There are few things worse than not getting the right amount of sleep. Lack of sleep impacts day-to-day living, mental health and even physical health. One night of poor quality sleep or an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to irritability the next day. Taking a nap, if possible, might relieve the irritability, but it can create a cycle that soon spirals into not being able to sleep at night. Sleeping aids can help break the cycle, but it is best not to get into the cycle, to begin with.
Caffeine is one of the significant culprits behind insufficient sleep. Even that can of cola contains enough caffeine to interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant. That’s why the cup of coffee in the morning perks you up. Getting into a cycle of caffeine reliance to stay awake during the day because you aren’t sleeping at night isn’t healthy. Try herbal teas or a brisk walk as an afternoon pick-me-up instead.
Alcohol can make you pass out drunk, but passing out isn’t sleeping, and it comes with a hangover to slow you the next day. Avoid wine in the evenings, even if you feel unaffected. At best, alcohol is a diuretic, which can keep you awake with nighttime trips to the toilet. Each unit of alcohol consumed takes around one hour to leave your system. The average glass of wine contains two units. Skip the nightcap and have wine with the evening meal instead.
Sometimes stress is unavoidable. The big meeting or job interview the next day can result in tossing and turning all night. Cut down on stress in daily life with exercise and mindfulness. There are even pre-sleep mindful mediations. Let the little decisions take care of themselves through planning meals and clothing for the week ahead and being well organised.
An excellent way to quiet the mind before bed is to make a list of what you need to do the next day. That way, your brain will eventually stop thinking about it and focus instead on shutting down.
Other People and Pets
Partner snoring, tossing and turning or even cuddling can keep you awake at night. Some people are very compatible until it comes to sleeping. A good relationship can be ruined when one partner can’t sleep. Talk to your partner if they’re keeping you awake at night.
If cuddling is the problem, there are large pillows your partner can use while facing away from you. Snoring may require a trip to the sofa. If it keeps up, medical attention is needed.
Pets are cute and cuddly, but at nighttime, they transform into sleep-depriving demon spawn. Sharing a bed with a pet can present all the same issue as sleeping next to a partner or child.
Cool, dark and calm
Keep the bedroom cool, dark and calm. Use an air-cooling system and blackout curtains if heat and light are a significant issue.
Habitual sleeplessness can be a sign that a more serious problem is going on, especially if the lack of nighttime rest is accompanied by a host of symptoms. Sleep apnea is one of the most common disorders that affect people in the country. It’s symptoms include observed apnea episodes (pauses in breathing) during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, regular loud snoring, and waking with a headache.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, around 22 million Americans suffer from the condition. Presently, the most effective treatment of sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy using a machine that provides a constant flow of pressurized air down the airway. This prevents the user’s throat from collapsing and helps them breathe regularly during sleep, allowing them to enjoy a restful slumber.
Other common sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. These conditions are treated through medication, surgery, sleep therapy, behavioral therapy, or a combination of different treatments. Making lifestyle changes and practicing healthy habits are also key to alleviating symptoms of sleep disorders.