Insomnia: Why You Can’t Sleep at Night

You may remember a time when you could simply drift right off to sleep in an instant. You may also remember when you could stay in bed way past lunchtime, and when you didn’t have to worry about not getting enough sleep at night. Now however, for some reason, things have changed. You may find that your sleep is lighter, and more fitful, too. If you are sick and tired of not being able to sleep at night, read on to discover what might be causing it. 

Sleep Apnea

The conventional image that you may think about when you imagine sleep apnea is someone who is male, overweight, and who snores. This is not true at all. In fact, anyone of any size can easily develop sleep apnea. When you experience this, you will experience repeated pauses when you breathe. This can be because you have a narrow jaw, or simply because you have a change in your muscle tone. Either one of these factors can block oxygen from being able to get to your lungs and the rest of your body. Snoring is often the main symptom that you have if you suffer from a condition such as this, but you may also notice that you are incredibly tired during the day. The solution would be for you to see a specialist. They may be able to recommend something that is able to relieve your apnea. If you are having an issue with your sinuses as well, then it might be a good idea to try remedies that help you  breathe easier by supporting sinus health.

Diet

What you eat will almost certainly affect your sleep. If you eat a lot of spicy foods, then this can contribute to heartburn far more than you realize. Bigger meals can leave you feeling somewhat uncomfortable and full. Over time, it can contribute to obesity, and this is a well-known factor when it comes to sleep apnea. If you have too much caffeine, then this can keep you wide awake long after you finish your morning coffee. It takes around six hours for your body to wipe 50% of the caffeine from your body. At the end of the day, if you have enough caffeine, then you may find that you are still awake into the early morning hours. The solution here would be for you to try and stop eating at least a few hours before bedtime. Try to keep your meals light if possible. Avoid fatty or spicy foods and also avoid alcohol or caffeine.

Lack of Adequate Exercise

Exercise and sleep really do complement one another. If you work out on a regular basis, then this will help you to sleep better, and it may be that you are more likely to exercise the next day. This can cause a real domino effect, and you would be surprised at how much it can benefit you overall. The solution here would be for you to try and work out every day if you can. Ideally, it’s best to exercise in the morning. If you can do a high-energy workout in the morning, then this will boost your energy. If you feel like exercising at night, then you need to be mindful that it can keep you awake. Sure, you may feel tired after your workout, but all of those feel-good hormones will still be there.

Pain

Arthritis aches, or any other types of pain for that matter, can regularly prevent you from getting restful slumber. Lack of sleep can easily increase the amount of pain that you are in, and this can cause you major issues in the future. Poor sleep can also make you much more sensitive to pain. The solution here would be for you to try any pain remedies that your doctor may recommend. You can also use a heating pad, or you can take a nice, warm bath right before bed to soothe any aches or pains you might be having. Lying against a body pillow can easily give you a much more comfortable position, too.

Restless Legs

Did you know that women are nearly twice as likely to develop restless legs compared to men? RLS is a condition that gives you a crawling feeling, or it can give you uncontrollable movements in your legs at night. It is often linked to hormonal changes during life or even during pregnancy. Restless legs can continue as you age and it’s not just uncomfortable, it can also put you at much higher risk for things such as heart disease. To combat this, try and exercise every single day, or take a hot bath before you go to bed. Massaging your legs or cutting back on anything that might make you feel jittery can also help. If this doesn’t help, then there are medications out there that your doctor might prescribe to stop your legs from becoming a problem.

Depression

Depression is a major compromiser when it comes to your sleep. People who are depressed are likely to sleep more than usual, but their sleep is usually not very restful. Some antidepressants, including SSRIs, can also interfere with sleep, and make it very difficult to rest at night. If you’re struggling with depression, visit your primary care doctor or a mental health professional. 

Stress

It’s very difficult for you to sleep well when you have things weighing on your mind. Finding some degree of calm before you go to bed is not easy, to say the least. This is especially the case when you are unable to unplug from all of the demands that you face. To remedy this, try to establish some wind-down time. You need to do a quiet and relaxing activity that doesn’t involve a screen at all. This could involve talking to a friend or even a family member. You could also try reading a few chapters of a book before bed for a bit of escapism before drifting off to sleep.

Bad Sleeping Habits

Sometimes insomnia actually stems from behaviors that are long-ingrained. This could involve staying up too late or simply taking part in stimulating activities before you are due to go to bed. Instead, try to follow a basic sleep routine. You need to make sure that you go to bed and that you wake up at the same time every day. Read or do another quiet activity for 20 minutes, or more if you are unable to wind down. It’s helpful to try and start some sleeping strategies first before you go ahead with trying to change your routine, or you may find that it results in failure. If nothing works, then remember that there is absolutely no harm in talking with an expert. When you do, you can then count on them to work with you to make sure that you are getting the help and support you need to make the most out of your treatment or your lifestyle in general.

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