Did you know that 50 to 70 adults in the US have a sleep disorder? If you can’t fall asleep at night, you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder. Fortunately, the more you know about this condition, the more you can do about it, ensuring a good night’s sleep is around the corner.
Sleeping is essential for rejuvenation, restoration, and relaxation. Without it, you can experience weight gain, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, memory problems, and extremely low energy.
When you are not sleeping well, it affects your quality of life and makes even the simplest day-to-day tasks feel exhausting and difficult.
So the problem is if you can’t fall asleep at night, what can you do about it so that it does not affect your life?
Thankfully, we did that research for you, we found the most common causes of poor sleep, and figured out what you can do about it. Keep on reading to learn how you can finally get that restful sleep that you deserve.
1. Sleeping Disorders
A sleep disorder is an umbrella term for many conditions that affect your ability to get restful sleep. In most cases, it is caused by a change in lifestyle or activity, and in other cases, it may be an actual condition.
It is normal to have a few odd nights with poor sleep, but if it is affecting you regularly, causing you to wake up feeling exhausted during the day, it could start to affect your health and could cost you your life.
According to research, “drowsy driving” accounts for 100,000 car accidents per year, 1500 of which leads to death. Sleeping disorders can also lead to anxiety, depression, affect relationships, impaired memory, lack of concentration, affects your ability to work.
Two of the most common sleeping disorders are:
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs when you sleep, causing repetitive pauses in breathing that can last up to 10 seconds. These long pauses cause the blood oxygen levels to decrease, which wakes up the brain and causes a loud gasp or snort.
Obstructive is the most common type and affects more than 22 million Americans. This condition is very serious and requires a doctor.
Insomnia is a condition that affects your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is characterized by two types:
At least 1 in 3 people in the US have some form of insomnia, if it is serious, you need to see a doctor.
2. Stress and Worrying
Stress is the most common reason why people can’t fall asleep. Once you lay your head down on the pillow, your mind starts to roam more because of fewer distractions during the day.
There are some things you can do to sleep better and worry less:
Meditating for at least ten minutes before bed every night will help you to quiet the mind and soothe the soul. Simply sit or lay down and scan each part of your body, one by one, starting from the top of your head to your toes.
Journaling helps you to work through your thoughts, getting them out of your head and onto the paper. The simple act of writing down a list of what you are grateful for will help you to fall asleep with a smile on your face.
Get Out of Bed
While this may feel counter-intuitive, the action of removing yourself from your bed may actually help you to calm down and sleep better.
While you are tossing and turning, your level of frustrations will rise, which causes you to become more awake. Get up and move to a dark area of your house for a few minutes to reset the cycle, then fall back to sleep easily again.
3. Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine can actually be counter-productive, if you drink it too late in the day you will have troubles falling asleep. Try to avoid any caffeine consumption after 12 PM, as it has a half-life of up to five hours, meaning it will be in your system for that long.
4. Your Room is Not Dark Enough
The slightest glow of light in your room is enough to signal your brain that it is time to wake up. Basically, it tricks your brain into thinking that the sun is rising.
Go around your room and use tape to cover any lights on electronics that you can notturn off. You can also invest in a sleeping mask, simple yet effective.
5. Get off Your Electronics
The screens on electronics such as your phone, laptop, or tv are actually designed to keep you awake so that you stay on them longer! The blue light will actually slow down or completely stop your production of melatonin.
These blue lights can throw your circadian rhythm out of whack, and even worse, lead to cancer, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Get off your phone at least two hours before you go to bed.
6. Exercising Too Late
If you are exercising within four hours of going to bed, you could be affecting your sleep. Exercise stimulates your metabolism and increases your heart rate which makes your blood pump faster, which is why you can’t fall asleep after exercising.
Try exercising in the morning instead, as it is a great way to wake up and start your day.
7. Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
If your sleeping schedule is sporadic, so will your quality of sleep. Our bodies run like a clock, and if you mess up that timing too much, you will affect your ability to get restful sleep.
Just like your parents did when you were little, make a sleeping schedule and stick to it, you will notice a big difference in your ability to fall asleep.
Learn More About Why You Can’t Fall Asleep
As you now know, there are many reasons why you can’t fall asleep.
If you would like to learn more about good sleeping habits so that you can wake up feeling refreshed, read our detailed guide with everything you need to know about sleep.