Having Trouble Sleeping
Having Trouble Sleeping? — Do You Know Why You Can’t Sleep at Night?
Having trouble sleeping at night? Can’t get to sleep because you’re just too restless? If you can’t nod off at night, it may be that you’re doing something wrong. Here are a few things that could be causing your sleep problems, as well as what you can do to fix it:
Why Am I Having Trouble Sleeping?
A Hot Shower
Did you know that taking a hot shower before bed can actually wake you up rather than relax you? While a nice soak in a warm bath will knock you out in no time, a hot shower will keep your core body temperature elevated. When it’s time to crash, your internal thermostat will usually turn down the heat, as it signals that it’s sleepy time. However, showering too late in the evening will cause your body to wake up a bit, which can make it hard to finally drop off. If you have to take a hot shower, make sure it’s finished at least two hours before you’re going to sleep.
Protein for Snack
Many people like to have a little something to snack on before bed, and those that do heavy exercise will often have a protein-heavy snack to help replenish their body’s amino acids. However, a nighttime snack that is rich in protein will be converted into dopamine by your brain. Too much dopamine can cause you to stay awake for much longer, so you won’t be able to sleep. If you are going to snack at night, make it a carb-loaded snack — and have your protein for breakfast in the morning.
Light in the Room
When you watch TV in your room, the artificial light source will tell your body that it isn’t yet time to sleep. Your body produces melatonin as the sun goes down, and this hormone helps to slow down your body in preparation for sleep. However, if you have too much artificial light in your room when you’re trying to sleep, your brain will produce less of this hormone. It’s the light of electronics like your TV or computer that will be the cause of all of your problems, so spend time reading a book or playing a game before bed in order to make it easier for you to nod off.
If you like to have a little liquid courage in the evening, you may be preventing your body from going to sleep. Too much booze raises your blood pressure, and your body won’t be able to settle into deep REM sleep when you’ve got alcohol in your system. A glass of wine at dinner time is alright, but avoid drinking too much too late in the evening.
If you’re a busy professional, chances are the evening is the only time that you can work. However, the post-workout adrenaline rush will make sleeping very difficult, and your metabolism will be running at full steam. You may wake up a lot more in the night, and your tired muscles may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you can do exercise in the morning or afternoon, it will prevent this problem.
A Warm Room
It’s interesting to note that you won’t sleep well if your room is too warm. Your body will actually turn down the internal thermostat when it’s time to sleep, as the lower body temperature is what will help to slow down your internal functions and allow you to drift off. If your room is too hot, your body can’t turn down the temperature, and thus you’ll stay away. Use a fan or an AC unit to keep your room cool at night. As a bonus, the sound of the device will help to lull you to sleep.
Worried about having to get up in the morning for an important flight or meeting? Need to get to sleep before 10 pm? If you’re too worried about the time, you’ll end up checking the clock every few minutes or hours — thus ruining your sleep. Just set the alarm for the time you need to get up, and drift off to sleep peacefully — secure in the knowledge that the damn thing is going to be ringing in the middle of that very pleasant dream.
That cup of coffee you drank this afternoon to help you get through the last bit of your day — that’s what’s keep you up at night. The half-life of coffee is about 5 hours for the average Joe, which means that the effects can run for many more hours than you might think. Though the energy boost may have worn off, the effects on your nervous system are still continuing. If you can skip that PM boost, it will help you sleep.
Have you ever noticed how you come up with the cure for cancer, the perfect novel idea, or the solution to your accounting problem just as you’re drifting off to sleep? Your brain is trying to shut down, but the subconscious follows a strange train of thought. If you don’t allow your brain to turn off at night, it will make sleep come more slowly. Don’t try to solve your problems or figure out dilemmas, but keep those for the morning.
Having Trouble Sleeping? Try These Remedies:
- Chamomile tea — A good cup of chamomile tea in the evening can soothe your nerves and calm you down.
- Vigorous exercise — Get a good workout in the morning, and you’ll be ready to hit the hay by the time evening rolls around.
- Relax — Find activities that help you to relax and slow down your body, such as reading, playing a game, or doing a puzzle.
- Shut it out — Use a sleep mask and ear plugs, and close your doors and windows. Shut out all the lights and sounds, and sleep will come more easily.
These things can help you to deal with your sleep problems, and you’ll find you won’t be having trouble sleeping once you find how to nod off easily at night!