There are many reasons you may have a hard time drifting off to Neverland each night to get enough rest. Let’s review five of the primary reasons you may not be getting enough sleep and what you can do about them.
Some people may avoid late night snacking out of fear of gaining weight, but going to bed on an empty stomach could have negative consequences for your health. Doing so can keep you mentally alert, thinking about hunger pains. Without the necessary rest your body needs to function, you could experience a decrease in metabolic activity, which can lead to muscle deterioration. Research has shown that sleeping on an empty stomach can impact your body’s ability to turn protein into muscle. You can fix this problem by eating regular, small meals throughout the day. Make sure your last meal or snack is a few hours before bedtime so you can sleep better.
Alcohol Before Bed
While alcohol can make you feel tired, it actually disrupts your normal REM cycle. In the long run, it interferes with your ability to rest, leaving you more exhausted upon waking. You can fix this by not drinking before bed, but that’s not always possible or desirable. Instead, consider cutting down on the amount you have to see if it improves your sleep patterns. If you do drink, add more water to help you stay hydrated.
Your Brain Never Stops
Do you get anxious as soon as you try to rest? You try to calm down, but your mind won’t stop spinning. Over-thinking can keep you from being able to sleep.
It’s natural for our minds to drift to major stressors when we wake up. The best thing you can do to prevent the constant overthinking is to direct your thoughts in more positive directions instead of dwelling. You can fix this problem by attempting a short meditation or breathing exercise before bed. Even journaling your thoughts to get them out may help.
Your Room Has A Constant Glow
You’re occupied with during the day and making up for lost time with your TV while you unwind in bed. You are marathon watching the following period of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. You are browsing work messages on your tablet or wireless. These situations open your eyes to light. Fake or characteristic light fools your mind into diminishing melatonin and disturbs your normal circadian beat.
There’s Constant Light
After being busy all day, you may want to unwind by watching TV in your bed. Binge watching Netflix or checking your email on your phone or tablet could be contributing to difficulties sleeping. The light from TVs, phones, and computers could confuses the brain into creating less melatonin and may disturb your normal circadian rhythm. You can fix this problem by eliminating screens a full hour before bedtime. Dim the room, and opt for a paperback book instead of a tablet.
Your Sleeping Companion Snores
Sharing a bed with someone busy sawing logs all night (more commonly known as snoring) can take a toll on a relationship. Studies have shown that those who share a room with a chronic snorer can lose up to an hour of sleep each night. You can fix this by talking to your partner about their snoring. A discussion may prove incredibly important to someone who may need to try nasal strips, take a decongestant, or even be tested for serious conditions like sleep apnea.
A good night’s sleep is critical to your health and well-being — mentally and physically. Talk to your doctor if none of these tricks help. You may have an underlying condition that needs to be explored.