LIFE

The Reason You Can’t Sleep At Night May Be Simpler Than You Think

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

Tossing and turning at night is one of the absolute worst experiences.

Whether I’ve got a big day tomorrow or not, I always try to get a good night’s sleep.

But sometimes, I just can’t seem to pass out. And I know I’m not alone here. In fact, according to NPR, about 60 million people suffer from insomnia every year. So when I saw these common mistakes, like the sleep positions that cause pain, and saw that they were actually preventing me from falling asleep, I knew I’d have to fix them right away.

I’ve heard about tricks for falling asleep like taking melatonin, but I didn’t realize that so much of my pre-bedtime behavior was keeping me from sleeping.

Dr. Thomas Rosh of the Sleep Disorders Center in Detroit writes, “People often don’t have any idea what’s disturbing their sleep. They assume it’s one thing, but it’s actually something else entirely.”

Scroll through below to see exactly what might be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep and what you can do about it. After I read these, I knew it was time to make some changes ASAP!

Do you do any of these before bedtime? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE if you love finding new ways to help you sleep better!

Using Your Phone

Using Your Phone

The Problem?
Your phone can be the double whammy of sleep prevention. On the one hand, the e-mail checking and internet surfing will stimulate the brain and keep you from sleep. But even more than that, the LCD light that is produced by the phone can affect your internal melatonin levels, which you need to keep balanced to get a good night’s sleep.

The Solution?
After you get home from work, try powering down to give your brain (and your melatonin levels) a rest!

Eating A Big Dinner

Eating A Big Dinner

The Problem?
Eating a very large dinner can be getting in the way of sleeping properly. If you are the type of person that skips breakfast and eats a giant dinner, your body will need to stay awake longer to spend extra time digesting fatty foods.

The Solution?
Rather than letting your sleep suffer, try eating a larger breakfast and a smaller dinner. The bigger breakfast will have the added bonus of providing you with the fuel you need for the day!

Hunger Pains

Hunger Pains

The Problem?
Just as bad as eating too much, can be eating too little. Hunger pains will wake you up throughout the night, preventing you from getting that much-needed quality sleep.

The Solution?
If you feel these hunger pains on a regular basis, try having a small snack before bedtime. Choosing something like cheese that is high in protein will go a much longer way than something with empty calories!

Caffeine

Caffeine

The Problem?
Having coffee too late in the day can spell disaster for your sleeping habits. Caffeine gets in the way of your normal REM sleep, so even if you do pass out, you’ll wake up feeling more tired than you were before.

The Solution?
If you need an after-dinner beverage, stick to something decaffeinated. Your body will thank you when you wake up well rested the next morning!

Going To Bed Angry

Going To Bed Angry

The Problem?
Never go to bed mad! Whether you are a typical overthinker or not, going to bed angry will keep your brain active and stimulated at a time when it should be relaxing and letting go of the day. Replaying an argument or a negative situation in your mind doesn’t accomplish anything except keeping you awake longer.

The Solution?
Try to resolve troubles before bed, rather than “sleeping on it”. You won’t likely be doing much of that sleeping unless you learn to let it go!

Stimulating Reading

Stimulating Reading

The Problem?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that stimulating the brain too much before bed is a bad idea. But reading, which can often be seen as a relaxing activity, can contribute to those nights of restless sleep.

The Solution?
If you enjoy reading before bed, choose light reading that won’t over-stimulate your mind. Save the action-packed thriller for a train ride to work earlier in the day!

Throwing Off Your Internal Clock

Throwing Off Your Internal Clock

The Problem?
Maintaining a steady internal clock is crucial to a good night’s sleep. If you stay out late some nights and sleep very late some mornings, your body will have a nearly impossible time knowing when it should be going to sleep.

The Solution?
Instead, try to force yourself to get into a routine. If you stay out late, still get up at the same time you do every other day. Training your internal clock to fall asleep at bedtime will help you to maximize the amount of quality sleep you get!

Too Quiet

Too Quiet

The Problem?
For many people, noise can be a problem. It seems obvious that loud noises can keep you awake. But what’s more surprising is that too little noise can keep you up as well. A lack of sound can be very disruptive to a good night of rest.

The Solution?
You can easily combat this by turning on a whirring ceiling fan, or purchasing a white-noise machine. The result will be that you wake up feeling much more rested!

Smoking

Smoking

The Problem?
Smoking carries many health risks with it. However, one of the most overlooked side effects is that it can prevent you from getting quality sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant, so smoking too close to bed can keep you awake. Likewise, not smoking before bed can cause you to have withdrawal during the night.

The Solution?
Whether you smoke before bedtime or not, the sleep habits of a smoker will suffer. The best thing may be to ease your way off of cigarettes. The payoff will be a lovely night of sleep!

Drinking Alcohol

Drinking Alcohol

The Problem?
People often make the mistake of thinking that alcohol before bed will make them sleepy, and therefore help them sleep better. However, alcohol can prevent you from getting high quality sleep, leaving you restless.

The Solution?
If you’re going to drink, simply stop several hours before you plan to go to bed. This will cut down on the degree to which the alcohol gets in the way of your rest!

Please SHARE if you love finding new ways to help you sleep better!