Many people do not get a good night’s sleep, and this can result in a low energy level all day long. Over time, poor sleep can cause your health to deteriorate and weaken your immune system. Even if you do not have any obvious sleeping issues, you might not be sleeping as well as you think. Here are some common sleep-related problems and tips for addressing them.
Caffeine Dependency: Do you believe that you “need” your morning cup of coffee in order to get the day started? Do you find it difficult to focus in the afternoon without a “recharge”?
Insomnia: Do you have a hard time getting to sleep at night? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and find it hard to get back to sleep?
Morning Fatigue: Do you wake up in the morning more tired than you were when you went to bed the night before? Do you have a hard time getting out of bed?
Excessive Sleeping: Do you sleep ten hours per night or more? Do you find yourself struggling to stay awake during the middle of the day?
All of these problems may stem from different causes, or a combination of causes. Here are a few of the most common ones.
Menopause / Andropause. Hormonal imbalances or deficiencies during this life transition can often cause a change in sleeping patterns.
Stress. Going to sleep with your mind filled with worries about the next day can create sleep problems. If you are overworked or overloaded with responsibility, this may be contributing to the problem.
Your mattress. If you have a worn mattress or a low-quality mattress, this may be interfering with your body’s ability to fully rest.
Irregular work hours. If your job requires you to work off-shift hours or unpredictable schedules, this can make it difficult for your body to get into a consistent rhythm.
Other causes. Thyroid problems, heavy metal toxicity, gut infections, and adrenal fatigue can cause sleep problems. Specific lab testing can identify these causes.
Some sleep issues are easier to solve than others, but you always have options. Here are a few habits you can start putting into place to improve your sleep little by little.
Create a consistent sleep routine. If at all possible, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Go to sleep as early as possible. Our systems—especially the adrenals—do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11PM and 1AM.
Cut out caffeine and alcohol. Caffeinated beverages interfere with sleep—and contrary to popular belief, having an alcoholic drink before bed does not help you get to sleep. Alcohol interferes with sleep cycles and leaves you less rested.
Drink more water. Dehydration is a common cause of sleeping problems. Water is vital to every system in your body. Without a sufficient supply of water, your cells and tissues cannot properly regenerate at night.
Keep your room cool. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (no higher than 70° F) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. If there is even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin—which is the hormone that we produce so we can fall asleep.
Turn off your television, computer, and iPad. Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, but this is a mistake. Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but it can actually stimulate the mind rather than relaxing it. Try listening to music or audio books instead, or practicing relaxation exercises.
Practice meditation. This is particularly helpful if you are prone to high stress levels or if you are carrying a heavy workload. Meditation helps you create the habit of clearing your mind. If you do this consistently, you may find that it helps you get to sleep.
The ability to rest fully and completely is vital to your health. Make it a priority to get a full night of quality sleep, and you will find your performance improving in all areas. If you’re still having sleep issues after following these tips, contact us so we can help you get to the root of your sleep problem.