Sleep is essential and helps our bodies function, fight off illness and disease, and it refreshes us for the day ahead.
Our bodies are designed to sleep and use a rhythm to sleep and wake in a natural way. Sometimes we work against that rhythm by making choices that rob our sleep. Other times we suffer from distractions through no fault of our own that also interrupt the natural sleep/wake cycle.
When it comes to bedtime, there are thieves that rob our sleep. Some of them are our own choices while others are environmental or beyond our control.
Getting a better night’s sleep might be as easy as changing some patterns or behaviours, or it might require sleep training to get back on track. Here are some common causes of sleep deprivation.
Food and Drink
What you eat and drink has an impact on how well you sleep. Eating the wrong foods too close to bedtime can trigger digestive issues, heartburn, or give you too much energy before bed.
Overeating can also affect your ability to fall or stay asleep. Being uncomfortable due to the foods you eat can make falling asleep harder than it needs to be. In the same way, too much caffeine or too much liquid, in general, can cause sleep deprivation. Too much liquid before bedtime can ruin your sleep from being too stimulated to fall asleep to waking too frequently to visit the bathroom.
Overstimulation is caused by activities like watching television, scrolling through social media, and using electronic devices near bedtime. Studies show that the blue light emitted from these devices as well as the eye movements caused by scrolling or watching videos can prevent sleep or make it harder to fall into a deep sleep.
In the same way, engaging in energizing activities just prior to bedtime can revive you rather than relax you making it harder to fall and stay asleep.
Distraction and Discomfort
Distractions can come in many forms. Your senses can be overstimulated and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Discomfort can affect you in many ways too. Bedrooms that are too hot or too cool can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Being uncomfortable in bed can also affect sleep.
Having a mattress that hurts your body, bedclothes that aren’t soft, and bedsheets that aren’t comfortable can contribute to the quality and quantity of your sleep.
If your room is not dark enough or doesn’t block noise, it can affect your sleep too. If your mattress is old, invest in a new mattress. If your room isn’t dark enough, try blackout curtains or blinds.
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There are many culprits robbing you of your sleep. Controlling what you do can help you get to sleep easier. If you’re a snorer and suffer from sleep apnea, throat exercises may help these problems.
Watching what you eat and how much you drink can help you feel more comfortable. Making sure you limit screen time and other overstimulating activities will also help. Ensuring your bedroom is comfy, cosy, and free from distractions will make a big impact on your overall sleep experience.