Getting a good night’s sleep has never been more important – or more difficult. With so many of us living busier and busier lives it is becoming increasingly difficult to get those requisite eight hours a night. And the results of lack of sleep go far beyond mere annoyance and daytime sleepiness.
Sleep deprivation can result in some very serious consequences, including traffic accidents caused by sleepy drivers, reduced worker productivity on the job and much more. With so much at stake it is vital for everyone to take an active interest in getting a good night’s sleep.
Each of us must deal with the enemies of sleep, and it is important for each person to take a good look at the things that are causing poor or disrupted sleep. Until you learn to recognize what is causing your lack of sleep you will be powerless to deal with your sleeplessness.
Fortunately most of the causes of poor sleep break down into just a few easily recognizable categories. Chances are you will see yourself in these examples, and that will make it easier to make those needed changes.
Is Your Brain Running At 100mph Even When Your Body Is At Rest?
These days so many of us are leading busy, hectic lives. It is no wonder so many of us have trouble turning off our brains when it is time to get a good night’s rest. If you find yourself lying in bed thinking about the next workday or the broken washing machine it is important to deal with those thoughts before they interfere with your sleep pattern. These thoughts are not at all unusual – in fact worrying thoughts are responsible for a large percentage of sleep problems.
Fortunately there are some strategies you can use to unplug and get ready to count sheep instead of unfinished work assignments. Try these relaxation techniques to help you unwind and get ready for a great night of uninterrupted sleep.
- Prepare yourself for sleep: Start to relax and decompress an hour before your planned bedtime. That means turning off the TV, putting the laptop away and setting the cell phone aside. You may also want to put on some soft and soothing music to help you relax and get ready for bed.
- Try some meditation before turning in: Meditating before bedtime is a great way to turn your mind away from the troubles of the day and toward a more relaxing place.
- Enjoy a nice warm bath or shower: A hot shower or bath can help you relax and make you sleepy. Many people find that going straight from the tub or shower into bed is a great way to get to sleep quickly.
Do You Fall Asleep Quickly But Wake Up During The Night?
Many people find that they can get to sleep quickly, only to wake up multiple times during the night. The reasons for this temporary wakefulness can vary, but the results are always the same. Whether you wake up to go to the bathroom or because your mind is still racing waking up during the night will result in interrupted sleep and poor sleep quality. Waking up many times during the night can leave you sleep deprived and tired the next day, so it is important to deal with the cause and use these proven techniques to help you sleep through the night.
- Keep tabs on the amount you drink: Try to limit the amount of liquids you drink, starting a couple hours before bedtime. If you find yourself getting up to urinate more than once during an eight hour sleep cycle it may be time to cut back on the juices, sodas and other beverages.
- Strictly limit your caffeine intake: Even if you do not feel that caffeinated beverages keep you awake, your body knows the difference. Foods and drinks with high levels of caffeine can interrupt your sleep patterns even if they do not prevent you from falling asleep. In addition to obvious caffeine sources like coffee also look out for colas, chocolate and other sources of caffeine.
Do You Feel Like You’re Living With A Buzz Saw?
Do the sounds your partner makes at night remind you of logging equipment? If so that snoring could be interfering mightily with your sleep patterns. That snoring could also be dangerous to your spouse or partner, since snoring can be a sign sleep apnea. If your snoring bedmate has not already been evaluated for sleep apnea be sure to make an appointment.
If the snoring is annoying but not dangerous one of those nighttime breathing strips may be helpful. Many people who snore have enjoyed great relief from these over the counter remedies. Sometimes a change of position can help as well, so be sure to ask your partner to experiment with several different sleeping positions. And if all else fails you may need to seek a different bed during those long sleepless nights.
Dealing with a lack of sleep is never easy, but it is important to persevere. A lack of sleep can have serious ramifications, including daytime sleepiness, less attention to your job and even a serious car accident. Preventing these negative results is extremely important, so get to the root of your sleeping problem and do something about it.