Does it take you forever to fall asleep at night? Do you wake up repeatedly during the night? When you wake up during the night, does it take you 20 minutes or more to fall back asleep? There are many factors that can cause you to suffer from low quality of sleep, something that’s going to affect what you do in your waking hours, and you may be surprised by some of them. Find out why you have bad sleep, and how you can make a few simple changes to get a much better night’s sleep on a regular basis.
Why Your Sleep is Poor
There are lots of little things that can have a huge impact on how well you sleep at night, small details that you may not realize are affecting you night after night. Start making some changes and you should start to see an improvement in your sleep quality.
- Temperature. Set your temperature so it falls between 60 and 67 degrees F. According to the National Sleep Foundation, this is the ideal temperature range for sleep. If you go to sleep in an environment that’s too warm or too cold, you will have more trouble falling and staying asleep.
- Relax. Do you put your smartphone or tablet down right before you turn off the light and lay down to go to sleep? Do you like to watch TV right up until the time you go to bed? These habits are damaging your sleep night after night, though many people do this exact same thing. You should turn off all your screens, from the TV to the smartphone, about 30 minutes before bedtime. Watching or interacting with screens right before bed is stimulating for the brain. It also exposes your eyes to electronic blue light, which makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, spend about 30 minutes doing something relaxing before you go to sleep at night. Read a book, take a bath, practice meditation or simply sit quietly to put yourself in the right headspace to enjoy a healthy night’s sleep.
- Heartburn. Do you frequently suffer from heartburn when you’re trying to sleep? When you lay down, the juices in your stomach may back up and cause this problem. There are ways to avoid it. Eat dinner at least three hours before your bedtime, and avoid snacking right before you go to sleep. A full stomach increases your risk of heartburn. If you’re a frequent heartburn sufferer, you should also avoid trigger foods. Spicy and fatty foods can cause heartburn. Use a soft pillow to lift and support your upper body when you lay down at night. This can help keep the stomach acid from causing a heartburn reaction while you’re trying to sleep.
- Stress. We all live in a fast-paced, high-stress world, and that can haunt you when you try to sleep at night. If you experience feelings of tension or racing thoughts that make sleep impossible at night, go ahead and get out of bed. Spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or lying down in a room with dim lighting, and attempt to do something relaxing in order to dispel that stress. Listening to music can be a good way to do this. You can also try visualization techniques, such as picturing soothing landscapes, as a way to forget about some of that tension.
Change the Way You Sleep
If you wake up feeling irritable and tired, uncomfortable and grouchy, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. When you’re tired and your sleep is poor it affects everything you do when you’re awake, from the way you perform at work to how you interact with others. Get better sleep to bring out your better self. Poor sleep can cause heart disease and a host of other health problems as well. Change the way you sleep to be healthier, happier and more productive every single day.