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4 Weird Reasons You Can’t Sleep… And How to Fix It

It’s the dead of night. You toss. You turn. You adjust the sheets. You punch your pillow in an attempt to conform it into a more ergonomic shape. And still, nothing works. You stare up into the darkness, wide awake with frustration.

 

“Here we go again,” you think.

 

Sadly, this happens every night to millions of Americans. 35% of U.S. citizens report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Insomnia, as defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is a “persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation or quality.” The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.

 

If you’ve ever had a night like the one described above, there are potential numerous causes, some of which you’ve surely considered as you lay awake in bed. Today, we’ll explore some lesser-known factors that may be contributing to your poor sleep… and how to correct them.

 

1) Eating Dinner Too Late

 

It’s not just what you eat that matters, but when you eat. If you’re chowing down to dinner late into the evening, it could be the reason you find it difficult to knock off shortly afterward.

 

When we eat late at night, the muscles that digest and metabolize our food have to keep working when they should be resting. So while you may be relaxing on the surface, your insides are still in full production mode processing your late meal. This can delay your ability to fall asleep until much later than you’d prefer. As a result, you have a night of restlessness, and a day of grogginess and exhaustion that follows.

 

Try to leave at least 2-3 hours between when you finish eating and bedtime. You may require a larger gap; the key is to listen to what your body is telling you.

 

2) Caffeine in the Afternoon

 

Caffeine’s effects can last long after the jitters have subsided, which means you may not be safe just because you had your last cup of coffee early in the afternoon. One study found that caffeine can delay the timing of your “body clock” -- the 24-hour metabolic rhythm that keeps your body running in time with the world.

 

Caffeine can reduce the amount of deep sleep your body needs. Another study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep by 1 hour. And these effects can be stronger in older adults because it takes their bodies a longer time to process caffeine.

 

You should limit your coffee consumption to 3 or 4 cups of 8-oz coffee per day, and experts recommend most people have their last cup of coffee at least 8 to 10 hours before bedtime, which gives the caffeine ample time to break down. Or to simplify, have your last cup of coffee around lunch.

 

3) Wrong Room Temperature

 

If those hot summer nights make it especially difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, the temperature of your bedroom may need investigating. That’s because a higher body temperature can interfere with your slumber.

 

When your body prepares itself for sleep, you experience a drop in body temperature that begins in the late afternoon and continues to the evening hours. This is an example of thermoregulation -- the body’s ability to maintain and adjust its core temperature, which occurs on a 24-hour cycle, just as the sleep-wake cycle does.

 

So if you’re consistently waking up in the middle of the night, it could be because your thermoregulation is being interrupted by temperatures too high or too cold. Most people sleep best at a relatively cool temperature, around 60-70 degrees fahrenheit.

 

Try setting your thermostat accordingly, so that your environment reflects what your body needs to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

 

4) Too Much Time on Your Phone

 

Smartphones have become an inextricable part of our lives. We use them to communicate with friends and family, keep our schedules, and even get the breaking news of the day. But all that time on your phone has a dark side. And ironically, it’s found in the bright “blue light” of your screen.

 

Every smartphone emits a blue light. These are blue wavelengths that are beneficial during daylight hours because they keep us alert and boost attention and mood. But they can be highly disruptive to your sleep patterns at night.

 

Studies show exposure to blue light inhibits the production of melatonin more than any other type of light. It is believed that the shorter wavelengths in blue light is what causes the body to produce less melatonin, due to the body’s sensitivity to blue light.

 

So your constant waking during the night and the inability to fall asleep could be the result of too much time on your phone. The National Sleep Foundation recommends you stop using your phone at least 30 minutes before bed, and instead grab a book to read. Even if you use a book light, it’s not nearly as harmful as the blue light emitted from your phone.

 

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Hopefully these are helpful hints that will lead to better, more blissful sleep for you. Poor sleep has dozens and dozens of potential causes, so it’s up to you to pay attention to what your body is telling you. What works, what doesn’t and what needs adjusting.

 

Sometimes, the right combination of nutrients can make all the difference in a blissful night’s sleep -- as well as better stress management, stronger brain power, and even pain relief from sore, achy joints.

 

Click Here to learn about the easiest way to flood your body with the nutrients you need for better sleep, less pain and more productivity.

 

 

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