Everyone experiences some restless nights where they just can’t seem to get their eyes to close. This is perfectly natural, as we all deal with sleepless nights from time to time. Usually it is related to worry or stress, or could even be something as simple as what you ate that day. However, if sleeplessness becomes persistent, then it may be time to consult a doctor. Here is a handy guide to help you know what might be the cause of your sleeplessness, and what you can do to help get back to restful nights. With the right preventative measures, even chronic insomnia can be overcome!
Cause 1: Bad Daytime Habits
Many things that you do throughout the day can impact your ability to sleep at night. From midnight snacks to late night gaming, you are impacting your ability to sleep in ways you may not even realize. Many common causes for sleeplessness can easily be overlooked if you don’t know what to look for. These causes may include things like your sleep environment, your consumption of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or tobacco, not enough exercise, and use of screens near bedtime like cell phones, laptops, and watching television.
By being aware of these common insomnia causes, you can more easily prevent them. Changing your habits may be all it takes to get your sleep schedule back on track. Many people report that adding 30 minutes or more of activity to their day, not too close to bedtime, greatly enhanced their ability to fall asleep quickly. Napping during the day can also be a major culprit, so if you have trouble sleeping at night, try resisting the urge to nod off during the afternoon. If you feel a power nap is truly necessary, make sure that it is before 3pm and less than 30 minutes for optimal night time sleep. When you are ready to sleep, make your bedroom an inviting and relaxing place to do so. It should be dark, quiet, and comfortable in order to trigger your bodies natural sleep/wake cycles.
Cause 2: Psychological Problems
Psychological problems are another common reason why people experience issues with sleeplessness. This is usually tied to job related stress, or other types of anxiety related to your environment, such as work deadlines, relationship issues with spouse, family, friends, or children, or persistent thoughts regarding a recent trauma. While these are all challenging issues that can leave your mind racing, there are things that you can do to reduce their impact and regain your sleep.
Dealing with psychological issues is typically best done through relaxation techniques that can help to clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep. If you lay down, but do not feel like you can go to sleep, instead of stressing about how you can’t sleep, it may be best to get back up and do something else until you are able to relax. This could be as simple as listening to soothing music or reading to distract your mind from your worries. If getting up isn’t an option, then you can take this same concept and apply it while in bed. Don’t focus on trying to get to sleep, focus simply on relaxing your body, rather than your mind. Focus on your breathing and how your body feels. Imagine releasing any tight muscles as you breathe out, allowing any thoughts to flicker through without worry and returning your focus to your breathing and relaxation. If you find that none of these techniques are effective and you are still experiencing high levels of stress, you may want to seek assistance from a psychologist who can help you with stress management techniques.
Cause 3: Health Problems
There are many health problems that can also lead to sleeplessness. Asthma, Acid Reflux, Allergies, and more can make it very challenging to get restful sleep. Dealing with these health problems can also lead to sleeplessness caused by stress or anxiety over your health, and you should first practice the relaxation techniques described in cause 2 to find relief.
Often, it is not the health problem itself, but rather the medication that has lingering negative effects. If you have attempted the relaxation techniques, but have still been experiencing consistent sleeplessness, it may be time to consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding your medications. If you are taking medications such as Alpha-Blockers, Beta-Blockers, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, Statins, or Corticosteroids, then this could be the cause of your insomnia. These medications are known to disturb your sleep patterns, and alternatives should be discussed with your health care provider so you can weigh the pros and cons of all of your options.
Cause 4: Sleep Disorders
While most sleeplessness is not caused by a sleep disorder, there is a possibility that this may be the case. If none of the above situations are relevant to you, then you may have a sleep disorder. Common sleep disorders that can impact your ability to get a good nights sleep include Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome, or simply Insomnia. Sleep Apnea is a disorder that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start throughout the night. It can cause you to wake up repeatedly and can leave you tired even after a full nights sleep. Loud snoring, morning headaches, irritability, and waking with a dry mouth or sore throat may all be signs of Sleep Apnea. Restless Leg Syndrome, while actually a nervous system disorder, but because of the impact it has on the ability to sleep, is also considered a sleep disorder. It is classified as uncomfortable sensations in extremities, such as a prickly or creepy crawly feeling that gives you the irresistible urge to move your legs. If you are exhibiting symptoms of Sleep Apnea or Restless Leg Syndrome, then it may be time to consult with your health care provider regarding options for reducing the symptoms of these disorders.
It is also possible that you simply suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is loosely defined as the inability to fall asleep within 30 minutes of attempting sleep, and getting 6 or fewer hours of sleep for three or more nights a week over the period of a month. Of course, there are often temporary causes of insomnia as discussed above, but if none of those apply to you, or relaxation techniques and other methods of falling asleep have not been effective for you, then it may be time to consider a natural sleep aid. Sleep So Good is made from all natural ingredients like melatonin, valerian, hops, and passion flower, which are known to decrease anxiety, promote relaxation, and aid in synchronizing your biological clock. Relief may be easier and cheaper than you think!