Trouble Staying Asleep
If you’re experiencing trouble staying asleep, you’re not alone.
Many people struggle with waking up multiple times throughout the night and they can’t figure out why.
Things like stress, condition of your mattress, outside noise, and room temperature are a few examples that can interrupt your sleep.
The good news is that there are small changes you can make that can improve your sleep.
First, let’s start with things you should avoid.
What to Avoid to Sleep Better
1) Water or Liquids Close to Bedtime
Keep hydrated throughout the day but cut back when it’s getting close to bedtime. Getting up for the bathroom is one of the most common reasons for interrupted sleep.
2) Bright Lights in Room
You might not be aware of lights in your room that stay on when you turn off the lights.
LED lights from alarm clocks, night lights, DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s, and your phone all signal your brain to stay alert and awake.
Try your best to get rid all light, no matter how small it is.
Stay off your phone, especially when your room lights are turned off.
The bright LED light from your phone is the last thing you want near your face when your room is dark and you’re getting ready for bed.
3) Exercise Close to Bed Time
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and sleep better.
However, exercising too close to bed time raises your heart rate, body temperature, and alertness.
All of these keep you awake and interrupt sleep.
If you must workout in the evenings, try to at least four to five hours before bed to give yourself time to wine down and relax.
4) Coffee or Caffeinated Drinks After 12 p.m.
This can be tough if you’re used to having coffee in the afternoons when you feel tired or sluggish.
Caffeine stays in your system for 8 to 14 hours.
In order to get your best sleep possible, I would recommend you don’t have it after the morning hours.
I use to drink coffee all day, but slowly cut back and am down to just two cups during the morning time.
Tricks to Sleep Better
Let me tell you a story…
When I was in college, I had an overnight job that allowed me to both earn money and study.
The problem was that when I would get home around 7:30 a.m., it was broad daylight out and many things wouldn’t allow me to fall asleep.
I had the issue of it being so bright in my room, outside noise, and room temperature (your home is warmer during the day due to sunlight).
My sleep quality was HORRIBLE and trouble staying asleep was an every day issue!
I would get about four to five hours of sleep since my body wouldn’t allow for more.
I was tired, irritable, and wanted to do whatever possible to get at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep.
So I began researching and came across things that fixed my problem.
1) Black Out Curtains
These curtains are amazing!
Not only do they block out any light from outside your window, they also block out noise and lower your electric bill.
How? Well the less light that gets into your home, the cooler it stays so as a result your AC doesn’t work as hard.
You use less electric power and the curtains end up paying for themselves with your money savings.
I love these curtains because it can be broad day light and my room will be pitch black!
If I choose to have light in my room at any given time throughout the day, I simply open the curtains.
2) Sleeping Mask
I never really understood the point of a sleeping mask.
I mean, yeah, it covers your eyes when you sleep but what’s the point if your room is dark?
Well, as mentioned above, light tends to sneak into your room in ways that you don’t realize.
Small electronics, gadgets, or outside light coming in through your window affects your sleep.
In my case, I had A LOT of light coming in.
I bought the sleeping mask below and immediately noticed a difference.
It felt like it was night time at 7:30 a.m., I loved it!
The sleeping mask is cheap, light, and comfortable.
Even though I have black out curtains, I use the sleeping mask since I have gadgets in my room that I don’t want to constantly unplug and plug back in.
3) Ear Plugs
As mentioned, outside noise interrupted my sleep.
Things like cars honking, people cutting grass with their loud lawn mowers, and even the occasional knock on my door caused me trouble staying asleep.
I tried putting pillows and my comforter over my head, but that didn’t help much.
I did research on ways to block out noise and found some ear plugs online that fixed the issue!
The ear plugs completely blocked out all outside noise and my sleep quality improved.
The ear plugs adjust to your ear size and are comfortable.
Don’t worry, you can still hear your alarm in the mornings, as long as it’s close by.
4) Lowering AC Temperature
Since the temperature outside raises during the day, so does the temperature in your home.
Your body has trouble staying asleep when it’s too warm.
“The sweet spot for sleep seems to be somewhere between 68 and 74 degrees” – Tracey Marks, MD.
I would lower the temperature at home to 70 – 71 degrees to ensure that it kept cool while I slept, and let me tell you, it sure helped!
Combining all these things was the best investment and decision I made.
I had no trouble sleeping 7 to 8 hours.
These things helped me during the day when light, noise, and temperature is greater.
I’m sure they can help you at the night when these things are less, but still present.
You might want to try all of them together like I did, or start with a few changes at a time.
Maybe lowering the AC temperature, using ear plugs, and not drinking coffee after at 12 p.m. is all you need.
Everyone is different, experiment and do whatever you need to do to avoid trouble staying asleep.