Having trouble falling and/or staying asleep at night can be extremely frustrating. What’s more frustrating is not knowing why you’re having trouble sleeping.
There are a number of factors that could be negatively affecting your sleep. Luckily, there are simple solutions to each of them. Check out the top six factors that affect sleep and how to fix them.
Consuming caffeine in the evenings will lead to disrupted sleep. Be aware of the caffeine in soda, coffee, and tea. A cup of coffee after dinner or tea before bed can be calming, but make sure to opt for decaf. Caffeine free tea like Sleepy Time tea can actually help you relax and fall asleep faster.
Nicotine is a stimulant, making it hard for smokers to fall asleep. Smokers often have far more disputed sleep patterns as well. The more you smoke, the more likely you may be to develop insomnia. Smoking also changes your circadian rhythm which leads to poor sleep. Smoking two hours before bed makes it more likely that you’ll have a poor night’s rest. If you’re going to smoke, smoke your last cigarette of the day well before bedtime.
Smoking marijuana on the other hand can have a much different effect on sleep and sleep quality. Marijuana helps to restore the body’s natural sleep cycle. THC helps to induce sleep, but it decreases REM or dream sleep, leading to a deeper sleep. Opt for a strain of indica over sativa as indica has a more relaxing effect.
4. Sleeping pills
There is a high risk of addiction when it comes to sleeping pills. With melatonin, you’ll need an increased amount for it to work. Sleeping pills will eventually make it harder for your body to fall asleep naturally. If you do need a pill to fall asleep, limit the dosage and don’t take one every single night.
5. Special Diet
Many people may feel tired during the day when fasting, but daily performance is typically not affected. However, fasting affects our sleep whether we realize it or not. Food deprivation often increases wakefulness. For those who fast during Ramadan or other religious holidays, beginning to fast for shorter amount of times for the days leading up to the fasting period can help your body become acclimated, thus reducing fasting negative effect on sleep.
Sex before bed can make it easier to fall asleep. This is a no brainer since most people are typically exhausted after exerting so much energy. Sex also lowers cortisol, a stress related hormone that can make it difficult to fall asleep. However, this isn’t true for everyone. If you find yourself more stimulated and awake after sex, avoid it right before bed.
Being aware of what might be affecting your sleep is the first step towards a good night’s rest.