Sleep. It is the one thing I can never seem to get enough of these days.
I am not an “early bird”. I’m not a “night owl” either. If I could be chipper in the mornings I would be, especially recently. Recently, these past two weeks, I have been waking up to find myself immensely tired. I shuffle around, my eyes won’t really open, I can’t really put a few words together to make a sentence and I feel wrecked. If you are anything like me and you work early in the morning you know what I am talking about or have felt it at least once. And the reason we feel like this usually is because we are having a sleep problem.
I am here to shed some light on what may be keeping you awake and also what is keeping you from getting the best sleep possible, even when you know the sound of that alarm in the dark is just getting closer and closer to going off.
(If you don’t think having trouble falling asleep or getting good sleep is that big of a deal, I am here to tell you otherwise. A lack of good sleep can lead to mental decline, weight gain, an increase of stress and so many other problems to your physical, mental and spiritual state of being.)
So get the facts and know the surprising reasons you just can’t fall asleep:
1. Your weekends are your sleep in days
Trust me; it was a bummer for me to find this out. My Friday nights are like gold. I don’t have to set my alarm or think about work and I can sleep in as long as I want. Sometimes when I am especially exhausted I will even push my sleep in’s until around noon. Unfortunately sleeping in like this can ruin your sleep for the rest of the week. Experts say that sleeping late on the weekend, as well as staying up late, is a bad idea. Adjusting your wake up time can throw off your biological rhythms so drastically that your body feels like it traveled across time zones. So when it comes to that dreaded Sunday night when you have to be up early in the morning your body is going to want to sleep no matter how much you know you need to.
2. It is a full moon.
No we aren’t talking urban legend, vampires, or werewolves. The moon actually can affect sleep patterns. In a small study researchers found that during nights of a full moon, you get less of a deep sleep and less total sleep. Not only that but it can take 5 minutes longer to fall asleep.
3. Your bedroom is too cold or it is too hot
Just like Goldilocks your room temperature needs to be just right. And what temperature is just right for falling asleep; between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. There is actual research to back this up. If that is too warm or too cold for you, try not to go below 54 degrees or above 75 degrees.
4. What you ate for dinner was. . .
Steak. Everyone already knows that caffeine is a bad idea before bedtime and also dark chocolate, but what about steak? Foods like a big steak dinner, spicy foods, and fatty foods can really make it hard to fall asleep. The reason why is, that a big dinner takes a lot of work to digest and your body isn’t meant to work that while it’s supposed to be resting. If you are going to eat a lot of protein for dinner, make sure to make it early and give your body time to digest.
5. There is actually a difference between being exhausted and being sleepy
If you have had a long week you know what being exhausted feels like, and it may or may not feel like really tired. But despite the exhaustion you may get into bed and find you can’t fall asleep. Why? It is because your body is still on high-alert. This could be due to a number of things, such as stress or physical activity. The point is; dragging yourself straight into bed at the first chance you can may not be the best idea. Wind down first and calm down; you will fall asleep way easier that way.
6. It is too quiet
Silence is ideal for asleep. Not saying it is bad for sleep. But if it is too silent than any little noise that happens inherently in your bedroom or home will disrupt your sleep. Many doctors recommend investing in a “white noise” machine or a fan. Definitely don’t sleep with the T.V. on though. The light from the T.V. is seriously disruptive to a good night’s sleep.
7. You share a bed with someone
When we say someone it could be anyone from your dog, cat to your spouse. Snuggling feels good. It is understandable. But allowing a pet in the bed is a big problem if you are trying to fall asleep. Every time your pup or feline friend moves around, you do too. Not to mention the allergy factor that comes along with pet dander.
So are we saying you shouldn’t sleep with your spouse either? No, but it can cause problems. If you have a partner that kicks, snores, or tosses and turns, you may have trouble falling asleep. There was a study done on this and one found that when sharing a bed, couples experience 50 percent more sleep disturbances. This is just the perfect excuse to get a bigger bed!
Do you have sleep problems? How do you handle them? Do you take medication to help you sleep or do you try to stay all holistic and natural? Do you think it is okay to take narcotic sleeping pills in recovery? Tell us in the comments!