Sleep is essential for good health, but sometimes it doesn’t come easily. You might lie there at night, eyes wide open, watching the clock tick away. Or, you may wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep. You may be wondering why you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep; here are a few possibilities:
Stress is a major cause of insomnia. If you’re worried or facing conflicts, your mind may be too preoccupied with your troubles to relax enough for sleep. Moreover, your body responds to mental stress by releasing adrenaline, tensing your muscles, and raising your blood pressure. This is the exact opposite state you need for sleep.
To relax your body, use slow and deep breathing techniques. Turn off the anxious thoughts in your mind by focusing on your body, consciously relaxing each muscle. Calming music or white noise may also distract you.
If you’re tossing and turning, and you can’t get comfortable, it could be your mattress. A mattress that doesn’t offer the right support for your body can aggravate aches and pains such as muscle tightness, sciatica, and arthritis. A different mattress may give you some relief.
Today, there are more styles of mattresses than ever before, including memory foam, foam/gel hybrids, and mattresses with air chambers. An air mattress limits pains that come from sleeping on an ill-suited mattress. It’s also adjustable so you can choose the setting that works for your body.
What You Eat
Your daytime habits, especially your diet, can affect the quality of your sleep. The effects of caffeine are well-known but often overlooked. Caffeine can stay in your body and continue to affect your bodily system for five or six hours. That means your afternoon pick-me-up or after-dinner coffee could be what’s keeping you awake.
Alcohol, spicy foods, and high-fat foods can also affect your sleep. Lying down can make your body more prone to heartburn, gastric reflux, and other digestive issues. Try eating a light meal earlier in the evening and drink nothing but water until bedtime.
Lack of sleep can affect how well you function during the daytime and worse, it can contribute to long-term health problems. Insomnia has many causes, but if you find out why you’re struggling to sleep, you may be able to finally get a good night’s rest.
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