6 Barriers to a Good Night’s Sleep (and What to Do About Them)
(AscendHealthy.com) – Lying awake at night? You’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of the population has experienced insomnia at some point in their lives. If you’re tossing and turning instead of slumbering peacefully, there are some specific reasons why you might not be able to sleep.
1. You’re Hungry
When a body needs fuel, it’s going to keep sending out reminders. A growling stomach is just one of them, but hungry people can also feel cranky, restless, and even light-headed. None of those feelings make it easy to sleep. Being hungry can also cause blood sugar to drop in the middle of the night, which can also disrupt sleep. Having a small snack before bed or keeping something to eat on the bedside table can help fix the problem, especially if plummeting blood sugar is the culprit.
2. You’re in Pain
Pain can easily keep a person from sleeping, simply because being in pain makes it hard to focus on anything else. A headache, menstrual cramps, an injury or sore and aching muscles are all issues that can make it hard to sleep. Mental or emotional pain can also create a problem with getting good rest. The Sleep Foundation has found that 21% of Americans have chronic pain and 36% struggle with acute pain every week. Treating the cause of the pain may significantly improve sleep.
3. You Don’t Have a Good Schedule
An unpredictable schedule can lead to sleep problems and long-term health issues. Without a proper schedule, the body doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be doing at any given time. That’s a problem, because the person might be tired when they should feel rested and be wide awake when they need to sleep. While no one’s schedule is going to be perfect all the time, keeping fairly regular hours may help insomnia sufferers get a better night’s sleep.
4. You’re Stressed
Stress can keep a person from sleeping. When the body is stressed, it makes more cortisol, and that can keep it awake. The fight-or-flight response produced by the extra cortisol makes it harder to “wind down” and get some rest. Additionally, the brain doesn’t like to let go of problems it’s facing, and it’s looking for solutions and ways to lower the stress.
All of that can easily contribute to not getting enough rest, and when sleep is elusive for a long time, it only drives stress levels higher. It’s not possible to eliminate stress from life, but the less stress a person has, the better off they’ll be in the long run and the more quality sleep they’ll generally get.
5. You Need to Pee Too Often
Getting up once or twice during the night is fairly normal, especially as a person ages, but getting up multiple times may mean it’s time to cut back on liquid consumption — especially if there’s caffeine involved. WebMD notes that caffeine can cause more frequent urination, and consuming too much of it may contribute to bladder problems. Medline recommends avoiding all excess fluid consumption before bedtime to give the body a break from being awakened by urination. Urinary tract infections and kidney problems can also cause frequent urination, so if the problem persists, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
6. You Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a medical condition, and getting treatment for it is important. It can cause a person to stop breathing for short periods of time, multiple times per night. That contributes to broken sleep that’s not restful, which can also cause long-term health issues. The Mayo Clinic says that sleep apnea isn’t always serious, but all cases should be checked out by a healthcare professional. Finding ways to correct or treat the problem can mean sleeping better and protecting overall health.
Everyone has a night here and there when they don’t sleep well. If chronic sleep problems are creeping into your life, it may be time to find the cause and figure out what you can do about it. When you treat the problems the right way, you’ll find that you sleep better and improve the quality of your health while you’re at it.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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