Everyone has had a day or two where getting and staying asleep was challenging. The next morning, you awake to feel drained, groggy, and moody as you wonder how you’ll get through the day. Yet you pull it together, fuel up on caffeine, and persevere, hoping to catch up on rest later that night.
Continuing this pattern once or twice is one thing, but when it starts to become the norm, the risk to your physical, emotional, personal, and professional well-being increases.
If getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night is becoming a challenge, you need to make a change. Finding a practical solution starts with first understanding what’s keeping you awake. Below are some of the most common factors.
Parents of newborns and toddlers know all too well how hard it is to get a good night’s sleep. Trying to accommodate your child’s needs, particularly in the late-night hours, is difficult. You’re constantly waking up to feed them, change their diapers, or comfort them when something goes wrong.
While you might get a few hours of rest here and there, the regular disruptions throw off your sleeping patterns, leaving you feeling drained the next day.
While many people deal with money problems, when things get so out of hand that affording the bare necessities is a struggle, it can consume your life. You’re consciously and subconsciously thinking, “I must make it until payday,” “I don’t know how I’m going to pay these bills,” or even worse, “I don’t know where our next meal is coming from.” The stress raises your blood pressure, alters your appetite, causes aches and pains, and ultimately makes it hard to sleep.
Late Night Snacks
Who doesn’t enjoy snacking before bed? While there’s nothing wrong with a small indulgence, what you eat makes a big difference in your ability to get and stay asleep. Consuming sugary meals before bed isn’t ideal. The sugar gives you a boost of energy, keeping you awake for hours at a time.
On the other hand, overeating before your body has had a chance to digest it can lead to heartburn, acid reflux, and gas, complicating sleep.
Technology And Media
It’s not uncommon for people to use their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions to access news and other entertainment sources before going to bed. Although it seems harmless, engaging in these activities at night can make it hard to get decent rest.
The blue lights from the screen cause headaches and eye strain and send signals to the brain to stay alert. The content you watch can also evoke feelings of anxiety which lead to a restless night.
Some medical issues keep you from getting and staying asleep. For instance, if you have arthritis, the aches and pains cause an uncomfortable feeling that results in tossing and turning throughout the night. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression can also cause sleep to evade you.
There are also prescription medications. While some medicines can cause drowsiness, others can disrupt your sleep patterns or keep you awake.
The condition of your bedroom can also keep you awake at night. An old mattress causes you to toss and turn and can also lead to aches and pains, particularly in the neck and back. If your room is the wrong temperature, the extreme heat or cold can lead to night sweats or chills that prevent you from getting comfortable. Even something as simple as the wrong pillow can alter your sleep position and interrupt your rest.
Sleep is an essential practice for your health and wellness. While going a day or two without proper rest may not be an issue, deprivation can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well-being. Correcting the problem is a lot easier once you have an idea of the core cause. Once you have an understanding of what’s keeping you awake, you can tap into the many resources available to get a good night’s rest.