohol stops you getting good, deep sleep and it can increase REM sleep so that the next day you end up feeling not only physically tired but also mentally fuzzy. If you are regularly drinking alcohol to help you sleep, ask your doctor to help you find an alternative.