We all know sleep is important for a variety of reasons – it helps the body recharge, helps stave off disease and illness, and helps you get ready for another day. And nowadays, Americans are only averaging approximately 6.8 hours of sleep. But what if you are getting yourself to bed at a reasonable time and getting the doctor-recommended 8 hours but still waking up tired? The reality is, you might actually need more sleep than the average person, and that’s okay! But it could be that you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, which can make a world of difference in the way your body performs and feels each day.
Perhaps you have young ones waking you up during the course of the night, or your furry K-9 is hogging the bed? Maybe you have a lot on your mind due to work, school or home factors? Or perhaps your pre-bed nightly routine could use a revamp. If you’re spending too much time on a tech device, exercising too late in the day or imbibing on spirits prior to sleeping, these could also affect your rest. You could actually be sleeping at the wrong time for your body type as well. We’ll take a look at all the factors that could be disrupting you and try to identify areas for improvement.
Reasons For Being Tired:
Your Digital Devices
We’ve all come to rely on our tech gadgets so much and they certainly make life easier. But the blue light emitting from your phone or tablet has been known to suppress the production of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone your body needs for a good night of peaceful rest. When you’re up texting, emailing or spending too much time on social media, your body will pay the price all night long. And if this has become a regular habit for you, it may be a hard one to break, but it could also mean a huge improvement in your quality of functioning every day.
Caffeine and alcohol are two of the biggest culprits in your diet that could be affecting your sleep – but perhaps you’re eating too late or just consuming something that doesn’t agree with you. It might be time to reexamine your diet and make a few changes. It’ll be worth it in the long haul when you wake up feeling refreshed, rested and happier. Even just drinking too much water prior to bed could be a huge hindrance since you’ll need to awake from your slumber and use the facility.
Your Exercise Schedule
If the only time you can exercise is at night, we applaud you for getting it done – but, this could be the reason you can’t get the shut eye you need. Your body needs to be at rest for it to sleep so maybe you are doing the wrong type of exercise late in the day. If you’re unable to move your schedule around, consider doing something less intense such as yoga at night for a better chance at quality rest.
Your Bed Partner
Tossing, turning, snoring, kicking – if you’ve experienced any of these things from a human or a pet, you know the frustration of trying to get a good night of sleep. It may be time to get your significant other a new pillow, a sleep apnea machine or it might be time to tell Fido he needs to sleep in his own bed. Despite how much you care for your bed partner, you need to prioritize your sleep so you can be your best version of you in the morning.
Your Bedroom Environment
Look around the room – do you notice anything that could perturb one of your five senses? A bright alarm clock, perhaps you forgot to put your phone on silent? Is the moon creeping through the blinds just enough to be a distraction? When you can evaluate your sleeping environment you may notice small things that are making a big impact. A few simple switches could mean a few extra hours of deep, blissful sleep.
It’s quite possible and not that uncommon that you may have a sleep disorder. Narcolepsy, insomnia and restless leg disorder can all affect your circadian rhythm so it may be time to chat with your doctor or see a sleep specialist. You may have been battling a sleep disorder your entire life and just never realized it. Thankfully, there are a variety of techniques and solutions to aid you, should this be the issue.
Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
Whether it’s a lifestyle component or not, there are a variety of ways that anyone can help improve the quality of their sleep with a little concentrated effort.
1. Eat Healthy
We all know that nutrition is an important factor in daily life, but it’s also important for excellent sleep. Certain foods are known to upset the digestive system which can keep you up. And those tried and true fruits and vegetables can help improve your body’s functionality so it goes to sleep and stays asleep.
2. Get Adequate Exercise
It’s important to give yourself an opportunity to burn off some energy earlier in the day so you won’t feel restless at night. When you allow your body to release endorphins during the day, you will add to your mental clarity and your body will be fatigued and ready for a good night of rest.
3. Optimize Your Bedroom
It may seem simple, but if your bedroom isn’t conducive to helping you relax and unwind, it might just be the easiest fix of your sleeping woes. It could be that your bedroom needs decluttering, a new color scheme, or just a switch of your bed’s position. Cool, dark and quiet is usually a recipe for success, so if you need to make some adjustments, your body will thank you.
If you find that even making adjustments to your bedtime routine isn’t quite cutting it, there might be a chance you have a medical condition prohibiting you from getting the rest you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor and express your concerns.