What's Keeping Your Up at Night?

Do you dread going to bed each night because you know you’ll spend much of your time there wide awake, desperately trying to get to sleep, but being unable to do so? You’re not alone. Between 50 and 70 million in the United States alone suffer from sleep disorders and many more individuals have trouble getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, even though they have not been diagnosed with any specific issue.

Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep is really bad for your health. It can cause problems like stress and depression, weight gain, road accidents when individuals fall asleep at the wheel, high blood pressure and a whole host of other problems besides! If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, what you really need to do is determine what’s keeping you up at night so that you can deal with the problem. To help you with that, here are some of the most common causes of sleepless nights:
What's Keeping Your Up at Night?
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Thinking Too Much

One of the prime causes of sleeplessness is some people’s tendency to stay up all night thinking about all the problems they have in their life and the issues they’ll need to deal with the next morning. All this does is hamper your brain’s ability to ‘shut down’ for the night, causing you to lay awake increasing your stress levels, and quite often making any problems you do have worse.

A good way of dealing with this issue is to write down a list of all of your worries and any issues you need to attend to the next morning before you go to bed. This is often all it takes to stop your mind turning things over and over as you lay in bed because it knows that the issue has not been forgotten and can be picked up again in waking hours.

Sleep Apnea

Approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea - a condition in which breathing is repeatedly obstructed throughout the night, leading to poor sleep quality and sleepless nights. It often doesn’t help that the CPAP machines sufferers are prescribed to wear in order to sort the problem out can be quite noisy, leading to a lack of sleep for sufferers and their spouses. Luckily, there are now CPAP alternatives which are just as effective and a lot less disruptive. If you snore a lot and you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea. You really need to visit your physician as soon as possible if you want to start sleeping well again.

Your Sleep Schedule is Out of Whack

If you’re the kind of person who stays up all night and gets up late in the day, chances are that your internal clock will be out of whack, and this could make it a lot more difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep and walk up feeling refreshed each morning.

In order to remedy this situation, what you really need to do is choose a sensible bedtime and wake up time and stick to it as rigidly as you can manage, This will reset your body clock for better quality sleep. On the odd occasion when you do feel like sleeping in, try not to do so for more than an hour past your usual wake up time to avoid throwing things out of whack again.

Hormonal Changes

If you’re a woman, you might find that, at certain times of the month, or if you’re in the perimenopause stage of life, it’s more difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. That’s because changes in your progesterone or estrogen levels can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

It can be difficult to fix hormone-related sleep issues, but a lot of women find that taking a hot bath an hour or two before hitting the sack can help to calm period-related sleeplessness while sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine after midday can help with perimenopausal sleep problems.

You’re Hungry

If you’ve ever been on a strict diet, you've probably noticed that it’s a lot harder to nod off when you go to bed at night. That’s because, if you don’t eat enough and you go to bed feeling hungry, hunger pangs will start to affect you. Luckily, it’s easy to counter this by simply eating a high-protein snack like cheese or eggs before heading off to the bedroom.

Your Room is Messy
What's Keeping Your Up at Night?
Image via Jessie Essex

If there are piles of dirty clothes on the floor, your night stand is piled high with papers, and you have a lot of clutter filling up every inch of your bedroom, it’s no wonder that you can’t sleep! Cluttered environments can cause you a lot of stress, even if you don’t realize it, and make it difficult for you to relax at night. So, now might be a good time to channel your inner minimalist and start clearing out the clutter and making your bedroom a haven of clean, calm tranquility.

You Have an Ambient Light Problem

Many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep when their bedroom isn’t completely dark. Things like the glow of streetlights, digital alarm clocks and the power light in TVs and consoles can all cause the bedroom to glow and prevent you from getting the rest you need.

To counter this, all it takes is a good set of blackout blinds and taking the time to turn off all your appliances before bed. If you can’t turn off your alarm clock, cover the face with a towel or sheet, or upgrade to one that doesn’t glow.

You’re Sensitive to Noise

Many people are so sensitive to noise that the sound of a pin dropping could literally wake them up and stop them getting back to sleep if you’re one of these people. Investing in some earplugs is probably a very good idea!

If you’ve eliminated all of these possibilities, it could be that you’re straight out suffering from insomnia and you will need to see a medical professional who can help you to overcome the condition and finally get a good night’s sleep!

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