It seems as though no matter what part of your health or your body you need to improve upon, it always includes getting the proper amount of sleep each night. It may also seem as though it is easier said than done. Perhaps you get caught up in a late night activity, your brain can’t turn off or you can’t help but wake up a few times each night.
If counting sheep is getting old or nothing seems to keep you sleep during the night, perhaps there are a few reasons that you don’t realize that are keeping you from that 7-8 hours of solid zzzs each night.
Getting a good night’s rest can lead to more energy during the day, aid in weight loss, help heal your body, ease aches and pain, and improve your overall mood. If those things all sound great to you, then check out these reasons why you might not be getting good enough sleep.
Stress and Anxiety
Who knew, right? However, stress and anxiety are bound to keep you awake at night and that is just a fact. You’ve probably heard time and time again that you need to reduce your stress to get a good night’s rest and that getting a good night’s rest can lead to less stress. Your sleep problems could easily be the result of not being able to wind down at night.
So, what is the fix? To shut your brain down before bed, there are a few things you can try. These include:
- Make a sleep schedule and routine: being consistent can help you unwind at night. Try choosing a proper bedtime and create healthy bedtime routines. This could include reading a book before, listening to calming music, taking a warm bath or meditating. Be sure you make this routine last for about 30 minutes. You want to give your body ample time to know that you are winding down and doing nothing next, but sleeping.
- Write down your worries. If worries are keeping you from dreaming, then write them down. Look at them on paper and leave them there. Surely, they will still be there in the morning for you to deal with later.
- Make your room optimal for sleep. Your room should be dark and quiet. It should be a place you want to sleep and that makes you feel cozy and relaxed.
- Cut down on caffeine. Always be sure to stop drinking caffeine filled drinks well before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can easily make it difficult to get to bed at night.
- Remove the phone. Part of unwinding and getting ready for sleep means being done with your phone for the day. Your phone can stress you out in a variety of ways and it is best to shut it off completely in order to relax fully.
Who’s in bed with you?
If you share your bed, chances are there’s a whole other reason you are not sleeping well at night. Some people have a snoring partner under the sheets, a cat that is making biscuits constantly or a kid that is having a bad dream. No matter what the circumstance is, if you are sharing your bed, that might be the reason you are not getting fully rested at night.
How to solve these issues?
If your partner is snoring, they should be seen by a doctor to check for sleep apnea. If your pet is hogging your bed at night, consider making a special sleeping area just for them. If your kids wake you up several times, you might be completely out of luck, but always return them to their beds. Creating habitual co-sleepers can be tough to break. Kids need bedtime routines too.
For women, menopause can cause a plethora of issues to your body and sleep could also be affected. Hot flashes and night sweats can definitely make sleeping a chore. The stages of menopause and effects on sleeping can vary greatly between women, but there is a correlation between the two.
As always, talk to your doctor if you think menopause is a factor in your sleeping patterns. There could be therapies or hormones that could help you make it through all of this.
Trying to sleep on a belly full of food is a sure way to make sleeping difficult. Eating late at night is rarely a good idea, especially a large, carb loaded late dinner. If you lay down and experience indigestion or acid reflux, chances are you ate too much and ate it too late. Your goal should be to always eat a rather light dinner and give your body a few hours before bed to digest it all.
Trying not to be a party pooper, but too much alcohol before bed can make sleeping through the night tricky. Sure, a glass of wine or a few margaritas might help you fall asleep, but sleeping entirely through the withdrawal period can be disruptive to your sleep. Consider not drinking too much right before bed and giving your body some time to process the alcohol.
There are various ways to get a good night’s rest each and every night. You may need to relax on the caffeine, kick a pet out of bed or create the perfect bedtime routine. It could also be a combination of things that keep your from good sleep.