How did you sleep last night? If you slept well, congrats, that's great news! But if you find that your nights are long and full of tossing and turning, there could be more than one contributing factor. What are some reasons that you might not be sleeping very well?
1. You Are Carrying Some Extra Weight
Did you know that being overweight can contribute to your quality of sleep? Studies show that people who are obese or overweight are more likely to be at risk for sleeping disorders such as:
- Daytime fatigue: Being sleepy during the day, having the yawns and feeling like you need a nap.
- Sleep apnea: Your airways become blocked during sleep, which impairs your breathing and does not give you a restful night's sleep.
- Insomnia or interrupted sleep: Either you can't fall asleep or you don't stay asleep for very long. This can be especially frustrating if you have to wake up early the next day.
Regular diet and exercise are the best ways to get your weight under control, but certain supplements might also help. Pre and probiotics such as Lipase can help to ease your digestion and help your stomach to rebalance itself.
2. Your Mattress Is Starting To Wear Out
Mattresses are not supposed to last a lifetime, so if yours is starting to show signs of age then you're probably not sleeping very well on it. Some of the most obvious signs that a mattress is wearing out include:
- It is starting to sag in the middle or it is lumpy and uneven.
- Springs are beginning to stick out at odd angles.
- It is more than ten to fifteen years old.
The rule of thumb used to be that you replace a mattress like clockwork every ten years, but since today's mattresses are made with different materials than springs alone this is not necessarily the case anymore. Replace your mattress when you start to notice that it's not comfortable anymore and is beginning to hinder your quality of sleep.
3. Allergies Are Kicking In
You might be having trouble breathing at night and not even realize it. If you wake up with itchy eyes or a sore throat and sniffles, you may be suffering from an allergy to something. It could be something seasonal outside like pollen or grass clippings or something like mold or dust mites. Whatever the case, it's important that you keep your bed clean and get rid of any potential allergens that could be hurting your sleep.
- Strip your bed down to the mattress cover and give everything a good wash in your washing machine. Use the hottest water that your linens can take, bleaching the whites to ensure that all dust mites are dead.
- Your mattress cover is likely machine-washable too, so check the label before tossing it in the washing machine. If it's dry clean only, drop it off at your local dry cleaners to get it serviced.
- Freshen up your mattress while it's bare. Sift baking soda over it in an even layer, letting it sit anywhere from an hour on up. Vacuum it up to eliminate any odors and absorb any excess moisture. If you want to, use a few drops of your favorite essential oil to help it smell nice.
If you don't have a history of allergies and this is something new, check with your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Your doc will know more about what could be happening and will have a plan of action to treat them.
4. You Are Stressed Out
Everyone gets anxious from time to time, it's a part of life. Sometimes, though, our anxieties get so big that it starts to affect the way that we live — including our sleep patterns. Although there's no foolproof way to handle stress, some of the most popular and healthy ways include:
- A yoga routine before bedtime. Yoga has been around for thousands of years and is a mixture of meditation, stretching and a cardio workout. Yoga has been proven to calm an anxious mind and to release endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) in the body, helping you to calm down and get a good night's rest.
- Adult coloring pages. Like reading, coloring is a quiet and calming task that focuses your mind elsewhere and lets you release your worries in a creative outlet. There are coloring pages for everyone; they range from designs of nature and mandala patterns to pop culture icons and musicians.
- If you live in a legal state, try using some recreational cannabis to help you sleep. Marijuana has a bad rep, but all in all it's a safe, non-habit-forming herb that can be smoked, steeped in tea or consumed in an edible form.
If you find that you're chronically anxious and are unable to deal with it healthily, please make an appointment with your physician. It could be that you need a little extra help to get yourself feeling better than just a few calm-down techniques.
5. Bad Sleep Habits Are Catching Up To You
Not everyone is an early bird; some people are night owls. Although there's nothing wrong with enjoying staying up late, understand that the human body has its own internal clock. That clock learns your schedule, your normal bedtime and wake-up patterns not excluded. If you have gotten into the habit of staying up late and sleeping in late, your body is going to see this as normal behavior and adjust accordingly.
To reset your internal clock, try following one or all of these tips:
- The first few nights that you're trying to go to bed earlier, darken your windows as much as you can. The darker the room the easier it is to fall asleep, so see about getting some blackout curtains to make sure no light filters through.
- Don't take naps. This sounds like torture and oh boy, it can feel like it. But be patient. You are tired now, but if you power through it now then you have plenty of time to sleep later on.
- Be strict with yourself and don't give in to the temptation of staying up late or sleeping in. Yes, it's difficult to wake up and readjust your body, but it's worth it in the end.
Power through it, friend! It's not going to take one night, but once you are back on track with a regular sleep schedule you will feel so much better.
It is frustrating to get a poor night's sleep and feel exhausted and uncomfortable the next day. Pinpointing the reason or reasons why you are not sleeping well can be the first step in helping you to catch some much needed and much deserved Z's.
If another sleep disorder is the underlying cause of your poor quality sleep troubles, a sleep study may be necessary to diagnose and treat the sleep disorder.
If you live in the state of Alaska and believe that a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or narcolepsy made be causing you to experience insomnia, schedule a call for a free consultation with Alaska Sleep Clinic @ 907-770-9104.