There’s A Reason You’re Not Sleeping
All you want to do is crawl into bed and doze off, but your mind is still spinning from the stressful day. You toss and turn, count sheep, then stare at the clock. If this situation sounds familiar, knowing why it happens is the first step to getting a restful night’s sleep.
What’s Keeping You Up?
Stress is a fact of life, and how you deal with it can determine how well you sleep. When you go to bed stressed, your brain is still working overtime. Take some time before hitting the pillow to calm your mind. Check out our Managing Daily Stress tips for suggestions.
Nowadays, our daily lives involve being “plugged in” to gadgets and devices, and it’s one of the main things keeping us up at night. The artificial light given off from phones, TVs, tablets and computers actually makes you more alert.1 When you use them right before bed, you can toss and turn instead of dozing off. For a better night’s sleep, turn off your gadgets a couple of hours before hitting the sack. Check out Unplug Before Bedtime for more helpful information.
Disruption of Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is like an internal clock. It tells you when to be awake and when to be tired. When you interrupt this rhythm by working long hours, jet lag, or having an inconsistent bedtime,2 you can throw off your entire sleeping pattern.
Being active during the day is good, but being too active at night can keep you from catching much-needed ZZZs. Do your chores, exercise, and work during daylight hours, and reserve nighttime to simply wind down. It’ll help you fall asleep and, most importantly, sleep soundly through the night.
Eating and Drinking
Consuming meals, snacks, or caffeinated beverages before bed isn’t just bad for your diet: it’s bad for getting to sleep. You should especially forgo the evening nightcap. While a little alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, your sleep will be more restless. So try to avoid late night eating and drinking. Your body will thank you.
Sleep apnea is the leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Most people who have sleep apnea don’t even know it. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that obstructs your air passage, causing you to take shallow breaths and even quit breathing for periods of time. Not only is sleep apnea dangerous if left untreated, it constantly interrupts your deep sleep leaving you exhausted the next day. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact your doctor.