7 Reasons You're Not Sleeping Through the Night
There are few things worse than getting a poor night’s sleep. Sure, the following day is impaired, but if you don’t have a chance to catch up on sleep, a night of tossing and turning can throw you off for the entire week. If chronic lack of sleep is plaguing you, it’s affecting your mental and physical health in ways both obvious and unexpected. So just what’s keeping you up at night?
Looking at your caffeine intake is a good place to start if you’re trying to solve the mystery of your missing Zzzzs. Don’t worry—we’re not telling you to skip your morning cup of Joe. That would just be cruel. But the after-lunch pick-me-up cup might have to go. Caffeine stays in your system for a surprisingly long amount of time, and even though you may not feel awake and alert late at night, there could still be enough caffeine in your system to interfere with sleep. Do your best to keep caffeine consumption confined to the morning hours and see what happens. You may sleep better and not need that afternoon pick-me-up after all.
It may feel like you’re so tired you could sleep anywhere—including right where you’re standing—but the truth is, your body and mind are more finicky than you give them credit for. A temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for sleep. Hotter than that and you’re not likely to sleep soundly. Colder and you’re liable to be awoken by your cold toes.
Darkness is important too. You’ve probably read more articles on blue light from your phone than you’d like to admit. But even light from an alarm clock or a lamp can interfere with your trip to dreamland.
If there’s a panicked voice in your head from the second you lay down and long into the wee hours of the morning frantically cycling through all the things you have to do, you’re not alone. In lieu of alleviating the cause of your stress, consider trying meditation, or writing down a list before bed of everything you need to do—along with a few positives from the day—to get as many of your worries out of your head and down on paper as you can. It’s surprisingly effective.
Lack of Exercise
This one can be tricky. Regular exercise has wonderful mental and physical benefits, including better sleep. But you may be so tired from your lack of sleep that you can’t fathom the thought of exercising. If you power through those first few days, you may be pleasantly surprised at your newfound ability to sleep—and the energy that comes with it. Try something simple to start with, like walking or running.
Late Night Exercise
Wait a minute…didn’t we just tell you to try and exercise more? We did, but it’s important to know that working out too close to lights out will have you counting sheep until the cows come home. Exercise jumps your body temperature and heart rate up—exactly the opposite direction you want them moving in when it’s time for bed.
A late-night snack or a nightcap can be wonderful nighttime traditions. But foods high in fat or protein will kick your digestive system into high gear, which interferes with sleep. And too much alcohol can also mess with your sleep cycle—or you may just find yourself heading to the bathroom too many times. Choose the right snack and stick to a single drink, and you’ll increase your chances of sleeping through the night.
Your lack of sleep may not have anything to do with any of the above and may instead be the result of a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea, for example, is a common sleep disorder in which your breathing is interrupted again and again throughout the night. This not only causes you to feel tired throughout the day, it can have a wide range of negative health effects.
Schedule an Appointment with a Sleep Specialist
To get to the bottom of your sleep troubles, visit the Sleep Diagnostics Center at DeKalb Health. You can even pick up a home sleep apnea test here at our sleep center. Give us a call at 260.920.2574 and start dreaming of all the sweet dreams you’ll be having.
Nothing contained in this blog is intended to establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician or health care professional, or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.