Sleep is essential to your health. During sleep, your body restores itself, consolidates memories, produces hormones, and so much more. It is recommended that every adult gets at least seven hours of sleep each night. Younger children and teenagers require even more sleep to ensure proper growth and development.

Knowing how much sleep is recommended is great; however, the amount your body needs is based on several factors, including your overall health, your sleep patterns, and your activity levels. Unfortunately, many people do not get the sleep they need. If you are having difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, you are in the right place. Here are top ten reasons why you may have trouble falling asleep and how you can find some relief.

Reasons You Have Trouble Falling Asleep

Blue Light Exposure

Electronics like cellphones, televisions, LED lights, and tablets can interfere with your sleep cycle. In Artificial Light addition to this, night lights, street lights, and even digital alarm clocks can affect your ability to go to sleep and stay asleep. The blue light emitted from these devices disrupts your circadian cycle and the production of melatonin.

To help you get to sleep faster, turn off the television, stop using your phone, tablet, or computer, and lower your lights two hours before bedtime. Use lined curtains or blackout blinds to help block outside light. If you use a nightlight in the hallway, completely close your bedroom door to block out all light. Even a minute amount of light can disrupt melatonin production.

Anxious Thoughts

Anxious thoughts can keep you up at night. Looming deadlines, arguments, financial difficulties, and family troubles can have you focusing on everything except sleeping. Oftentimes, these anxious thoughts will spike right as you begin nodding off, causing you to wake up.

If your thoughts are keeping your awake, get out of the bed and go to another part of your house; however, keep the lights off so you don’t wake up. Changing rooms will usually halt your anxious thoughts, allowing you to return to your bed and go to sleep.

Hormone Changes

Hormone fluctuations can occur at any time and sabotage your sleep. When you experience a insomnia treatment hormone imbalance, it can cause hot flashes, cramps, and nausea. Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to your bedtime, take an herbal supplement, or an over the counter pain reliever to relieve your cramps. Lower the bedroom temperature a couple of degrees to help with hot flashes, and suck on a piece of crystallized ginger to relieve your nausea.

Changes to Your Routine

Your circadian clock functions best when it is kept on schedule. Going to bed at different times, sleeping in on the weekends, etc. can throw your entire system off. Naps that are longer than 30 minutes can also keep you up at night.

Set yourself a strict bedtime and stick to it every night of the week. Also, use an alarm every day. To help you get to sleep faster, create a relaxing bedtime routine that you follow each night. This can include reading a book, listening to soft music, and dimming the lights. Lower the temperature of your home and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects approximately 25 million American adults. Sleep apnea causes abnormal breathing patterns during sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you will temporarily stop breathing as you sleep. These multiple temporary lapses in breathing affect your oxygen supply, reduces the quality of your sleep, and can lead to several serious health consequences. The symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping for air, choking, frequent need to urinate, dry mouth, sore throat, headaches, decreased attention span, irritability, and daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is often treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. In addition to this, making certain lifestyle changes can help with sleep apnea. These changes include reducing the use of sedatives, losing excess weight, and sleeping on your side.

Avoid Eating or Drinking After Sunset

Late night snacks can give you an upset stomach. Drinking too close to bedtime can cause you to need to make additional trips to the bathroom throughout the night. Cook a fulfilling meal that includes a protein to help you avoid late night hunger. If you must have a drink before bedtime, limit it to no more than four ounces of water.

Room Temperature

The temperature of your bedroom can affect how well you sleep throughout the night. If your bedroom is too hot, you will wake up sweating. If your bedroom is too cold, you will be unable to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Typically, your bedroom should be a few degrees cooler at night. If you are having difficulty finding the perfect temperature, adjust your thermostat one degree warmer or cooler until you find the best temperature for you.

Exercise Close To Bedtime testosterone replacement therapy

Exercise is great for your body; however, exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. When you exercise, it raises your heart rate, which may wake you up. Cardio workouts should be relegated to the morning. Gentle stretches, yoga, and tai chi can be enjoyed in the evening as long as it is completed a couple of hours before bedtime.

Smoking

Cigarette smokers believe that tobacco helps relax them; however, the relaxation they feel is a neurochemical trick. Nicotine is a stimulant. When you smoke tobacco before bedtime, it can prevent you from going to sleep or cause you to wake up throughout the night. Quitting smoking offers a number of benefits, including getting a better night’s sleep. There are several quit smoking methods and stop smoking medication.

Noise

If you live next to a busy road, or you have noisy neighbors, it can be very frustrating and hard to get a good night’s rest. Using a white noise machine can help mask those noises so you can get to sleep and stay asleep.

Getting a full night’s sleep is essential for your health. Unfortunately, there are times getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. However, the key is to understand why you may have trouble falling asleep and getting a good night’s sleep. Our integrative sleep doctors can help with all kinds of sleep issues so you can get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer.