If you are not sleeping well, then it affects many aspects of your life. From a weaker immune system to stress, your quality of life is seriously diminished.
There are a lot of sleep remedies that you can do that really work. There are plenty of prescription drugs that you can get from your doctor. If you prefer to go natural, then essential oils for sleep do actually work.
Before you try any remedies, though, it helps to try to find the root cause of your sleepless nights. You may be actively sabotaging your sleep without even knowing it.
It may simply be a case of changing up your lifestyle to get back into a healthy sleep pattern.
In this article, I will go over several reasons that could be why you aren’t sleeping well so you can try to fix it.
1 – Not enough physical activity
A sedentary lifestyle is terrible when it comes to sleep. If you work at a desk all day and don’t move around much then you are not physically tired enough to sleep.
When you get out for a walk or go to the gym, you expend energy. Then, when it is time to go to bed, you are tired because of the energy you expended so you will fall asleep faster.
Then when you are asleep, the exercise will help you fall into a deeper sleep which is the restorative phase. This helps you wake up easier and become more active. If you often feel groggy and talk a while to wake up, it is because you didn’t get enough deep sleep during the night.
Try to get an hour per day of exercise, whether it is time at the gym, a morning run or simply walking more during the day.
2 – Too much screen time
It’s no secret that looking at your phone, tablet or computer screen just before bed is likely to keep you awake longer. But, few realize how big of a problem it really is.
The blue light emitted from those devices interferes with your sleep schedule as it tricks the brain into not producing melatonin when it needs it. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep schedule. It binds with receptors in the brain telling it is time to go to sleep and then retreats when it is time to wake up.
The light from your phone tricks your body into thinking that it is not actually time to sleep and melatonin production is delayed.
Then when you add the fact that your brain is now overstimulated from whatever you were looking at and you have a recipe for a terrible night’s sleep. And when you do this every evening, then it becomes a habit that is hard to break.
Turn off your devices an hour before bed and create a routine that resets your circadian rhythm and your sleep schedule will get back on track.
3 – Too much stress
There are so many reasons that people are stressed these days so it is no wonder that sleep is hard to come by for most. Your stress levels and lack of sleep are directly linked. And it creates a vicious cycle of stress causing sleep deprivation and the lack of sleep causing you to be more stressed.
Work is a leading factor in high levels of stress with financial struggles right behind. It’s easy to say that it’s important to reduce your stress, but it is easier said than done.
When you are stressed out, then your body produces too much cortisol which is a steroid hormone that controls a lot of our bodily functions. Chief among them is our sleep cycle. This extra cortisol disrupts your sleep schedule and makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Try doing meditation to relax and take your mind off of your problems to lower your stress levels to get into a healthy sleep schedule. Getting a massage regularly will also help relax your mind.
4 – Too much alcohol
It’s a common misconception that a drink before bed is a good way to help you get to sleep. While it may make you fall asleep faster, it actually disrupts your deeper, restorative sleep. It does more harm to your sleep schedule than any benefit you get from falling asleep faster.
Avoid drinking any alcohol when it gets close to bedtime. An occasional glass of wine with dinner is fine as long as you go to bed a few hours later to allow the alcohol to process.