Around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems regardless of their age or socioeconomic background.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system weakens, we can’t think clearly, and we’re at a higher risk of getting diseases. Perhaps you’ve constantly got heavy eyes and you’re desperate for a good night’s sleep.
Sounds familiar? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven reasons why you’re having trouble sleeping.
1. Looking at Screens Too Late
If you’re struggling with falling asleep, turn off your electronics before bed. Many of us unwind by watching TV or playing games on our phones but the blue-light emitted can impact our sleep.
The illumination tricks our brains into thinking it’s daylight so your body doesn’t produce enough melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycles. As a general rule, ditch all screens at least an hour before bed so you rest well.
And if you’re tempted to check your social media notifications, then keep your phone on the other side of the room. It’s also wise to invest in an alarm clock so you don’t have a reason to look at the screen.
2. Feeling Stressed or Anxious
Many of us bring work-related stress back home and it can result in sleep woes. Before you go to bed, decompress in your favorite soothing activity like taking a bubble bath, trying yoga, or reading a novel.
If you have trouble sleeping because you’re thinking about upcoming tasks, write a to-do list. Scribble these into a notepad next to your bed so you can let the thoughts go. Or meditate for at least 10 minutes before bed so your mind is calm and welcomes rest.
3. Drinking Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine is a great way to jumpstart your day but if we drink soda or coffee in the late afternoon then it could jeopardize our sleep. To sustain good health and sleep, stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least five hours before bedtime especially if you’re sensitive.
You should also avoid having a nightcap as it can prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep. If you must have a drink, have two maximum and make sure it’s several hours before you go to bed.
4. No Nighttime Routine
Are you still having trouble sleeping? Then consider which activities you do before bed and whether you sleep at a similar time every night.
Although you can’t always go to bed at the same time, try not to vary it more than 30 minutes even during the weekend. Also, don’t get into bed unless you’re planning to sleep. This is because spending extra hours watching TV or reading means your body is used to staying awake in bed.
Many of us accidentally fall asleep in front of the TV which is problematic as it affects our sleep. So if your energy levels are low during the afternoon, schedule something active like going for a jog so you feel energized.
Further, many people use over-the-counter sleep tablets to help with their insomnia. While this is a great short-term solution, you’ll eventually develop tolerance and could become addicted. Instead, find healthier ways to get a good sleep such as making amendments to your lifestyle.
5. Bedroom Isn’t Optimized for Sleep
If you’re after good tips for better sleep, remember to optimize your bedroom for rest. Avoid cranking up the heat or wearing thick pajamas because it’s harder for your body to cool down and you become restless.
You should also eliminate light from disrupting your sleep whether it’s through your windows or your reading lamp. If there’s a streetlight outside your bedroom window, hang blackout curtains and close your door to prevent light from seeping in. You could even don a sleep mask if nothing else works.
6. Eating Dinner Too Late
Life gets hectic which means we’re often wolfing down our dinner far too late. But when we do this, we’re not giving our bodies enough time to digest the food which results in a disrupted sleep or acid reflux.
As a general rule, eat dinner by 6 o’clock so you get a good night’s shut-eye. And on nights when a late dinner is inevitable, simply eat a small snack that’s light in protein and heavier in complex carbs. For instance, enjoy a bowl of whole-grain cereal or several pieces of fruit.
7. Sharing a Bed With Your Partner
Sharing a bed with your partner could disrupt your sleep especially if there isn’t enough room or you’re constantly moving. Avoid this by investing in a larger bed and kick out any pets as they could affect your quality of sleep too.
If your partner’s snores are startling you awake, encourage them to sleep on their side. You could even get a white-noise machine to block out the sound or try wearing earplugs. Or, if there’s no improvement, ask your partner to see a sleep specialist for expert advice.
You should also consider your bed. Is it too old? Uncomfortable? A telltale sign is if you wake up with a sore neck or back, you can’t get into the perfect sleeping position, and it sags in certain places.
Note, you should change your mattress every eight years so you’re getting the right support.
That’s Why You Had Heavy Eyes
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to prevent heavy eyes.
Avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon, pack away all screens before bed, and find healthy ways to unwind such as taking a bath. You should also eliminate light from pouring into your room and develop a nighttime routine so your body is prepared for bed. Good luck!
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