3 Reasons You Can’t Sleep

When I don’t get enough sleep, I’m a nightmare to be around. I own that.

I just don’t function well without it. Some people are better at handling a little fatigue- I unravel. I’m one of those adults that still enjoys a regular bedtime. Having a regular sleeping routine is actually something that helps establish better quality sleep! Before you dash through the local coffee shop for your daily jolt, consider why you’re feeling tired in the first place:cant sleep

1. too much screen time

Do you spend your whole day on your computer, smartphone, and then in front of a television? The lights from all of these devices play tricks with our brains, making it harder to fall asleep. Some studies show that sleeping in a perfectly dark room actually improves the restful quality of sleep (and even calorie burn). Aside from physically preventing your brain from sleeping, your electronic use is most likely getting your wheels spinning. If you’re thinking about the plot to an intense movie or planning a meeting for work, it can definitely be harder to drift off to sleep. My advice? Try to avoid electronics for at least an hour before bedtime. If you wake up in the middle of the night, try walking around your house for a minute or even reading- NOT watching tv.

2. that glass of wine

Or beer, or a cocktail. I know what you’re thinking: but alcohol relaxes me! True, alcohol does slow down the body and temporarily inhibit stressors. The problem becomes when you fall asleep while that alcohol is still being digested. While a nightly drink may help you fall asleep, odds are you won’t stay asleep and the quality of sleep you’re getting isn’t up to par. Something about having that alcohol floating around your system prevents us from slipping into the deepest more restoring kind of sleep (REM sleep). If you like getting your antioxidants from a nightly adult beverage, try to do so closer to dinner time so that your body has broken it down long before bedtime.

3. you’re stressed

Not earth shattering, but true. When you’ve got a lot going on, it can definitely be hard to shut off your mind and sleep. We also tend to sleep more fitfully during the night when we have stress on our subconscious. Try making a list or keeping a planner, this way you can write down what’s on your brain and no longer feel responsible for keeping it on repeat in your mind. Sometimes it’s also helpful to work a little more activity into your lifestyle during times of stress. Not only will you create endorphins (happy chemicals!) in your brain, but you’ll be more inclined to sleep restfully at night.

Why is getting your solid 8-10 hours of sleep so important?

  • your brain chemicals reset so you can better manage stressors and feel happier
  • if you aren’t getting enough energy from sleep, you’re prone to compensate by overeating
  • some short term memories get converted into long term, so you’ll feel smarter
  • longevity: people who sleep better tend to lead healthier lives and live longer!

 

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17 thoughts on “3 Reasons You Can’t Sleep

  1. Love this as a fellow sleep lover – my biggest tip is not sleeping in on weekends- it’s tough but my alarm goes off 30mins or so later than weekdays and its led to my sleep early in the week being so much better.

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  2. Guilty of too much technology! I stare at a computer all day then come home and turn my laptop on! I definitely find reading for 30 minutes in bed really helps though!

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  3. Oh gosh, I canNOT function when I’m sleep-deprived. Since I’m often working pretty much until I go to sleep, it can be difficult to avoid electronics for a whole hour – I’ve found that even taking 10-15 minutes to unplug and read a book can really make a difference. Not ideal, but better than nothing!

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  4. Yup, I find screen time really interrupts my sleep. I try to watch stuff early in the evening via DVR and then read right b4 light outs. Also, my body is very sensitive to caffeine so I have eliminated it. Finally, I try to stop liquids at about 7pm so I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and go. -Kat

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  5. I’ve actually just e-mailed this post to my hubby – he sleeps terribly and is constantly playing games on his phone…
    I’m also guilty of constantly checking Facebook, Pinterest, etc, especially before bedtime – that and a glass of wine most nights… LOL
    Thanks for the tips! X

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  6. I’ve found that what I eat for dinner (or a late night snack) has a huge impact on how I sleep that night… I aim to eat a dinner with healthy carbs full of magnesium and amino acids, which promote good sleep. And then I often have a small protein snack 30 minutes before bed to keep me full through the night so I don’t wake up early because I’m hungry.

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