Are you struggling with your sleeping patterns? Or are you finding that you wake up feeling tired? There are several reasons this could be happening. Lack of sleep can affect all areas of our lives, such as work or relationships. From lifestyle factors to sleep conditions, it’s essential to find the answers for both your physical and mental health. Please keep reading to find out more about potential reasons for struggling to sleep, as well as what you can do to combat it.
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What Factors Can Affect Sleep?
Firstly, let’s look at some of the factors that can play into a difficult night of sleep. The most obvious answer is a sleep disorder such as severe, long-term insomnia or sleep-related issues such as sleep apnoea. In which case, you can seek medical advice and potentially medication to help you overcome the lack of sleep.
However, other mental health-related conditions aren’t directly linked to sleep but can significantly affect it. For example, anxiety and depression can significantly impact sleep, whether that’s through lack of sleep or from sleeping too much and feeling exhausted all the time. Seeking treatments for depression and anxiety can lead to improvements in sleep due to treating the overriding issue. Sometimes, lack of sleep can be due to other lifestyle factors that are easier to resolve, and we will cover some of these later in the post.
How To Calm Anxiety At Night
Most people will go through a period of their life where they struggle to sleep due to experiencing stress or worry in the short term. Sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting for this phase to pass, and eventually, your sleep will naturally recover. But sometimes, this can be a longer-term problem and impact other areas of your life.
There are several options if you’re wondering how to calm anxiety at night—for example, seeking therapy, medication from your doctor, taking a break from work, and breathwork exercises. It will depend on the severity of your anxiety regarding what you will need to do to help improve your sleep, and it’s always worth discussing your mental health with a medical or psychological professional if you’re struggling to cope.
How Your Lifestyle Can Affect Your Sleep
There could also be simple changes in your lifestyle you can change to help improve sleeping habits too. For example, many people suffering from lack of sleep will often turn to coffee to help them wake up during the day. However, caffeine can be detrimental to sleep and make the problem worse. If you’re going to drink caffeine products, try to limit them to the morning and don’t consume caffeine in the hours before you go to bed.
Try swapping out your usual drinks for caffeine-free options, so you can still enjoy your favorite drinks without the effect on your sleep. If you have a job that involves sitting at a computer all day, this lack of physical activity and exposure to blue light can lead to an inability to get to sleep when the time comes.
Exercise And Sleep
Getting regular exercise or making time for exercise after work is a great way to prepare your body for sleep at night. If your body isn’t getting enough physical activity, it is less likely to register that it needs rest. Sleep is an important time for your body to recover from the day and repair itself after a workout. So, increasing your activity levels can help induce sleep and lead to a deeper, better-quality sleep routine. Exercise doesn’t need to be intense, just going for a brisk walk in the evenings can be helpful.
Why Changing Your Diet Can Help Sleep
Eating a heavy diet close to going to bed can cause abdominal difficulties that keep you awake at night. If you have food intolerances, your stomach could also be struggling with digestion, which can keep you awake. It’s worth taking a look at your diet and investigating whether there could be changes you could make that could help with issues such as indigestion, stomach cramps, heartburn, and other issues that could keep you awake at night. Foods such as nuts, fatty fish, lettuce, and kiwi have been found to help induce sleep and lead to a more restful night.
Technology And Sleep
How we consume technology could also have a big part to play in the lack of sleep we are experiencing. Blue light-emitting devices have been found to have a detrimental effect on sleeping habits. It has been advised that those struggling with sleep should avoid using these devices for around an hour before trying to sleep. Not only does the blue light emission have a role to play but so too how these devices engage our attention.
When there is an endless stream of information available at our fingertips, it’s hard to switch our brains off for the night and get into the mind space of sleep. If you feel this could be affecting your sleeping habits, try charging your phone in another room and avoid scrolling for an hour before bed. Also, avoid working in your sleeping area on your laptop or answering work-related calls or emails. This can lead to your brain finding it hard to associate your bedroom with relaxation and sleep.
Products To Try That Help Sleep
There are several products available on the market that can help you get the hours of sleep you need. However, it is always best to seek advice from your doctor before taking any product. Most people will initially think of sleeping pills when considering options to help them drift off quicker, and they can very often be helpful when used in the short term.
However, the effectiveness of sleeping pills can wear off over time. There are also natural options such as camomile tea, lavender oils, pillow sprays, and supplements that aid with sleep. You could also consider investing in sleep-inducing sound devices, as well as apps on your phone specially designed to help calm your brain and prepare for sleep.