Many people are suffering every night because they are not able to get a good night's sleep, no matter how mentally or physically tired they are. Some reasons are obvious while others are not, but here are some of the most common.
Believe it or not, some medications can impact a person's ability to fall asleep. Some pain killers like Midol and Excedrin contain caffeine, while some prescription antidepressants (specifically SSRIs) will release serotonin continually which can cause alertness. Other medications include those like steroids, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and asthma medications. Speak with your doctor if you think your medication is keeping you up at night, as something as simple as a change in time of taking it can help the problem, or they may be able to give you an alternative medication.
The State of The Bedroom
Ideally, the bedroom is a place that is only used for sleep, and not somewhere to hang out throughout the day. Ambient light can really put a damper on a good night's sleep. This includes night lights, hallway or bathroom lights, and alarm clocks. Ensure you have good quality curtains that will block out any outside light. The temperature of the room can also have an effect on sleep. The ideal temperature range is between 55 and 74 degrees, and most people prefer the upper 60s. Putting on a fan or opening a window can help to control the temperature without relying totally on your air conditioner.
Consuming Too Much Fluids
This is true for alcoholic drinks as well as non-alcoholic drinks. Drinks are liquids, and consuming fluids at night means that you will have to take a bathroom break eventually when you are trying to sleep. When alcohol is consumed close to going to bed, it can cause you to sleep lighter and wake up sporadically through the night. While alcohol does make you tired, it will heavily decrease the quality of sleep that you are getting. To remedy this, aim to stop consuming liquids within 3 hours of bedtime.
While exercising is great, doing it too close to bedtime can be too stimulating for some individuals. It wakes the brain and the body, making terrible conditions for getting sleep. Ideally, aim to exercise at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime so that it can get done but won't keep you up at night. Actually being able to exercise is just one of the reasons you need a good night's sleep that could be harmful when done at the wrong time.
Eating too Late or too Much
Foods that are spicy or especially heavy should not be consumed within 3 hours of going to bed. If you are worried about getting hungry before bed, having a light snack is totally okay. It should be something that is a combination of a carbohydrate and a protein—like a banana with peanut butter or a cracker with cheese. If you eat too close to bedtime, your body is still trying to process the food while you are trying to shut it down to go to sleep. This can also lead to weight gain.
This is actually the main cause of short-term sleeping problems. Oftentimes solutions to our problems will not be found in the middle of the night, so this is unproductive worry. If you're not able to sleep because of stress, get out of bed and go to another room with a dim light. You can make a list of what needs to get done, and once it is all out, know that it can be handled the next day.
Caffeine too Late in the Day
It can take up to 12 hours for caffeine to leave the body. Don't forget that there is caffeine in soda and tea or even chocolate, not just coffee. Caffeine makes it more difficult to fall asleep and can cause disruptions throughout the night. A short walk outside or having lunch in the sun can give you the little burst of energy that is needed to get you through the day, rather than having that second cup of coffee.
Try any or all of these small changes in your routine to help you get the sleep that you need. Sleep is very important for your overall health and wellness, so don't let these sleep stealers win.
By Rait Raak
Rait is a fitness junky, online marketer and founder of HowTonight.com - a blog focuses on health, nutrition and many more. He strives to heal the world by providing tips for healthier, happier life. Check him out on Twitter @howtonightcom or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/howtonight/