One of the common problems of modern living is the lack of sleep. Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep. Here’s what’s hampering our eight hours of slumber and what we can do to fix the problem.
But first, let me tell you the power of sleep:
There’s a proven connection between sleep and mental health. While a good amount of sleep can help you stay balanced, poor sleep can have the opposite effect and you could find yourself in a downward spiral. You can end up feeling anxious and depressed, and many people start overeating and not exercising or socialising.
Vice versa, sleeping well will put you on an upward trajectory, and you’ll find you enjoy life more and can cope better with difficult situations.
These are some of the factors due to which you can’t sleep well at night:
Stress releases hormones that create a fight or flight state of mind. And the result is you are more awake than normal.
Symptoms of anxiety include sweaty palms, racing heart, headaches – yet all these symptoms could be indicative of other things too. If you’re worried you’re feeling anxious, you probably are. Racing thoughts can make it hard to switch off at bedtime, whether you’re feeling anxious about tomorrow or replaying the events of the day in your head. Anxiety can be crippling and combined with lack of sleep, it could leave you feeling exhausted, irritable and unable to concentrate, so you may skip school or work or find yourself avoiding socialising. If overthinking is keeping you awake, there are natural remedies which can help.
Try Rescue Remedy in a glass of water, sip some chamomile tea before bed or give meditation a go – it can help to rid your brain of unwanted thoughts and leave you feeling more centred and focused.
With age, the body takes longer to metabolise caffeine. So any caffeinated drink post-sunset can affect sleep.
Caffeine, nicotine, energy drinks…what do these three things all have in common? They’re all stimulants, which excite our nervous systems and leave us feeling raring to go. Caffeine, in particular, is one of the greatest enemies of a good night’s sleep. It can make you feel jittery, restless and anxious, so cutting out the caffeine at bedtime is a sensible idea. Some soft drinks and chocolate also contain caffeine, so stick to herbal teas if you can, close to bedtime. Smoking in bed isn’t a great way to relax – it can also be really dangerous if you fall asleep with a cigarette in your hand! Try to avoid stimulants of any kind for at least a couple of hours before bed, to allow your body and mind to unwind naturally.
Uncomfortable bed or bedroll
Struggling to get to sleep, waking frequently in the night or waking up with aches and pains could be a clue that your bed isn’t doing you any favours. Getting the right mattress, pillow and even bedding can make all the difference when it comes to a sound night’s sleep. so check out your bedding to see if it measures up. Your body temperature could be causing you to wake up – if you’re too hot or too cold, you won’t sleep as soundly. This may mean getting a new thinner, or thicker duvet, or swapping the clothes you wear in bed to keep you warmer or cooler!
Digestive tract problems
Eating too soon before bed, or eating the wrong sorts of foods close to bedtime, could seriously hamper your beauty sleep. Choosing high-fat foods as a late-night snack is a no-no. Our bodies take longer to digest foods high in fat, which could mean you’re left counting sheep and wondering why you can’t drift off, whilst your digestion gets to work. Swap your bag of crisps for some dried fruit or a bowl of yoghurt and fresh berries, for a healthier late-night snack that won’t leave you sleepless.
Exercising at odd hours
Exercise has strong stimulant effects and raises energy levels. Exercising at night can have an adverse effect on sleep.
So try to work out in the morning- Exercising in the morning has benefits for your entire body cycle. You’ll have more energy through the day, eat more healthily, even be better hydrated. And you’ll sleep well too.
Aids to help you sleep well:
Check out these sleeping aids to help you get your precious sleep.
Smart sleep mask:
It looks like a pair of goggles, blocks out all ambient light and replaces it with a blue light that gently fades, lulling you to sleep.
Noise masking / white noise earbuds:
These wireless birds block external sound and play soothing noises to ease you into sleep.
It is designed to improve breathing by supporting your head and neck at just the right angle. The result is quiet, peaceful and slumber sleep.
Sleep breathing monitor:
It monitors your breathing and sleeping position. Using an AI algorithm, it reports on factors disturbing sleep and its quantity and quality.
If all these fail, it may be that you simply need to try and relax at bedtime. You can also try yoga routine at night that can help you to de-stress and get your body ready for sleep, or try a natural sleep aid such as a warm bath and a good book, or lavender oil on your pillow.
Sleep is important for our bodies, so if you want to chase your dreams, get that promotion or just make it past lunchtime without dozing off at your desk, solve your sleep problems at the root cause and enjoy a great night’s sleep tonight!