Tossing and turning at night is a sure sign that something is wrong. Whether you have long-term bouts of insomnia or temporary sleep issues, going even a few hours without sleep can cause a serious drop in your energy and productivity. Fortunately, most sleep issues are fairly easy to identify, and you can be back on track to getting a full night’s rest by checking to see if any of these common causes of sleep problems sound familiar.
Many people have health issues that disrupt their sleep, and you may not notice that something as simple as a stuffy nose could be waking up at night. Sleep apnea is one obvious cause of sleep issues that involves being unable to breathe correctly at night. However, menopause, arthritis and acid reflux are a few more health problems that could be keeping you up at night.
Unwinding at the end of a long day is hard, especially when you are dealing with anxiety or have to work late. Yet, it is important to find ways to quiet your mind before bedtime. Experiment with techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to see if it helps you clear your thoughts so that you can have sweet dreams.
Eating or Drinking Stimulants
Today, coffee is one of the most popular drinks, and it is no longer designated just for breakfast. Many people think nothing of hitting up the local coffee shop drive thru during lunch or on the way home. While that coffee may give you a perk, it also could be making it harder to sleep at night, which becomes a vicious cycle. Alcoholic beverages can also act as a stimulant and interfere with quality sleep. Ideally, it is best to avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least four hours before bedtime. Be cautious about foods too, since chocolate can also contain caffeine.
Bright lights, noisy apartments and uncomfortable mattresses are just a few common reasons why your sleep may be disrupted. It is also important to note that many people take their cell phones too bed. Unfortunately, these emit a type of blue light that sends signals to your brain that it is time to wake up. For this reason, avoid using your phone for an hour before bedtime. Read a paperback book, do a crossword puzzle or some other relaxing activity that does not involve bright lights.
Working Out Before Bedtime
Exercise is often touted as a cure for insomnia, and it is true that being active during the day will help you fall asleep at night. However, all of that heart-pounding exercise and increased blood flow sends messages to your brain that it is time to be active. To get the most from your workout, plan it to happen at least two hours before bedtime. This will give your body time to clear the adrenaline and get in the zone for sleep.
There is nothing worse than turning in early only to discover that you spend the night tossing and turning. While some sleep issues have a true medical cause, others can be corrected with some simple lifestyle changes. Spend a few days jotting down your normal routine. Then, look it over carefully to see if any of your daily habits could be disrupting your sleep. This way, you can quickly identify any areas where you need to make changes to enjoy a full night of quality sleep.