Do you struggle to fall asleep at night, only to drift off just before the alarm goes off? Or, do you lay awake each night waiting to fall asleep? Not being able to sleep is one of the most frustrating things, and can have a massive impact on your life. Spending your days feeling exhausted and then laying awake all night may be infuriating, but unfortunately, it is incredibly common. It is believed that around 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep problems, and struggle to either get to sleep or to stay asleep.
Why a Good Night’s Sleep is Important
A lack of sleep not only makes you feel terrible and can leave you in a bad mood, but it can also have a negative effect on your overall health. The CDC recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night, but if you are suffering from sleep problems, the chances are that you get a lot less rest than that each night.
Not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental effect on your concentration levels, and if you drive, it can increase your chances of having an accident. Along with negatively impacting on concentration, a lack of sleep is also associated with several chronic health conditions. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and obesity can all stem from a lack of good quality sleep. The potential health risks of sleeping troubles make it all the more important to take action and try to resolve your insomnia.
Solutions for Sleep Problems
Of course, knowing that sleep issues are a common issue and that it could potentially lead to health problems doesn’t make it any easier to deal with a lack of rest each night. The good news is that there are plenty of solutions that can alleviate problems with sleeping, so you are sure to find a solution that works for you.
Finding the right sleep solution for you can be a process of trial and error, so you may have to try a few ideas before you find a method that works for you. Sleep solutions typically focus on one of two areas, firstly, lifestyle changes, and secondly, environmental factors.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Sleep
Making some changes to your lifestyle can help you to improve both the amount of sleep that you get and the quality of your sleep. It can be surprising just how a few simple changes can make a big difference to your ability to rest. The great news is that these changes can benefit your overall health too. Here are some of the lifestyle changes that you may like to try to see if they help your ability to sleep:
Set a Regular Sleep Pattern
Getting into a sleep routine can help to make sleep a habit. To create a sleep routine, you will need to try and go to bed at the same time each night and also to wake up at the same time each morning. This method may take a bit of getting used to and plenty of perseverance, but it could be worth a try to see if you can train your body to sleep in a set routine. To make this method work for you, it is essential to try and choose bedtimes where you will feel tired enough to go to sleep.
Reduce Stress Levels
Even people that don’t typically experience sleep problems can find it hard to drift off if they are feeling stressed. Stress can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing, so it is crucial to find ways to manage stress and reduce the effect it has on your health. If you are struggling to sleep because of issues playing on your mind, there are a few things that you can try. Firstly, practicing mindfulness can be a massive help. Mindfulness is an excellent way to bring more calm into your life and focus your mind on the present moment. If you are someone that lays awake at night worrying about possible future scenarios and with your mind racing with thoughts, then mindfulness will help you to concentrate on the here and now rather than worrying about the future. The second solution that you may like to try is to write down your worries. When issues play on your mind, it can be therapeutic to take those worries and write them down on a piece of paper to stop them from going round and round in your head.
Change Your Diet
Dietary changes can make a big difference in your ability to sleep. Eating spicy foods can affect your digestion and make you more prone to heartburn, which will make for an uncomfortable night. Drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola can also interfere with your sleep as caffeine is a stimulant.
Change Your Environment to Help You Sleep
Along with making lifestyle changes to improve sleep quality, you also need to assess your current sleep environment. Your sleep environment directly impacts your ability to relax and drift off. Here are some changes to try that will make it easier for you to fall asleep, and help you to stay asleep:
If you are sleeping on an old, lump mattress, sleep is unlikely to come easily. Ensuring that your bed is comfortable is vital to help you get to sleep each night and to prevent you from continually waking up. Choose a bed, mattress, and pillow that are comfortable and aren’t too firm or too soft, and you should find it easier to settle down for the night.
Light pollution from streetlights outside your window, or even the sunshine flooding the room at dawn can make it almost impossible to sleep well. Too much light in the room can be frustrating and also makes it harder for your mind to distinguish between day and night. Finding ways to reduce the light in your bedroom is vital to improving your sleep. Wearing a sleep mask at night is an excellent solution for blocking out the light and helping you to create the right conditions to fall asleep.
Feeling too warm or too cold are common culprits that impact your ability to get to sleep and feeling either frozen, or boiling can lead to you repeatedly waking during the night. To prevent the temperature causing you a restless night, make sure that the room temperature is right before you go to bed, and choose bedding that will keep you at a comfortable temperature. It is a good idea to change your bedding for each season to prevent you from becoming too hot or cold throughout the year.
As you can see, there are many different ways to try and improve your sleep quality and the amount of sleep that you get each night. If your sleep problems persist, it is useful to schedule an appointment with the doctor who will be able to rule out any underlying causes of your inability to sleep.
It is incredible how much difference a good night’s sleep can make to your mood, health, and wellbeing. Establishing a sleep routine, and using the above lifestyle changes and changes to your sleep environment will help you to reap the rewards of a good night’s sleep. Getting more sleep will help to improve your long term health and will also ensure that you wake up each morning feeling alert, energized, and ready for whatever the day has in store for you.