Not sleeping well. What can you do?
Late at night if you search #insomnia on twitter you will see thousands of people unable to sleep. Some with acute insomnia and other that have been battling it for a very long time.
It is a hot topic all over the world! We need our sleep for our physical and mental well-being. Lack of sleep makes me irritable and I loose my patience. How are you affected?
Why do we have so much trouble sleeping?
Some of these factors that make quality sleep harder to obtain are:
- Irregular sleep schedule
- Sleeping too much during the day
- A job that means working at night time (or irregular shifts)
- Using electronic devices in bed
- Too much noise or light in our bedrooms
- Recent personal trauma
- Excessive stress
- Travel between time zones
Some medical conditions can also cause insomnia too such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, thyroid disease, restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
What can we do?
The most important thing for us to do is try and get to bed and wake up at the same time. This will help your body know what when its daytime. Weekends are great for sleep ins but this can have adverse effect on the rest of your week. Try not to vary your wake times by more than an hour. If you’ve had a late night, an afternoon nap on the weekend can help catch up on sleep without throwing out your sleep pattern.
It’s important to remember everybody sleep schedules are different. Don’t compare what works for you in your day to day living to others.
Other steps to help you keep regular sleep patterns:
- Naps can be useful but don’t have long naps during the day. If we over sleep during the day it will be more difficult to sleep at night. But, short naps, of up to 20 minutes, can help get through the rest of the day.
- Make sure you your sleep environment is conducive to sleep. Temperature should be set between 16-22 degrees. Light and noise should be kept to a minimum.
- Manage exposure to evening light. Devices that are back lit like computers and tablets can keep the brain alert and make it harder to switch off at night. Blue-light blocking glasses can be used in the evening to reduce the impact of light on sleep.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine / nicotine and things that can effect sleep such as alcohol.
- Don’t eat too close to your bedtime. Having a large meal close to going to bed can interfere with sleep.
If you have addressed all of the above and you still can not get a good night’s sleep that is when you should be consulting a medical physician.
Need more information about how you can sleep better?
At Sleephub we understand the struggle people endure with sleeping problems which is why we have created a comprehensive FAQs page with information for those seeking information about sleep disorders and potential solutions.