There is nothing more refreshing than waking up after a good night’s sleep. You feel awake, alert, energized and ready to face the day. But what if that isn’t you. What if you wake up feeling tired, congested, headachy and just plain exhausted?
If you have trouble sleeping you’re not alone. According to Statistic Brain more than 40 million people have chronic sleep disorders. The key is to find the root cause of your inability to sleep. It may require some persistence on your part but getting a good night of sleep is critical to your health and well-being.
Why sleep is important
Sleep plays a vital role in your physical health. Sleep allows your body to rest, rejuvenate, rebuild and heal. While you’re sleeping, your body is hard at work to maintain your physical and emotional health. Sleep is important at all ages, young children and teens need sleep to support growth and development. While older adults need the time for repair and rejuvenation.
Sleep also helps your brain to function at optimal levels. Inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, being short tempered , having difficulty focusing and making decisions. Consistent, inadequate sleep is also linked to health conditions such as: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease.
19 Factors that can affect your sleep
There are numerous elements that can affect your sleep. For most of these, a simple process of trial and error will help you to determine if any of these factors are the cause of your lack of sleep. Other causes such as mold, adrenal fatigue, allergies will require the help of a professional.
Electronics in the bedroom– Electronic devices can disturb a peaceful night of sleep by disrupting sleep patterns. Solution: If you have a computer, TV, wireless or cell phone or other electronic devices in your bedroom, put them in another room. Choose a non-digital alarm clock.
Coffee, sugar-Stimulants before bed can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Solution: Eliminate stimulants 3-4 hours before bedtime
Bad mattress-If your mattress or pillow aren’t comfortable, you may fall asleep, but wake up frequently or toss and turn and never fall into deep sleep. Solution: Try a new pillow. Consider flipping and rotating your mattress to avoid creating permanent body impressions.
Sleep environment-Is your room too hot? Too cold? Not dark enough? Whatever your perfect environment for sleep may be, create it for a comfortable relaxing environment. Solution: Experiment with different factors such as lowering or raising the heat to determine what makes your room more comfortable. Not dark enough, try an eye mask or room darkening curtains.
Allergies-If you have allergies, sneezing and coughing may wake you up frequently. Solution: Talk with your practitioner about your options.
Mold-As with allergies, mold will disrupt your sleep, due to scratchy throat, and watery itchy eyes. Solution: Hire a professional to do mold testing in your home.
Pets in your bed-Some people love to sleep with their pets, but their constant movement can wake you up or cause you to fall into a lighter sleep pattern. Solution: Consider a pet pillow on the floor next to your bed.
Hormone fluctuation- Levels of progesterone and estrogen can fluctuate before, during and after your period, as well as into menopause. Solution: If you experience hot flashes consider lighter sleepwear. For cramps consider increasing your magnesium levels through supplements or magnesium rich foods. For hormonal imbalances speak with your practitioner about natural options.
Adrenal Fatigue-Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include problems sleeping, depression, increase in the number of illness or infections, anxiety, sweet cravings, and feeling cold. Solution: Talk with your practitioner about supplements and foods to help nourish the adrenals.
Supplements too close to bedtime –Like medication, some supplements can overstimulate your body making it challenging to sleep. Solution: Don’t take supplements before bedtime, try taking them with dinner.
Dust Mites-According to Alan Goldsobel, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Jose, CA, the residue left behind by mites can trigger mild to very severe allergies. Solution: Vacuum regularly. Wash bedding in hot water to kill mites. Consider buying barrier covers for your pillows, mattress and foundation.
Stress-Worry and stress can cause your mind to work overtime, making it hard to fall asleep. Solution: Find what relaxes you, consider reading, prayer or meditation before bed. You may consider journaling a few hours before bed to relax your mind.
Sleeping Partner-Does your sleeping partner toss and turn? Does your partner snore? If your partner isn’t a sound sleeper, chances are excellent you won’t be either. Solution: Ask your partner to try sleeping on their side, or a neck support pillow. If all else fails try earplugs to block out snoring.
Erratic Schedule-Having an irregular sleep pattern can unintentionally throw off your sleep schedule. Solution: Try to keep a regular sleep schedule.
Work before bedtime-Mentally stressful activities such as working late whether at home or the office can make it difficult to relax and wind down before bed. Solution: Try to have a set schedule for work, especially if you work at home. Be sure to allow yourself a good three hours of “downtime” before you go to bed.
Exercising too late in the day-This may cause you to simply be too wired to relax and fall asleep. Solution: Change your exercise time.
Physical Problems-Recent injuries or surgery that cause aches and pains can interfere with your sleep. Solution: Often this is a time issue and will pass quickly. Look for basic things that can offer pain relief such as heat or ice packs, try some anti-inflammatory creams, or homeopathic pain relievers.
Medication-Some medications such as decongestants, steroids and high blood pressure medication can keep you up at night. Solution: Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any problems or side effects and discuss other options.
Change in diet-If you made any changes to diet, such as adding soda or sweets this can overstimulate your body. Solution: Keep note of any changes in your diet. You made need to eliminate a food from your diet or find a healthier solution.
Tips for a good night’s sleep
Keep a regular schedule.
Exercise early on the day.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, liquor and sugar.
Relax before bed, no tv, video games, computer, etc.
Sleep till the sun wakes you.
Control your room temperature.
Create your ideal sleep environment.
This article was originally posted at The Hearty Soul