Simple Things That May Be Making You Sleep PoorlyChristina Walker, Chief Science Researcher
We don’t have to tell you how frustrating it can be to not be able to fall asleep. When you’re in the throes of exhaustion and all you want to do is sleep, but it eludes you. The causes that lead people to have chronic sleep issues are vast, but there are some that might escape our usual analyses.
Let’s explore ways we inadvertently deprive ourselves of sleep and some strategies we can use to reclaim our rest.
Something Completely Different
It might not be a sleep issue at all. We’ve often found that people don’t have a problem sleeping so much as something else taking their sleep away. More than 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from some manner of chronic pain. When not addressed, it may be easy to be able to avoid thinking about it during the day, but when it’s bedtime, it often rears its ugly head and will deprive you of rest. Is there chronic pain you’re not having treated? Is a pain treatment or drug keeping you from proper sleep? These are a couple of things that you must talk with a medical professional about. The first step to finding rest is advocating for yourself and finding the appropriate help.
Wind Your Brain Down
Human beings are notoriously terrible at leaving the day at their bedroom door and insist on bringing it to bed with them. Certainly easier said than done, one of the best pre-sleep rituals you can do to wind down is banishing electronics. Apart from the blue light from televisions, phones, tablets, etc. tricking our eyes into thinking it’s light out, we literally keep ourselves awake synthesizing a new influx of information. Turn off the TV and silence the phone an hour before bed and read something. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective this natural sleep aid can be.
Skip The Late Snack
You probably don’t want to hear this, but your late night snack might be keeping you awake longer than you’d like. It’s biology. If you eat something just before lying down, your metabolism kicks into gear and your body wakes up. Like a car idling, you may be just sitting there, but you’re still burning fuel and very much on. Natural sleep aids in this instance might include some non-caffeinated tea with honey to give your taste buds something nice without turning your metabolism on just before bed.