Oh, the long nights of spinning! Is it hard for you not to get enough rest every day? You may be surprised to learn that insomnia is a growing problem and that it is only getting worse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adults need seven or more hours of sleep to feel refreshed. Unfortunately, a lack of rest can have a dramatic impact on your life.
10 BAD HABITS THAT CAUSE INSOMNIA
If you are tired of your nighttime routine getting mixed up and dragged into going to work the next day, then there are things you can do to improve your insomnia. Here are ten of the worst habits that can cause your sleepless nights.
1. FALLING ASLEEP INTO THE TELEVISION
Having a television in your room seems like a good idea, right? Well that's one of the worst ways for you to fall asleep. A television has bright lights and noise that can affect your brain.
While you may think it's helping you get to dreamland, lights send scrambled messages to your brain. Your brain is seeing the lights and listening to the noise, and it prevents you from entering a deep REM sleep state. That is, you will not feel renewed because you will never enter the healing part of your dream.
2. HAVE CELLULAR PHONES AND COMPUTERS NEAR THE BED
Another problem that is important today is a cell phone near the bed. These little gadgets have replaced the alarm clock and the house phone, but are they doing more harm than good? Cell phones emit a light that will alter your circadian clock rhythm.
If the cell phone is more than a meter and a half from your bed, then you are safe. However, most people keep it at arm's length at all times. When your circadian clock rhythm gets out of control, then your body will not make melatonin to help you fall asleep.
3. DON'T KEEP A NIGHT ROUTINE
Do you remember the importance of keeping your newborn on a bedtime schedule? If your timing were to change in any way, it could cause major problems. Well, the same problem also happens to adults.
Many adults use their dream as a bargaining tool. If they want to stay up to watch a movie, then they will cut off your sleep for a couple of hours. Your rest is just as important as eating a nutritious meal every day. Without it, your body will suffer.
Don't use your dream as a math equation where you can subtract and add time as you like. You need a routine schedule to avoid insomnia. With a set schedule, you will look and feel better in the morning.
4. CONSUME TOO MUCH CAFFEINE
Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up your heart. While having a cup of coffee or a soda a day isn't going to kill you, it can keep you awake at night. If you have a caffeinated drink too late in the afternoon, it can cause insomnia.
Part of your nighttime routine should include nothing with caffeine after 4pm. If you have the willpower to cut out these drinks, it would be beneficial to your body. Caffeine is highly addictive and follows the same pathways as cocaine in the brain.
5. HAVE YOUR BEDROOM TOO WARM
Have you ever noticed how you always look for that cool spot on your pillow? Well, studies show that you will sleep better in a cool room. That doesn't mean you need to turn off the heat as you will get sick, but you should keep it five to seven degrees cooler when you are sleeping.
Your body can rest better when it is nice and cool in your room, and you can also save on your electricity or gas bill.
6. USING ALCOHOL TO SLEEP
Many people think that alcohol makes them sleep better, so they will take a dose of something strong to knock them out. The problem is that alcohol can be counterproductive.
While you may fall asleep faster, the induced sleep won't last long. You are more likely to get aroused easily if you have alcohol in your system. In addition, these excitations can cause periods of apnea, which can be fatal.
7. SAVE YOUR WORKOUTS FOR THE MORNING HOURS
It may seem like it is best to exercise before taking the evening shower, but the popular philosophy is misleading. When you exercise, you get your heart racing and release endorphins that stimulate and don't relax you. Although your body may be tired, your brain is wide awake.
The problem with all this stimulation is that it can make sleep difficult. Your lack of sleep can be caused by the timing of your exercise. Try a morning workout to see if it improves sleep problems. You may be surprised at how it solves your lack of sleep.
8. DO NOT DEPEND ON SLEEPING AIDS
There are so many sleep aids on the market that you can get both prescription and non-prescription. However, the real problem is that these aids are simply masking a problem. You can overcome much of your insomnia simply by practicing good sleep hygiene.
These drugs, even if purchased from a local pharmacy, are not harmless. They induce sleep and your body becomes dependent on them. You will often need more medicine to get the same effects. If you are not sleeping then don't throw a pill at the problem as it can make things worse.
Taking something natural like melatonin can help your body fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Other natural herbs can also be beneficial. Don't take drugs to get the rest you need. Explore natural options like meditation and herbal treatments.
9. EATING TOO LATE
Your work can dictate your dinner time. Some people eat early around 4-5 pm, while others may eat every night between 7 and 9 pm. The only problem with eating late is that it can cause you to have a restless night's sleep.
If you overeat, you can feel bloated, have indigestion, and fight these problems throughout the night. You must allow at least four hours between your last meal and sleep. Your food needs adequate time to digest so you don't interrupt it at night.
10. YOU DON'T HAVE ADEQUATE BED LINEN
While no one wants to spend excessive amounts of money on mattresses, it can pay to have one that supports your body. Everything, including pillows, blankets, and bedding, will have a dramatic impact on your sleep.
Some people cannot sleep well with a bedspread because they are heavy, but a duvet provides a lighter touch that seems to make someone sleep better. Remember how children choose a favorite blanket and don't let it go? It is because they find comfort and the blanket helps them get quality sleep.
It's okay for adults to have a favorite “blanket” too. If a weighted blanket helps alleviate your distress and provides your sleep safety net, then by all means use whatever helps.
DISCARD UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Sometimes a medical condition is causing you not to get the sleep you need. Insomnia is a real problem that needs to be addressed. While you should be wary of throwing prescription drugs at the problem, you could have an underlying problem like sleep apnea, causing the problems.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing at night. These periods of breathlessness are dangerous, but they are treatable. Having a C-Pap machine can ensure that your airways are open and responsive to signals from the brain to breathe.
Plus, if you're taking medications, they can have a dramatic impact on your sleep too. You think that depression and anxiety can cause you to sleep too much or too little. If you are having problems, the first thing to do is evaluate your sleep hygiene.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: END INSOMNIA BY IMPROVING YOUR SLEEP HYGIENE
Using the list above, what can you do to improve your sleep health? Is your phone sitting by your bed every night? Do you have computers, iPads and televisions running an hour before going to sleep?
Are you eating too late or are you negotiating your sleep as an optional part of your day? It can change some of the sleeping patterns. Naturally, that doesn't require any medication. Before looking for sleep aids, try some herbs or a good herbal tea that can help stimulate rest and prevent feelings of drug addiction or hangover the next day.
You need at least seven hours of sleep. If you don't get that amount, then you need to change a few things for the sake of your health. Your body must have time to heal and restore.