All of us have trouble sleeping from time to time, however, some of us feel like we are truly lacking a good night's sleep. There are several things that can affect our quality of sleep. Do any of these fit your sleep troubles?
Blue Lights, Books & Bedroom Based - Using electronics in the evening can suppress melatonin (the chemical that induces sleep) in your body for up to three hours before you go to bed. So, if that's the case, maybe the closer you get to bed, the less blue light you see. Also, if you read books or do puzzles in your bed, you brain starts to think bedtime is activity time and it can hinder your sleep. On top of all of that, if you go to bed and lay there wide awake, it can trick your mind into thinking that the bed ISN'T for sleeping! It's best to keep all waking hobbies out of the bedroom and before bed to help you to not only produce melatonin but also to tell your brain that the bedroom and bed are for sleeping and if it still isn't working, don't lay in the bed wide awake. Get up and read in another room.
Food & Drink - Certain foods and beverages can cause sleep issues. Caffeine in the afternoon, may keep you up at night and a glass of wine before bed might calm you down and help you fall asleep, but, not only does it decrease sleep quality, it actually can make the last half of the night more difficult to sleep. Having large sugary snacks can give you a boost of energy right before bed as well as some carbs. Spicy foods can upset your stomach which can make it hard to sleep as well. If you are having trouble sleeping, take note of what you eat throughout the day as well as in the afternoon and evening hours. Maybe something you are consuming is causing more issues than you thought.
Stress & Anxiety - You may be able to fall asleep just fine, after a stressful day, but you might find you wake up with your mind spinning with all sorts of worries or concerns. Do some research on what activities can help with anxiety and stress and do some of those activities during the day so you can learn to calm yourself down. Doing the activities in the middle of the night may not help if you haven't practiced during the day. In extreme cases, some therapy about how to work through anxiety might help too.
Naps & No Schedules - We all like a good vacation to slow things down and get some rest. Then why do we sometimes have trouble sleeping when we are on vacation?! Well, it could be that you have had a nap during the day you normally wouldn't have or it could be your schedule is all out of whack because you have been busy with activities at all hours! You may notice this in your kids before you would notice it in yourself, but there is something about keeping the same routine as much as you can the helps us to not only feel less stress, but, to help us get our rest as well. So when you are away living it up, try to do so at the same hours you would at home and go to bed and get up when you normally would--or close to it. (If your body will let you, a little extra rest for those of you who never get enough is in order too...so enjoy that hammock!)
Meds & Medical Reasons - Sometimes our insomnia can be a side effect of a medication we are on or maybe we have an un-diagnosed illness. If you usually don't have issues with your sleep, and you aren't doing anything out of the ordinary, and if you haven't changed any medications, check with your doctor to be sure something isn't up. Sometimes, we can figure it out for ourselves, but other times it's just better to be safe than sorry when it comes to insomnia. So pay attention to your body and take the steps you need to get the sleep you need to get.