We’ve all been there. Tossing and turning, trying to practically hypnotize our bodies to fall asleep. Our alarm clock buzzes and it feels like you just took an afternoon nap at most.
Sleep deprivation, no matter the severity, is no joke. According to numerous studies, we all need to get a solid 6-8 hours to maintain optimal health. Not enough sleep has been linked to weight gain, stress, and even more serious issues like high blood pressure and heart dysfunctions.
So what are some possible causes of insomnia, and what can you do to correct them? Granted, some people may have serious health issues that contribute to their sleep deprivation. However, for most people, there are a few common culprits that are stealing your precious hours of sleep.
Here are five common problems that might be costing you sleep, and the simple fixes to rid them from your bedtime routine.
It seems pretty obvious that light causes poor sleep. This is why many people have eliminated it completely from their bedrooms. Unnatural light like streetlamps outside your window can confuse your body's internal clock - making a solid 8 hours of sleep difficult to achieve or even impossible.
However, while it might seem comforting to scroll through your social media, favorite blogs, or an e-book before going to sleep - this light can also negatively affect your body. Significant research has come out in recent years indicating that the blue light from your computer, tablet, and cell phone screens can adversely impact your sleep cycles. Fortunately, avoiding screen time at least 1 hour before bedtime can reduce this risk significantly.
Not only can midnight snacks disrupt a healthy diet and digestion, they can leave you restless as well. Studies have shown that eating while sitting upright is the best position for proper digestion. This is why countries like France and Italy have well established traditions of a leisurely dinner at a table – they also tend to be healthier people. If you eat right before bed (especially sweets), this can cause indigestion or an energy boost from the sugar that may obviously affect your sleep. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any food after 8:00 pm. If you are craving a tasty treat before bed, try caffeine free herbal teas or a simple glass of lemon water.
If you feel like Goldilocks in your bed, always too hot or too cold, never just right - the problem might not be you. It might be your stuffy and unbreathable bedding. Many materials used for sheets, blankets, and comforters can cause moisture and heat to get trapped under the bedding. For a comfortable nighttime temperature, your bedding needs to properly circulate air so that your body can regulate its natural temperature.
Fortunately, PeachSkinSheets are breathable and naturally wick moisture, so you can find your “just right” temperature and be snoozing away in no time.
Night Time Supplements
While it’s very important to make sure you’re consuming enough B vitamins, if you take a supplement at night, this will definitely interfere with falling asleep. B12 affects the body’s melatonin levels which can disrupt our natural sleep cycles. Also, B6 has been known to induce vivid dreams, which might wake you up and make falling asleep again difficult. If you’re taking these supplements individually or in a B-Complex, you might want to consider taking it in the morning rather than with dinner or right before bed.
Not getting enough exercise is another sneaky culprit of sleepless nights. Increasing your daily physical activity can greatly reduce insomnia - regulating your adrenal function, hormones, and blood sugar. You don’t have to hit the gym 3 times a week to get a better night’s sleep, though. Simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to work instead of riding the bus can make a huge difference. Just be sure not to work out within 2 hours of going to sleep, so you have time to let your body naturally unwind before catching some shut-eye.