Late nights are no fun when they’re unintentional. Whether you toss and turn in bed, waking yourself up, or can’t even get to sleep in the first place, the results are frequently the same: not enough sleep. As a result, you’re cranky, irritable, and your focus starts to fade part way through the day. With a little mindfulness and the right help, however, you can get to sleep faster, rest better, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Tired Of Being Tired?
If sleepless nights are an all-too-common problem, you aren’t alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 1-in-3 people lack the adequate sleep they should be getting, and it shows. Sleepless nights can have a tremendous impact on your health and productivity. If it becomes a chronic problem, your work suffers, your personal life can take a beating, and you could experience physical symptoms that could even prove fatal.
“Sleepless nights can have a tremendous
impact on your health and productivity.
Carefully consider what’s keeping you up at night,
and slowly make changes that fit into your lifestyle
to help you sleep faster and better.”
So, Why Can’t You Sleep?
Everyone has their own reasons for sleep eluding them.
A 24-hour society needs 24-hour workers, and that leads to difficulty sleeping for many people. Whether you’re a white-collar worker sneaking in a few extra hours (Hint: It’s not worth it) or a shift worker that has a different schedule than a “standard” 9-5, being on a different cycle than everyone else makes things rough.
There’s always something, and it can pop up in your mind when you finally lay down to unwind for the day. Promotions, bills, and a child forgetting to tell you “their” snack day is the next day all can weigh heavily on an already tired brain.
If that salty junk food has you headed to the bathroom all night long as your body tries desperately to catch up, then you aren’t getting good ZZZs. More than that, food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise, and while some people may feel that your aversion to gluten, dairy, or MSG isn’t “real”, it’s real enough when it keeps you up all night.
Buzz-Buzz! If the notifications never stop, you’ll never get any shut-eye. In our always-connected society, work, family, and digital pastimes are always at our side–day or night.
Your brain is ready, your body just isn’t willing, so instead of sleeping you’re kicking, rolling, punching, and shifting all night long. More frustrating, sometimes there’s a second victim is the restless person’s partner, who is left just as unrested without any recourse of their own.
Finding Your Dreamland
While there’s no one answer to curing sleeplessness, there is much more than a single solution available. Finding what’s best for you is sometimes hit-or-miss, but proper research and honesty about your own particular symptoms and needs can go a long way toward finding the right solution.
Set A Schedule
If you find you’re missing sleep due to self-imposed deadlines or outside activities, setting a schedule can help you get your body in a better rhythm. Adhere to it with as much or more authority you’d give a work schedule. Set the rule, honor the rule, and you may be on your way to more regular sleep.
Take It Down A Notch
Stress can cause a variety of health problems including high blood pressure, headaches, and sleeplessness, to name a few. If your current night-time routine isn’t letting you relax when it’s time for bed, it’s time to try something new. Meditation is simple, free, and has proven health benefits. If you need a little help, users of cannabidiol (CBD), a substance derived from legal industrial hemp, report it’s helped them find a more relaxed state of mind and calmer demeanor, both of which could make getting to sleep easier.
Better In, Better Out
Don’t discount the role that nutrition plays in your sleeplessness. A clean and balanced diet can help you feel fuller and live healthier, avoiding tummy grumbles and other midnight maladies. Be mindful of your food choices, and limit your intake of allergens like MSG, dairy, and gluten. Even if you aren’t allergic, you may have a sensitivity that causes a physical response that makes sleep harder, like indigestion, a sour stomach, or headaches.
Also, be careful about your caffeine intake. Instead of coffee, try tea. While it contains caffeine, it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that may help limit the jitters and inability to fall asleep that mark heavy consumption. Some teas can actually aid rest and relaxation, making them the perfect nightcap to help you drift off.
While our connected devices are fantastic, remember that you are in charge–not them. Set your device to do not disturb (some devices refer to this as “Power Off” and set it down. In addition, avoid social media, websites, and videos that may get you worked up right before bed. There is a time to fix the world’s problems, but it will be much easier to accomplish after a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone in your own body that is also available as a supplement, has helped plenty of people find a more regular sleeping pattern. It’s been trusted for years as an aid to synchronizing or resetting your circadian rhythm by shift workers and people who sometimes just need a little extra help. Some melatonin products are even available blended with CBD for a one-two punch that can help knock you out.
Weighted blankets are fast becoming a popular addition to many people’s linen closets. The gentle pressure is purported to help with anxiety by providing a more secure and “cradled” feeling. The weight also provides light stimulus to your skin’s nerves, which may be enough to get those restless arms and legs to settle down.
Find The Right Answer For You
In the end, only you can decide which is the right path to a better rest for you. For most people, sleeplessness is not a natural state. Carefully consider what’s keeping you up at night, and slowly make changes that fit into your lifestyle. Good luck and sweet dreams.
About the Author:
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry, collaborating with industry insiders and designers, getting insight on the latest trends.
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