The recommended sleep time for people between 18-60 years is at least 7 hours to promote optimal health and well being. Sleeping less than that can lead to an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. If you’ve been having a tough time falling or staying asleep, chances are the cause is either something you’re doing or something you’re not doing. Here are the unexpected reasons why you are not getting sleep night. From sharing your bed, using your phone before sleeping, living near a busy street, wrong mattress to anxiety and more.
If your body is too warm at night, you’re going to have a hard time completing deep sleep. The optimum room temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So make sure you check the thermostat before dozing off. A cooling mattress can also keep you from overheating. Another thing to keep in mind is your own body temperature. Your body operates a process called thermoregulation on a 24 hour circadian cycle. This allows it to adjust your core temperature. A lower body temperature at night helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
Long Afternoon Naps
A good 20 minute nap in the afternoon can help you tackle the rest of your day with extra energy burst. We understand that it can be hard to wake up from a little siesta once you’re comfortable. But you don’t want to nap for too long, either. Taking too much of a break during the day can throw your body off and make it that much harder for you to fall asleep at night.
Sharing Your Bed
Sharing your bed with a partner, whether human or four-legged, greatly reduces the quality of your sleep. This may be because they snore, crowd you, hog the covers, or otherwise make you uncomfortable. While you’re probably not going to banish your spouse from the bedroom, although a surprisingly high percentage of married couples do sleep in separate rooms, you do need to catch some shut-eye. The best solution would be to give them beds of their own and encourage your snoring partner to sleep on their side, not on their back. Use a white-noise machine to block out the sound of soft snoring or try earplugs if the decibel level reaches a crescendo.
The Wrong Snack
Is your typical bedtime snack a slice or two of pizza or a bag of chips? If so, don’t be surprised when you’re lying awake staring at your ceiling. A full load of fat or protein right before bedtime sends your digestive system into overdrive, making it difficult to sleep and potentially giving you heartburn. But hunger pains can wake you up as well, as can precipitous blood sugar drops during the night. Have a small snack before hitting the hay. It should be heavier on complex carbs, lighter on protein, but including both. Good choices include a small bowl of whole-grain cereal and milk, a slice of deli turkey wrapped around a celery stick, or a piece of fruit spread with peanut butter.
You Live Near A Busy Street
One reason the urban population struggles to sleep through the night is that the busy nightlife is a hindrance to peaceful slumber. It gets worse if you live by a busy street with vehicles plying all through the night, as revealed by a study. Noise from a busy street could be a major sleep disruptor. If moving is not an option, try to use sleeping aids like earplugs and white noise machines to keep the noise at bay.
Using Phone Before Bed
If you’ve ever found yourself frantically checking emails before bed, you’re not the only one, especially if you’re part of a younger crowd. Four out of five teens report sleeping with their phone in the room, and countless adults do it as well. Many people even admit to checking a mobile device after they’ve gone to bed. The artificial blue light emitted from screens delays your circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin, a natural chemical that tells your body it’s time to sleep. When you stare at your phone right before bed, it causes your body to wake up and become more alert. Your natural rhythm is disrupted, and you’re much more likely to wake often throughout the night and experience a lower quality of sleep. Here are the impacts of mobile radiations – click here.
There’s a simple fix to this blue light phenomenon, though it’s not easy. Don’t use your phone or computer right before bed. If you use your phone as an alarm, buy a cheap clock to use instead so that you can leave your phone outside of the bedroom for the whole night.
You’re doing too much before bed
According to a poll, during the hour before bed, around 60 percent of people do household chores, 37 per cent take care of children, 36 percent do activities with other family members, 36 percent are on the Internet and 21 percent do work related to their jobs. Working right up until bedtime doesn’t give you a chance to wind down and prepare your body for sleep. Take the hour before bed to transition from the person who can do everything into the person who can sleep. Read a book, take a bath — whatever that will make you feel most relaxed.
You’re Feeling Pressured to Fall Asleep
Do you feel like you should fall asleep immediately when your head hits the pillow? Is your schedule so busy that you stress about getting enough sleep each night? Sleep shouldn’t feel like a chore. Even if you can’t fall asleep right away, resting in bed is still beneficial. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to fall asleep by a certain time. Let your brain and body do that work on their own. How to sleep in 10 seconds? – click here.
Late Afternoon Caffeine
You know a bedtime cup of coffee is a bad idea, but did you know that the half-life of caffeine is three to five hours. That means only half the dose is eliminated during that time, leaving the remaining half to linger in your body. That’s why a late afternoon cup of joe can disrupt your sleep later that night. Although caffeine’s effects on you depend on your tolerance, the dose, and your age, it is best to keep your consumption below 400 milligram per day and stay away from caffeine sources after lunch time.
Alcohol And Cigarettes Before Bed
Many people turn to alcohol to relax, but it disrupts your rest once you’ve fallen asleep. Alcohol increases a chemical in your brain, adenosine, that helps you fall asleep. However, the rush of that chemical subsides as quickly as it came, and you wake up before you feel rested. A nightcap can also cause bathroom trips during the night. Another unfortunate consequence is that alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, leading to increased snoring which can also wake you up. While smoking cigarettes or vaping can similarly be a calming mechanism, it also hinders your rest. Nicotine is a stimulant, so it disrupts your circadian rhythm and makes your body feel more alert throughout the night. Also, it has been suggested that smokers experience nicotine withdrawal while asleep, leading to more sleep disturbances.
You’re Sleeping On The Wrong Mattress
If you have tried several remedies and still cannot find the reason why you can’t sleep through the night, it might be time to look into your mattress. An old mattress is unable to support your body weight and over time, it wears on the pressure points of your body. Consequently, the blood flow to one side of your body could decrease, causing discomfort in sleep. This creates aches and fatigues the next morning. A study on elderly people revealed that those who slept on uncomfortable mattresses experienced higher degrees of insomnia. Regardless of your age, your mattress should be neither too firm nor too soft for an ideal night’s rest. Choose wisely when you purchase your next mattress and change it out every 10 years. Choosing the right mattress is very important and not just for your sleep but for your health as well.
You Don’t Exercise
Another reason why you can’t sleep may be is due to inactivity during the day. Many of us have sedentary jobs that don’t require a lot of physical activity. While this is great for being comfortable and relaxed at work, it leaves your body full of unspent energy at night. Picking up a physical activity or exercise routine on a daily basis could go a long way toward quieting your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep. You don’t have to go crush weights at the gym for hours on end, but simply moving your body for a half hour or more a day will improve sleep.
Anxiety comes with the territory of keeping up with modern society. We work way too much, relax way too little, and care way more than we should about what everyone thinks of us. This all results in one thing – having an existential anxiety, which is a major contributing factor to sleeplessness. However, learning some simple meditation techniques can really give you a competitive edge against it, helping you get some much-needed sleep.