Why Won’t My Body Let Me Fall Asleep
There are many reasons why our bodies dont let us fall asleep at night when we go to bed.
- Too much Screen Time
- Sleep Disorders
Whether youre taking too long of a nap in the afternoon or having a hard time falling asleep at night because youre dealing with mental health issues that are causing you worries outside of your control, or youre spending too much time at night on your phone as you lay in bed – these are all habits that we can break which then will eliminate our problem when it comes to falling asleep.
Generally-speaking, when someone cant fall asleep its because their brain activity has not decreased to the point where it can signal the body to fall asleep. Decreasing brain activity can not only help you fall asleep but it can also help you when it comes to resolving the majority of problems which cause you to be unable to sleep at first.
Whats great about today, too, is that there are also some wonderful tools that people can use to help them fall asleep at night such as white noise machines, calming music, or even CBD therapy.
In recent years scientific studies have shown how CBD can not only improve the quality of sleep people get on a nightly-basis but that it can also help them get a deeper, more restoring sleep as well which leads to numerous health benefits.
Exercise Improves Sleep Quality
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of insomnia and helps you get a restful night’s sleep. Studies have shown that getting as little as 10 minutes of aerobic activity per day is enough to significantly improve sleep quality. Cycling, running, and swimming are good options. To make exercise as conducive to sleep as possible, avoid working out within 3 to 4 hours of your bedtime. Mind-body exercises like yoga and tai chi are relaxing to do in the afternoon or evening. They are great for relieving stress and set the stage for you to get good deep sleep.
Insomnia By The Numbers
Normally, it should take less than 30 minutes to fall asleep, and you should be able to sleep uninterrupted by arousals or awakenings for at least seven hours.
Adults need seven to eight hours of actual sleep per night, but almost 30 percent of Americans get just six hours or less. This is unfortunate because sleeping six or less hours is associated with fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness, as well as many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease .
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Whats Causing Your Insomnia
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
- Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
- Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
- Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
- Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
- Is your bedroom quiet and comfortable?
- Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
Treating Insomnia With A Better Sleep Environment And Routine
Two powerful weapons in the fight against insomnia are a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a relaxing bedtime routine. Both can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, a bedroom thats too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to mask outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide the support you need to sleep comfortably.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at your usual time in the morning even if youre tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your bodys production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes checking messages on social media, big discussions or arguments with your spouse or family, or catching up on work. Postpone these things until the morning.
Beat Insomnia: Sleep Better Tonight Using Proven Techniques
- What insomnia is, what causes it
- How to diagnose insomnia
- The different types of sleep and why they are important
- What constitutes enough sleep
- How to tell if you need a new bed
- What to eat to get a better sleep
- The best sleeping postures to use
- How to deal with noise
- The best temperature for sleeping
- Pregnancy & how it affects sleep
- How to lay your room out for better sleep
- What meditation is and how it supports insomnia management & stress reduction
- 3 meditations to help get a better nights sleep
How To Beat Insomnia Practical Techniques That Really Work
When your mind won’t switch off at night, sleep becomes a distant dream. Sarah Plater spent over a decade looking for a cure, only to realise that she already had everything she needed
This competition is now closed
Falling asleep has always taken me a while. But during my late teens, I started to stay awake longer and longer. Id lie in bed worrying about something I said, or dreading something I had to do at college the next day.
One week, as part of my A-Level psychology course, my class watched a video about a man with an incredibly rare medical condition. He became physically unable to fall asleep, went mad and died. That night, I became convinced this was happening to me.
I am a rational person. I can see two sides to an argument and stay calm under pressure. But, lying in the dark next to my snoring partner, I transformed into somebody else entirely someone going crazy with fear, envy and frustration. I was trapped in the cinema of my mind, with a movie screen that showed back-to-back horror films: I was and always would be a failure I would lose everyone I loved our house would be gobbled up by a giant sinkhole.
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This continued for over a decade: when I look back on my teens and 20s, I remember feeling exhausted. I was in good company. One in three people are regularly affected by poor sleep, and one in 10 suffer from chronic insomnia.
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The Types Of Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects your quality of life. For some, insomnia makes it hard to fall asleep. Others go to sleep quickly but cant stay that way. And some fall asleep, but not deep enough for good quality rest.
The type of insomnia you have is based on how long youre affected by it:
- Acute insomnia typically doesnt last long and often comes with big life changes.
- Chronic insomnia generally lasts longer than three months and may need treatment.
One in four Americans experiences acute insomnia each year. Its more common in women than men and more common in people over age 65. But many dont know they have it, which is why it often goes undiagnosed and untreated.
You’re Obsessing Over The Worlds Problems
A lot of things going on dont really put our mind at ease, whether thats the pandemic, social unrest or political issues, Martin said. Theres a natural tendency at the end of the day to go over these issues one more time then put your head on your pillow.
How to beat it: Spend the last 30 to 60 minutes of your day reading something fun, light or interesting that break can help separate your mind from the things that are keeping it active. And stay off your phone. If you feel you must look at your phone, scroll through your photos of your last vacation, Martin said.
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How To Relieve Insomnia Without Medication: Part 1
Feeling sleepy? Youre not alone. According to the CDC, on any given day, as many as one in five adults suffers from an insufficient amount of sleep! Insomnia affects adolescents, adults and the elderly. And as we age, sleep can become even more elusive, so developing good sleep habits when youre younger can pay off later in life.
How To Beat Insomnia
Conventional insomnia treatment guidelines for how to beat insomnia call for education about the rules of good sleep hygiene and either psychological and behavioral interventions, pharmacological interventions, or a combination of the two. Since psychological and behavioral therapy is also a top natural treatment for insomnia, it is covered in that section, below.
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When Should You See A Doctor
If you’ve tried everything to improve your sleep, but you still have insomnia, it’s important to reach out for professional help.
A visit with your doctor can rule out any underlying health issues, and if it’s a medication that is preventing you from sleeping well, they may be able to prescribe a different one.
Your doctor may also prescribe a medication specifically designed to help you sleep. Also, if they think some underlying anxiety or depression is causing your sleeplessness, they may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy³ to help alleviate these issues.
Keep Your Neck In A Neutral Position
Neck pain is a common reason many people have trouble falling asleep. Maintaining proper posture can reduce the probability of neck pain and help you get better sleep. Make sure your neck is in a “neutral” position. That means your nose should line up with the center of your body. Get a pillow that is the right height to keep your neck in a neutral position. Too high and your neck will be bent too far forward. Too low and your neck will be bent too far backward. A feather or memory foam pillow that molds to the shape of your head and neck are good options. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Your head is turned to the side in this position and twists your neck which may cause pain and put pressure on nerves.
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When Should You Seek Expert Help For Insomnia
If lack of sleep is making it hard for you to function, talk to your primary care doctor. Your doctor can either treat you or refer you to a sleep specialist. Even if youre functioning OK, if youre having trouble sleeping at least three times a week for three months its worth getting professional help, according to Martin.
And if youre not having trouble falling asleep but youre waking up in the night and struggling to return to sleep, talk to your doctor. That could be a sign of an underlying sleep disorder, Patel said.
For help treating insomnia, you can also try these resources:
- The Insomnia Coach app from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- The CBT-i Coach app, also from the VA, designed to be used alongside therapy
- Sleepeducation.org, an AASM site where you can find a sleep specialist near you
Suffering From Insomnia Try These Tips To Fall Asleep Tonight
Cant sleep these days? Its not just you. We know that people are sleeping differently now than they did in the pre-pandemic era, Jennifer Martin, PhD, author of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of insomnia and a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told TODAY. She said studies have found that during the pandemic, people are spending more time in bed, but the quality of their sleep is worse.
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Are Natural Sleep Remedies Safe For Pregnant People
Certain natural sleep remedies like yoga, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques are great for pregnant people to maintain a healthy, relaxed body and mind. If these techniques also aid in sleep during pregnancy, that is even better. However, some supplements, aromatherapies, herbs, and teas may not be safe to use while pregnant, and you should consult with your physician before trying any of these methods.
Dr Guys Sleep Advice For Insomniacs
The tug of war is a metaphor I use to convey our human nature to want to win to beat things, to overcome a problem and control it. Our natural instincts kick in during a tug of war: one person pulls and the other wants to pull back. Over time, it is exhausting and frustrating.
When we encounter sleeplessness, we apply the same methodology. We fight against it. We try to do things to make ourselves go to sleep have a hot bath, drink a warm milk, count sheep. All the advice out there about dealing with insomnia is about doing something to help.
The paradox is that sleeping requires us to do absolutely nothing. If you ask a normal sleeper how they do it, they will tell you they do nothing. But if you ask an insomniac, they will give you have a list as long as their arm. My theory is that it is doing all these things to help us get to sleep that is part of the problem.
What can we do to improve the situation? Well, let go. Letting go is about acceptance and a willingness to be awake in bed. Its about accepting everything that goes along with insomnia the worry, anxiety. I teach my patients to use mindfulness to observe all these feelings, and let them be.
When people are finally OK with being awake, they dont get in the way of sleep.
Join a Guardian Masterclass in mindfulness
19 January 6.30pm-9.30pm £99 London.
Learn how to reduce the stresses of the working day.
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Dont Be A Hero: The Negative Effects Of Insomnia
Ever heard someone brag that he or she only needs six hours of sleep? While its admirable to try to put a positive spin on a negative situation, taking a heroic attitude toward sleeplessness can be bad for your health. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Getting insufficient sleep can:
- Cause fatigue, irritability, and excessive daytime sleepiness
- Cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight
- Weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick
- Cause elevated blood pressure and can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Contribute to chronic pain
- Exacerbate mental illness, including depression and anxiety
- Reduce focus and concentration, leading to decreased performance at work
Do A Bedroom Makeover
Another helpful trick is to make your bedroom a place for nothing but sleep. For some people living in small loft apartments, this might be tricky, but by putting up a divider or curtain, you may be able to simulate a similar separate room effect.
Regardless, redecorating your bedroom for a more comfortable and quiet environment can do wonders for your sleep health. Consider decluttering the room and regularly changing the bedding or adding a rug to make the space more appealing and comfortable.
If you come into your bedroom and still cant sleep, dont just lay there and wait for slumber to hit. Instead, get up after 15 minutes and work on some small projects until your body naturally feels sleepy.
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On Your Mark Get Set Sleep
Maybe Insomnia is a new issue for you. Or maybe youâve been dealing with sleepless nights since you were young and are just fed up with your brain not knowing when to just shut off. No matter the situation, it is important to know that treatments for insomnia are available, and that no one has to be left suffering in the dark.
For more information about causes, side effects, and treatments, visit the Sleep Foundationâs Insomnia Hub. You can never be too well read on the subject– and in fact, knowing more about why you canât sleep might help take away some of your anxiety!
Create A Restful Sleep Environment
Sometimes the solutions to sleep problems are right in your home. There is no need to make repairs or move you just have to optimize your bedroom. Here is how to create a restful environment that helps you to beat insomnia.
Set the Right Temperature
Many people like to sleep in a cool room. Others wrap themselves in a warm blanket all year round. But is it right? Lets figure out how the right temperature helps beat insomnia.
During sleep, the temperature of the human body decreases. The lowest measure is reached at about 5 a.m. Then the body temperature starts to rise again. Thats why if the bedroom is cool, we fall asleep faster.
The diapason between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a comfortable temperature for sleeping. To maintain the optimal temperature in a room, follow simple rules:
- adjust the temperature of the radiator during cold seasons, and close curtains or blinds during hot weather
- in a few hours before bedtime, open the windows and ventilate the room or turn on the air conditioner
- choose bedding and sleepwear made from natural fabrics
- dont use heavy and too warm blankets.
Find Your Healthy Sleep Position
We rarely think about the position in which we fall asleep. Whats more, there are no best and worst sleeping positions since the same pose can be uncomfortable in one situation and relieve pain in another. Each pose has its pros and cons, so lets review them to find the one that suits you best
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