We all have those nights where no matter what we do we can’t seem to drift off, and when we finally close our eyes, we enter a restless sleep and spend the night tossing and turning. Although it’s fairly common to have the odd night where you can’t sleep properly every so often when you become unable to sleep every night that’s when it becomes a real problem.
You can’t function properly when you’ve only had a couple of hours sleep, which is why getting enough sleep is so important, especially when you’ve got little ones to take care of. You can’t get your little ones safely off to school, yourself to work on time, and function properly throughout the day if you aren’t getting the rest that you need.
The good news is that when it comes to not being able to sleep properly at night, there’s normally a cause behind the fact you’re not able to sleep properly, so it’s just a case of determining what that is and finding a way to alleviate the problem. With that in mind, below are some of the most common causes of insomnia and how to fix them so that you can get a better night’s sleep.
Your room is not the right temperature
If your bedroom is too hot or too cold, you will struggle to drift off at night. When you do drift off, you will probably find that you only sleep lightly, meaning that the smallest of noises can wake you up. The first step to dealing with insomnia caused by the room being too hot or too cold is to work out which it is. Is your bedroom too hot or is it too cold? If the room isn’t warm enough, perhaps you could consider putting the heating on a timer to come on intermittently throughout the night. If the room gets too hot, perhaps you could leave a window open slightly so that you can get some fresh air into the space. You will find that once you’ve managed to get the temperature of your bedroom right, you should be able to get a good night’s sleep more easily. The more comfortable your bedroom is in terms of the temperature, the better.
Too much screen time
Studies have shown that people who spend too much time on their smartphones or watching TV before bed ends up struggling to get to sleep at night. The reason for this is simple; it’s because the lighting of smartphone and TV screens causes the brain to be more active which makes it harder for you to relax and drift off. So sleep specialists recommend not having any screen time within an hour of wanting to go to bed, else it can hinder your ability to fall asleep and get a good night’s sleep. Instead of watching TV before bed or scrolling through your social media feeds, consider reading a book, listening to calming music, or doing a puzzle of some sort, such as a crossword or wordsearch. Honestly, if you steer clear of electronic screens before going to bed, your chances of getting a good night’s sleep increase significantly.
Your bed isn’t as comfortable as it could be
Another common cause of not being able to get a good night’s sleep is your bed not being as comfortable as it could be. Whether your mattress is the problem, your duvet is too warm, or your pillows just aren’t the right softness, getting a good night’s sleep can be almost impossible. That’s why it’s important to determine what’s causing the lack of comfort when you’re in bed so that you can fix the problem and get a good night’s sleep. Say the problem is your bedding and you’re wondering what to do when your down comforter is too warm or too lumpy, then your best bet is to replace it. Whatever the issue, if it’s caused by a piece of bedding being too warm, itchy or lumpy, replace it, and the chances are you will start getting the good night’s sleep that you need. If you’re itching a lot at night, it could be that you’re allergic to a certain type of bedding, such as goose down, for instance, so it could be worth looking at hypoallergenic bedding.
You’re not relaxing before bed
You know how kids have a bedtime routine? Well, you should have one too, if you want to get a good night’s sleep, that is. Before going to bed, have a bedtime routine that allows you to relax and unwind, ready to fall asleep. Perhaps it could start with a warm lavender or rose bubble bath (both scents are incredibly relaxing), followed by a milky drink, and half an hour of reading your book. If after half an hour of reading your book you don’t feel sleepy enough, don’t force yourself to lay down and close your eyes, read for a little longer until you start to feel sleepy. You will be amazed at how beneficial having a bedtime routine can be and how much better you sleep because of it.
You’re exercising too close to going to bed
It’s all well and good wanting to stay healthy, but if you are exercising too close to when you’re going to bed, it’s going to impact your ability to fall asleep. Believe it or not, despite using a lot of energy when doing a high-paced activity, it actually leaves you more awake than ever because of the endorphins pumping around your body. So it’s important not to exercise in the lead up to when you’re going to bed, else you will struggle to fall asleep. While fast-paced exercise is a bad idea, studies have shown that meditation-based exercise like yoga can actually help you to fall asleep by relaxing you, so it’s fine to do this before bed.
When you’re counting sheep but just can’t drift off, it can be a real nightmare, especially when you’ve got a family and hectic lifestyle to keep up with. Hopefully, the tips and advice above will help you to ensure that you’re getting all the sleep that you need.