Having trouble sleeping at night can be an incredibly frustrating issue to have. All you want to do is let your head hit the pillow and doze off, but exactly the opposite happens. You go down to sleep and you're met with constant tossing and turning and a mind that is racing, unwilling to settle down.
The human body requires a good night sleep to properly function and to replenish your energy. Sleep is a vital component in memory consolidation as well as resetting many physiological conditions associated with your circadian rhythm.
Below are eight reasons as to why you may be having trouble sleeping at night, and a few recommendations to help you improve your zzz’s!
1. Inconsistent sleep schedule
Humans are creatures of habit and as such, our bodies inherently try to adapt to our lifestyle. One way in which our body attempts to adapt is by trying to learn when to anticipate sleep and wakeful hours in the day.
Having a highly variable sleep schedule throws our body’s anticipation off to a point where it may get confused.
An example we have all encountered is when we need to go to sleep earlier than we typically do so that we can wake up earlier. More often than not, you are just lying in bed staring at the back of your eyelids until your regular bedtime. This phenomenon is caused by your body's internal clock that regulates your sleep and waking hours in a 24 hour period. Laying down in this situation is simply not enough as your body believes it should still be awake.
To counteract this problem, you should make an effort to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday.
This can be a difficult task as weekends and days off are incredibly tempting to sleep in. Resisting this urge to sleep in initially may seem impossible, but it is worthwhile in that once it becomes a habit you will most likely be able to achieve a better and more restful night's sleep.
2. Lights in the room
Another common cause of your inability to sleep could be the presence of light in the room. Light naturally signals to the body that it is time to wake up.
If there are any sources of light in the bedroom, it could inadvertently cause you to have trouble sleeping or troubles going to sleep because your body thinks it should be awake.
Light can come from your phone, computer, street lamp, and more. Doing your best to minimize these lights in your room when you go to bed could potentially increase your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
A great way to eliminate outside light is to pick up blackout curtains. With these curtains you will be able to sleep better with less light entering your window. If the light is originating from something else in your room like a computer or other device, you can place a piece of tape over the light indicator.
The goal is to get your room as pitch dark as possible.
Doing so will help give you the best shot at getting you the perfect night sleep.
3. No bedtime routine
In addition to having a consistent wakeup and bedtime, it is important to begin creating a bedtime routine. The bedtime routine is meant to work by providing a task that your body associates with rest.
Just like how your body anticipates when to go to sleep through the circadian rhythm, it can also form associations with items and tasks we make habits.
One great bedtime routine includes dimming the lights 30 minutes prior to sleep, avoiding screens, and selecting a relaxing task to perform. By doing this you are essentially telling your brain that it is time to go to sleep by limiting the number of things it can focus on and the amount of light it is exposed to.
You can tailor your night time routine to fit your unique needs. You can choose to read, clean, play cards, or really choose anything that helps you relax. By establishing a night time routine you are much more likely to successfully enter sleep when you climb into bed.
4. Too much sugar before bed
Many adults feel that they have become immune to the sugar rushes and crashes they experienced when they were a child, but this is simply not true. Sugar is a very simple carbohydrate that combines fructose and glucose to form a disaccharide. This carbohydrate molecule is able to provide a short lived source of energy.
Spikes and lulls in blood sugar associated with sugar rushes and crashes can have detrimental effects on your sleep. In fact, this study showed that low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake is associated with light, less restorative sleep with more arousals.
An effective way to support your blood sugar balance is to utilize MitoQ’s Blood Sugar supplement. Pairing the advanced CoQ10 technology of MitoQ with Chromium Picolinate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, and Cinnamon, your body gets the support it needs to help sustain a healthy blood sugar level and keep blood sugar spikes at bay. Decreasing the number of sugar spikes you have in the day can have incredibly profound effects on your sleep.
5. Drinking coffee too late in the day
Caffeine is often the biggest suspect when it comes to having an inability to sleep through the night. Caffeine works by blocking receptors from allowing adenosine to attach. Naturally throughout the day adenosine builds up and slowly attaches to more and more receptors. When you drink caffeine, you inhibit this process from happening which provides a sense of alertness.
Many people often think that they can get away with having a coffee later in the day, but in reality these pick-me-up coffees still contain caffeine that can linger around through the evening. This means that afternoon coffee of any kind should be avoided to ensure a good night sleep.
A general rule to follow is to only drink coffee in the morning or before 4pm.
Caffeine has lasting effects on the body. In fact, even having caffeine six hours before bed can have profound impacts on your ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.
6. Harsh blue light from screens
Another possible reason for your inability to fall asleep is the use of screens late in the day or even while you are in bed. Screens provide a harsh light that can trick your mind into thinking it is daytime.
Reducing screen time late in the day and possibly implementing a no-electronics time frame into your bedtime routine could potentially help you sleep.
Another rule you can implement is a no-phone-in-the-bedroom rule. This can eliminate the temptation to mindlessly scroll on your phone late at night which can exacerbate your inability to sleep.
This component of sleep is often overlooked, but is a reason that many people face disrupted sleep patterns. When we fall asleep our body temperature naturally falls.
If an environment is too hot or too cold, it can lead to discomfort and therefore lead to disrupted sleep.
Possible remedies to this situation include adjusting the thermostat in your home, getting a standing fan for your room, or simply bundling up with more blankets.
Some people “run warm” at night while others “run cold.” Ultimately trial and error is your best friend in finding the optimal temperature for you to get optimal sleep and comfort.
If you have tried to fix all the above reasons and are still finding that you are having trouble sleeping at night, you may want to consider getting a new mattress. When you search for a new mattress, it is incredibly important to know what your preferences are. Do you prefer memory foam or pillow tops? Do you prefer foam mattresses or mattresses with coils? If you are unsure of your preferences, stop by a store to try out the different mattress types.
A mattress is a hefty investment and it is important that you get a mattress that will improve your ability to attain a good night's sleep.
Once you find the perfect mattress it can become much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when your body is able to fully relax and feel comfortable.
In summary, there could be many different reasons as to why you are having trouble sleeping. With so many variables, it can get disorienting trying to fix your sleeping quality.
Focusing on these eight reasons can give you a good starting point to diagnosing what is causing your inability to sleep through the night. Creating better sleep habits like implementing a strict schedule and creating a routine in addition to assessing the sleep environment are great ways to diagnose and cure your sleep troubles.