- Why Can’t I Sleep Through The Night?
- How Do You Know If You Lack of Sleep?
- What To Do When You Can’t Sleep?
- How To Go To Sleep Fast
- How Much Do You Need to Sleep?
- Signs of Lack of Sleep
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Simple yet Effective Ways to Combat
- Have Enough Hours of Sleep at Night
- Keep Your Bedroom Free from Any Distractions
- Wake up at the Same Time Every Day
- Slowly Change to an Earlier Sleeping Time
- Have Healthy and Consistent Mealtimes
- Do Exercise Regularly
- Avoid Going to Bed if You Are Not Yet Sleepy
- Don’t Take Late Afternoon Naps
- Develop a Calming Bedtime Ritual
- What If Nothing Changes?
Why Can’t I Sleep Through The Night?
There are many factors that may lead to you being awake at night. Alcohol may seem to cause you to be sleepy at first, but it is also likely to wake you up in the middle of the night. Colas and coffee contain caffeine and this can make you wide awake.
This is also an effect that cigarette has on you. This explains why these substances are normally used by people who need to stay awake at night and even alert during the day.
Other things may also keep you awake for a long time during the night, such as:
- Physical exercise
- Mental stress
There are certain practices that you may or may not do that also have an effect on your sleeping and waking up patterns. There are people who cannot sleep because they spend a lot of time in bed. It is possible also that you sleep and wake up at different times every day. Taking a nap too long and too often may also affect your sleep pattern. These are bad habits that actually cause confusion to your body, and hence can make you fully awake at night.
Not having enough and quality sleep can affect you in many ways, and these are the negative effects of lack of sleep:
- Alcohol dependence or abuse
- Caffeine dependence
- Daytime sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate
- Short attention span
- Mood changes
Although you may not be aware of how these bad habits are affecting you physically, mentally and emotionally, the changes in your behavior can easily be noticed by other people around you. There is also a possibility that these sleep problems of yours will come and go because you are also likely to have different sleep habits over time.
How Do You Know If You Lack of Sleep?
To know if you have inadequate sleep habits, you first need to determine whether or not you have insomnia.
- Do you find it hard to go to sleep, stay asleep, wake up early, or feel refreshed as you wake up?
- For kids, does the child refuse to go to sleep or going to sleep alone?
- Do you experience the same difficulty in sleeping even when you have the chance to get a good night’s sleep?
- Do you experience any of the following?
- Worry or frustration about your sleep
- Headaches, tension and stomach aches
- Errors or mistakes while driving or at work
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mood swings
- Poor performance at work or school
- Memory problems
- Lack of motivation
- Low energy
If you answered, “yes” to each of the questions above, it is very possible that you have insomnia. The next thing you should know is whether or not you have inadequate sleep hygiene.
- Have you been experiencing such problems for a month at least?
- Do you have any of these bad habits?
- You’ve got a really bad sleep schedule. You take a nap often, sleep and wake up at varying times every day, or you spend a lot of time in bed.
- You do not have a comfortable environment for sleeping.
- You normally use products with caffeine, nicotine or alcohol before you go to bed.
- You use your bed for other activities aside from sleeping, such as watching TV or reading.
- You do exciting activities before bedtime.
What To Do When You Can’t Sleep?
Many types or cases of insomnia can be treated by making changes on your own. You will surely have better sleep patterns if you could also practice good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene involve basic habits that will enable you to form a healthy sleep pattern. You may also do things to make your bedroom and your bed itself more comfortable.
If you have done all the changes in your bedroom and you have also tried to improve on your sleep hygiene, and yet you still have troubles falling asleep and staying asleep at night, you may as well seek help from a doctor.
Doctors may suggest several ways that could help improve your sleep. One popular method is to use relaxation exercises before going to bed. There are certain activities that could also take your mind off of sleep, which is very helpful in you trying to be relaxed during bedtime.
How To Go To Sleep Fast
If you have been having troubles getting the right amount and quality of sleep that you know you need, there are many ways you can actually improve the way you sleep.
Of course, there are those sleeping medications you can take according to your physician’s advice, or you could also make some important changes to your lifestyle to improve the quality of your sleep.
But before you even go and see a doctor about your sleep problem, there is one thing you can do to try to get a restful sleep at night … redecorate your bedroom.
Not many of us are aware that the condition of our bedrooms plays a very important role in the way we sleep.
As a matter of fact, sleep specialists attribute some cases of insomnia to how the patient’s bedroom was arranged.
So if you want to address the difficulties you have been having with your sleep, you may start by doing some bedroom fixes to create a better and healthier sleeping environment.
Get a New and Better Mattress
It is very tempting to buy products on the internet because it is more convenient on your part.
But if it’s a mattress that you have to buy, doing your shopping online may not be the best idea for you. Of course, you will need to see and feel the mattress before you purchase it.
If you are to visit several mattress stores, it is not enough that you ask about the quality of each mattress. You should expect every seller to claim that they have the best types in the market.
What you should realize is that you will never get to know how good a mattress is unless you have slept on it for at least 30 days.
Not all mattress shops will allow you to take home the mattress to try it out, but there will surely be one around. What you would want is a mattress that will allow you to sleep comfortably and naturally.
More importantly, you would want to wake up in the morning without feeling any pain or discomfort, especially in your back.
Find the Appropriate Bedding
Go for the silky sheets made from natural tree fiber. You should also get a hypoallergenic and soft down comforter, some cashmere throws, and a silk duvet cover.
Having many soft pillows will also help you sleep comfortably at night. You could get a roll for under your neck, a full body pillow, and a wedge for behind your back.
Choose Your Scent
There are certain fragrances that can help you get to sleep faster.
A spray of lavender on your sheets and pillows will surely give you a soothing and calming feeling right before bedtime. Another great alternative to sprays would be scented candles.
Lower Your Room’s Temperature
Before you climb into your bed, make sure that your bedroom is cool enough to make you sleep comfortably.
This is because lower temperatures have a calming effect on the body, which will allow you to feel relaxed and ready to sleep.
If your partner isn’t so comfortable sleeping in low temperature, well one of you has to give.
Close the Drapes
It is much easier to fall asleep in a dark room.
The human body is so sensitive to light and brightness that even the small red light from your alarm clock could disrupt your sleep.
The reason for closing your drapes is that as you reach the deep stage of your sleep, you wouldn’t want to be awakened by the moon light or the street lamps.
Get Rid of Any Night Lights
Just as you would want to totally shut the blinds or your curtains, you also have to stop the habit of using night-lights when you sleep.
Any form of light can be misinterpreted by your brain as a signal that you should be awake.
On the other hand, darkness inhibits the biological clock of the brain.
Free Your Bedroom from Any Gadgets
You have to use your bed mainly for sleep and sex.
Doing any other activities in your bed aside from these will make your body very familiar with your bed that eventually, it will not associate bed with sleeping anymore.
Take away any distractions from your bedroom, such as TV, computer, or any other gadgets.
Whenever you find yourself having to adjust to various schedules and activities to keep up with your lifestyle, it seems like cutting back on your sleep hours is the only answer.
Of course you’d convince yourself that you can’t afford to spend a lot of time sleeping and taking a rest.
Well, what you’re failing to realize is that by doing this, you’re just making yourself suffer more. Not having enough sleep can take a toll on your energy, mood and ability to cope with stress.
Thus, it is important that you know what your sleep needs are and what you should do to recover from poor sleeping habits and patterns.
Understanding the Power of Sleep
A lot of us feel like we have to sleep as little as possible. Needless to say, many things appear more important and interesting than having extra hours of sleep.
What we don’t know is that sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise to achieve great health. How much and how well a person sleeps greatly affects his overall performance, productivity, mental sharpness, emotional stability, and even his weight.
The Essence of Sleep
Sleep is not just the time that your brain and body shut off. As the body rests, the brain remains active and busy. It is actually during this time that the brain performs a lot of its biological maintenance functions to make sure that the body is in its perfect condition.
Without sufficient hours of good sleep, you cannot expect your body to be able to learn, work, and even communicate at its highest level. And regular or continuous lack of sleep can eventually lead to a physical and mental breakdown.
Take note also that it isn’t all about how long you stay in bed to sleep. What matters most is the quality of the sleep you’re getting.
You may indeed be letting your body have several hours of sleep, but this doesn’t mean that you’re getting the quality of sleep that you really need.
What’s important is for you to understand how sleep cycles work as well as the different factors that can have an effect on those cycles.
This is the only way that you can figure out what you should do in order to get the quality and the quantity of sleep that you need.
The Sleep-Wake Cycle
Also known as the circadian rhythm or biological clock, a person’s 24 hour sleep-wake cycle is controlled by certain brain processes.
These processes react to the changes between dark and light and also react to how long a person has been awake.
At night, the body reacts to the loss of sunlight and thus produces melatonin, the hormone responsible for making the body sleepy. Meanwhile, during daytime, sunlight causes the brain to stop the production of melatonin, leaving the body feeling alert and awake.
There are several factors that can disrupt this cycle of the body’s sleep-wake pattern. These factors include difference in time zones, night-shift work, or plain irregular sleep patterns.
All these can result to a person feeling disoriented, groggy and very sleepy in the middle of the day.
How Much Do You Need to Sleep?
The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults sleep an average of 6 hours per night.
While sleeping for 6 to 7 hours may seem pretty good in today’s society, this is still not enough to let the body have the kind of rest that it needs.
The truth is that having from 7 to 9 hours of sleep is what could make the body perform at the highest level. Needless to say, teens and younger children need more hours of sleep.
Determining Your Sleep Needs
There is a big difference between having the right amount of sleep you need to get by and the amount of sleep you should have in order to perform optimally.
Sleeping for 7 hours every night doesn’t necessarily follow that you will have a better body condition and functioning.
What you should do is look deeper into how your body exactly feels throughout the day. If you feel good and energetic most day, then it means you are giving your body the amount of rest it requires to function fully.
Signs of Lack of Sleep
If you are experiencing the following, then you must be deprived of good quality sleep:
- You can’t wake up on time unless you use your alarm clock.
- You find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
- You feel exhausted in the afternoon.
- You easily get drowsy when driving or after a heavy meal.
- You need to take a nap to last the entire day.
- You fall asleep while you’re watching TV in the evening.
- You think of weekends as your opportunity to get more sleep.
- You fall asleep within just 5 minutes after you hit the bed.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Simple yet Effective Ways to Combat
There will always be those days in our lives when we just feel so sleepy. This is just normal, actually. This could only be considered negative if your excessive sleepiness eventually gets in the way of your daily activities, such as your work, and even your leisure activities.
If this is what you are experiencing, then you have this condition known as hypersomnia, or recurrent sleepiness that makes you want to take a nap repeatedly. This explains why you would see some people napping even at work.
If you are having problems with your daytime sleepiness, you should know that it actually starts at night.
As a matter of fact, when you miss out a couple of night’s sleep, or if you have been getting interrupted sleep lately, you are likely to experience its negative effects on your mood and overall performance.
In short, daytime sleepiness is mainly caused by bad sleep habits.
Have Enough Hours of Sleep at Night
You must have heard this advice so many times before, but what’s strange is that there are still so many people who shave a couple of hours off their sleep time just to do something else.
As the body ages, it becomes a lot more important that the body get the amount of rest that it needs. For adults, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal.
Keep Your Bedroom Free from Any Distractions
Ideally, you would want to use your bed for sex and sleep only. Sleep experts discourage people to do other activities in bed, such as reading, playing video games, watching TV or using your laptop. In addition, studies show that even having discussions in bed could affect the quality of a person’s sleep.
Wake up at the Same Time Every Day
Those who consult their doctors to seek help for their excessive sleepiness problems are normally advised to set a particular time for going to bed and waking up in the morning. Experts say that we ought to sleep and get up at the same time every single day, and even on weekends.
The only problem with this method is that those who have insomnia or other sleep disorders could become more frustrated if they have to set a particular time for bedtime.
Thus, researchers recommend choosing a certain time for waking up first. Sticking by this habit for a couple of weeks will help the body have a rhythm. By waking up at the same time every day, the body naturally restores its circadian rhythm.
Slowly Change to an Earlier Sleeping Time
Another method you can use to develop a more consistent sleep schedule is to actually go to bed around 10 minutes earlier than your schedule every night for the next four nights.
After this, you should go back and keep the last bedtime you had. It becomes much easier for the body to adjust to changes if it the adjustment to the sleep schedule is made gradually and not abruptly.
Have Healthy and Consistent Mealtimes
Aside from setting a regular sleep time, it is important also to have a regular meal time. By doing this, it becomes easier to control your circadian rhythm.
By eating a healthy and regular breakfast and lunch everyday can also help avoid lack of energy during the day which could make your daytime sleepiness worse.
Do Exercise Regularly
Having a regular exercise routine can offer a number of benefits for your sleep. Aerobic exercise, particularly, can help you sleep faster and better.
It is worth mentioning also that exercise can give you the energy that you need during the day.
But remember that you are not supposed to do any exercise at least 3 hours before your bedtime. Otherwise, your body will be active and not ready to sleep.
Avoid Going to Bed if You Are Not Yet Sleepy
You should not go to bed if you are just tired and not sleepy. It is vital that you make your body accustomed to going to bed only to sleep and not take a rest.
Thus, you should head to your bed only when you are sleepy enough and ready to fall asleep.
Don’t Take Late Afternoon Naps
Taking a nap late in the afternoon is one of the best ways you can avoid feeling sleepy at night.
And so, if you want to have a restful night, try your best to not fall asleep in the afternoon.
Develop a Calming Bedtime Ritual
You can help your body get ready for sleep by having a regular bedtime routine that is calming and totally relaxing. There are many ways to do this.
You can do meditation, you may soak in a hot bath before going to bed, try listening to soft music, or you could read a book.
What If Nothing Changes?
If after you have tried making those changes in your bedroom and you still find it very difficult to get to deep sleep, you may consider seeing a doctor to get some professional advice.
It is important that you know if there may be some medical reasons causing you to struggle to sleep. Don’t take for granted your inability to sleep.
Keep in mind that sleep is as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise in terms of how you could live a healthy life.