Do you often go to bed leaving just enough time to get ample sleep before having to wake up for work, and then have trouble falling asleep? Tossing and turning in bed and having problems falling asleep can be very frustrating. Here are 7 common reasons you can’t get to sleep at night:
- Overthinking. It is very common to go over the events of the day when you go to bed. But overthinking tends to happen at night when you haven’t had time earlier in the day to process events or emotions. If you can’t seem to stop thinking when you go to bed, and that is keeping you awake, just tune out your thoughts by focusing on the sound that your breathing makes. This simple technique is calming to the body, activating your natural sleep cycle mechanisms.
- Being too full or too hungry. Going to bed on a full stomach is unpleasant and will keep you awake. Eat dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed. It is, however, a good idea to eat a light, healthy snack an hour before bedtime. Have something to drink just before going to bed so that you are not thirsty or kept awake by a dry throat. Use the bathroom right before getting into bed.
- Bedroom light and noises. You will sleep better in a room that is dark and quiet. If there is too much light coming in from the outside, use shades or some other type of window covering. Outside traffic noise or sounds from nearby trains/planes can keep you from falling asleep. You can also be distracted or suddenly woken up by your pets. Your pets might be on a different sleeping schedule than you and may have to be put outside your room at bedtime. If your room is noisy even with the doors and windows closed, try using comfortable ear plugs. Ear plugs come in different types and can make a world of difference for light sleepers.
- Drinking caffeine. Stimulants will give you a nice energy boost in the morning but can also keep you awake at night. Try not to consume any caffeinated drinks, like soda or coffee, after lunchtime.
- Staying in bed. If your mind is alert and you just don’t feel tired yet, get out of bed and engage in a light activity. Try doing some reading, listening to music, or practicing some yoga before trying to go to sleep again. You don’t want to associate restlessness or feeling anxious with being in bed, since this can lead to insomnia.
- Exercising before bedtime. Exercise is critical for your overall health and well-being, but rigorous exercise should not be done any time after dinner. Doing your exercise early in the morning will be ideal in helping you have more energy during the day and fall asleep faster at night.
- Your mattress. If you can’t seem to get comfortable before falling asleep, you might want to invest in a new mattress. There are a lot of mattress types available, so you should choose something that is most comfortable for your body type and sleeping position. You should test out any mattress before making a purchase to decide what type of material and firmness are best for you. You should also be aware of how much space you need to sleep comfortably when considering mattress size.
If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, pay close attention to these 7 potential causes. Then decide if any of them are keeping you awake, and what changes you can make. If you have adjusted your lifestyle and still suffer from poor quality sleep or tiredness during the day, our sleep experts are here to help. You can reach us at Family Sleep Diagnostics or give us a call at (972) 714-0011.