Here’s What To Do if You Can’t Sleep
Your bed should be a place where you can relax, rest and rejuvenate after a long day. But if you have trouble sleeping, it doesn’t feel that way.
Most likely, it’s frustrating. Night after night, you collapse on the bed, and all you want to do is sleep. Somehow, despite how tired you are, as soon as you turn off the light, your mind is fully alert. All-day you had to keep drinking coffee so you could form coherent sentences and not fall asleep with your head on your desk, but now when you finally have the chance to get some much-needed shut-eye, your brain simply won’t let you.
You take a peek at the time and see that it’s well past 2 AM. You already know that tomorrow you’re going to feel just as groggy and cranky as today. But what can you do?
Glad you asked. We’re here to give you a few helpful strategies. Not being able to sleep is not just frustrating. Sleep is very important for your health. It helps you maintain a strong immune system and has a massive impact on your mental health and cognitive function. But you probably already know this. What you really want to find out is what you need to do to finally sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed, so let’s get to it.
You Need To Get on a Sleep Schedule
Having a consistent sleep schedule is important because it helps you regulate your internal clock. How easily you fall asleep at night is in large part determined by your circadian rhythm, commonly referred to as the internal clock.
If you keep going to sleep and waking up at the same time, eventually, your body will get adjusted and start secreting sleep-inducing hormones in a pattern that fits your schedule. It will be hard at first because you have to go to bed early even on the weekend although you’re not sleepy and wake up early even though you don’t have to go to work and you could sleep in. But keep at it. It may take a few weeks, but it will be worth it.
Although terms like “morning person” and “night owl” may make you believe that you’re doomed to stay awake, counting imaginary sheep for the rest of your life, the truth is that your circadian rhythm is, to a certain extent, susceptible to external influences. Maybe you won’t wake up feeling cheerful and full of energy like some of your friends and co-workers, but you will be able to fall asleep at the right time and get your required hours of restful sleep.
Turn Your Bedroom into the Perfect Relaxation Sanctuary
What’s your bedroom like? Is it bright and noisy? Then it’s no surprise that you have trouble falling asleep. Even if you do manage, chances are you’ll still feel tired when you wake up. Both noise and light cause disturbances in your sleep cycles. You need a bedroom environment that supports good quality sleep.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to turn a less-than-ideal bedroom into the perfect relaxation sanctuary. First, let’s take care of the noise. You could replace your windows with double-pane, which are better at keeping out the noise. Alternatively, you can add soundproofing inserts and panels to the windows you already have. To keep out the light, you just need to get heavy curtains which will also help reduce the noise.
After you’ve taken care of the noise and brightness, it’s time to turn your attention to the bed. If you can’t sleep comfortably because the mattress is saggy or too firm, the pillows are lumpy, or the sheets make you overheat, you’ll keep tossing and turning and wake up feeling tired and cranky. If needed, make the investment and buy yourself a new mattress, pillows, and sheets.
How comfortable you feel in your pyjamas can also affect how well you sleep. For example, studies show that wearing tight, binding clothes at night reduces melatonin production, which can throw off your circadian rhythm. Even if you think looser pyjamas are less attractive, bear in mind that comfort should always come first. It’s also best to avoid decorations like buttons or snaps. With today’s overabundance of options, you’ll have no trouble finding pyjamas that are both stylish and comfortable.
When it comes to fabric, it’s all about what makes you feel good. Every fabric has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Silk is great for thermoregulation and looks really nice, but some people don’t like that slippery sensation.
Cotton is breathable, lightweight, and soft, but it’s not very effective at wicking away moisture. If you find that you tend to overheat and sweat during the night, it might mean that you need to change your sheets, but it might also be because of your pajamas. Try fabrics that are specifically made for this. Bamboo sleepwear is a popular choice, especially among shoppers who are concerned about the environment. During the colder seasons, you can switch to pajamas made of flannel or wool.
Caffeine and Alcohol Are Stealing Your Sleep
As you probably already know, caffeine is a stimulant. That’s why we rely on it to wake us up in the morning or give us a bit more energy when we’ve had a long and exhausting day. It produces these effects by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that induces sleep, so blocking it makes you feel more energized. At least temporarily. The effects kick in about 30 to 60 minutes after you’ve had a cup of coffee. However, caffeine has a half-life of three to five hours, which is why it’s wise to avoid it about 6 hours before you go to bed.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant. You probably noticed that you tend to get a little sleep after a couple of glasses of wine. Well, even though many people say that having a drink or two in the evening helps them fall asleep faster, alcohol tends to disrupt sleep cycles and exacerbate sleep disorders. It may help you fall asleep a little faster, but you won’t sleep well and wake up feeling drowsy and sluggish.