Sleep is incredibly important for your mental and physical well-being. Some health professionals have even gone so far as to say that getting an adequate night’s sleep is as important as a well-balanced diet. For this reason, if you are struggling to get a decent night’s sleep, you need to come up with some ideas as to why, and try to combat them. Here are some of the most common:
You’ve Slept In: Lots of people stay up late one night and then sleep in the morning after to make up for it. It makes sense to do this, but unfortunately, it’s the reason why you can’t sleep now. Doing this throws off your body clock, and makes it harder to fall asleep again at night, as your body is now programmed to go to sleep at a later time. The most obvious remedy to this is to not have late nights, but I know that isn’t always possible. Instead, ensure that you don’t sleep in more than an hour later than you usually do, and have a short 20 to 30 minute nap in the afternoon if you start to feel tired. Just make sure that it’s no more than 20 to 30 minutes, otherwise, you will still be wide awake in the evening, and be back to your original issue.
You Need A New Mattress: If your mattress is lumpy and uncomfortable, then it’s understandable that you can’t fall asleep on it. You should aim to replace your mattress every 8 to 10 years, depending on how comfortable and supportive it is, but you can replace it sooner or later than that depending on its state. Even if you only got a new mattress a few years ago, you might still need to get a new one, depending on your own preference. If you have back pain, for example, you might want to invest in a specialty back pain mattress to help you sleep more soundly at night.
A mattress is an important purchase – you’re going to be sleeping on it every night! Definitely shop around and gather more information as needed when considering your options. Everyone has different preferences so a mattress a friend recommends might not work for you.
You’re Worried About Something: If you’ve had a particularly tricky day at work or have had an argument with a loved one, it’s often when you’re trying to sleep that these thoughts creep up on you. It may be hard to control our thoughts when we’re wide awake and alert, but it’s even harder when we’re slowly drifting in and out of consciousness. Although you can drift in and out of sleep while worried, it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re sleeping, so you wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept at all. If you’re feeling worried or anxious while you’re trying to sleep, you should keep the lights off, but go to another place in your house for a little while. This stops you from associating your bed with your anxieties and difficulty sleeping.
You’re Hungry: If you go to bed while you’re still hungry, you are never going to have a decent night’s sleep. Hunger pangs are sure to wake you up, that’s if the sound of your stomach growling doesn’t first. To avoid this, you should have a snack before you go to bed. You should opt for something high in protein, as this often makes us feel fuller than fat or carbohydrates. Something like a hard-boiled egg will do the trick and keep you from going to bed growling.
You Can See Light: Although some children, and even adults, struggle to sleep without some sort of light on, whether this is a small night light, a lamp, or the main light in your bedroom, it’s unlikely that they have a fulfilling sleep. This is because even the smallest amounts of light can pierce your retina, and send signals to your brain to keep you awake. Even the tiny light on your TV or DVD player can cause issues. The easiest way to combat this is to make sure that there is no light on in your room. Even the streetlights outside could be keeping you awake, so be sure to buy blackout curtains or blinds. You could even buy an eye mask to block out any light sources that you can’t control so that your brain knows that it really is night time.
There is a whole variety of reasons that you may not be able to sleep at night, so if none of these are right, then there is always something else that you can try. Sleep deprivation is a serious issue, so if you’re not getting any sleep for days in a row, be sure to visit your doctor and ask for some advice.
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