Why I Can't Sleep At Night ...
Having trouble sleeping is not uncommon.
According to the NHS , one in every three people in the UK have problem sleeping.
Difficulty of getting to sleep or staying asleep for a long enough to feel fresh the next morning is called insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems that affects many adults and children worldwide. There are many possible causes of insomnia ranging from lifestyle to mental health issues.
People who go without their normal amount of sleep, lack of concentration or affect their mood that may lead to relationship problems with family, friends and colleagues.
Normal sleep consists of two types; the first is known as non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep or it is also called slow wave sleep, because there is reduced electrical activity in the brain during this period, our muscles becomes relaxed during this phase. The second part is known as REM sleep, because of the rapid eye movements that take place during your eyelids closed.
Dreaming or certainly the most memorable and vivid dream also take places during this phase, and there is a period of the normal wakefulness for a few second (micro awakenings) and we normally do not remember this, then the body enters the phase of non-REM. It may take the length of sleep cycle (1,5 - 2 hours) to get back to sleep. We are likely to wake from REM sleep than non-REM sleep. Dreaming is a necessary part of normal sleep, and is probably necessary for the wellbeing of the mind.
Apart from mental health issues, why I sometimes find it difficult to sleep?
I asked some friends about this, and some answers such as;
"I've got so much stuff on my mind, got bad dreams"
"I've just broke up with my boyfriend, feeling s**t and can't sleep"
"I loss my job"
"Been on the night shift"
Ditch The Late-Night Caffeine
Many of us simply cannot start our days without a cozy cup of tea or hot latte, quick espresso and and to be honest, we probably cannot imagine life without our daily dose. When it comes to messing with our sleep, one that is probably most responsible than all of others is caffeine.
Caffeine is hidden in many part of drinks or foods - teas, coffees, fizzy drinks, even hot chocolate or chocolate bars.
Effect of Drinking Coffee after 3pm. Drinking coffee late in the afternoon can disturb the production of melatonin; hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle. It controls our sleep schedule by telling us whether it is tie to sleep or wake up. According to a research performed at the Tel Aviv University, participants who drank coffee after 3pm slept five and a half hours of sleep on average. On the other hand, those who did not drink coffee or those who opted for decaf instead, slept extra tow hours. The quality of sleep is also poor.
Be Wise With Drinking
You probably think that alcohol sends you to sleep, especially after several shots of Sambuca, but it has a bad impact on your overall sleep.
Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish. This is because drinking disturb your sleep cycle. When you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into sleep quicker. This is why some people find drinking alcohol helps them to dose-off to sleep. But as the night goes on, you spend less time in this deep sleep (non-REM) and more time than usual in the REM sleep. This can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed.
Put Away Your Phone or Screens Before Bed
According to a study of 10,000 16 to 19-year-olds, researchers in Norway found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have. Researchers found that the blue light emitted by screens on phones, computers, tablets or TV restrain the production of melatonin. Reducing this hormones make it harder to fall or stay asleep. Studies also suggest that 72 percent of children ages six to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom, which leads to getting less sleep on school nights.
You might be tempting to stay up late one night and sleep in later the next morning, it's not great for your sleeping schedule. In fact, sticking to a routine with a regular bed time and wake-up time, this can improve your sleep. This also means getting up at your weekdays hours on weekend too.
Still tired when you just wake up? Don't let yourself oversleep. Get up at the normal time and put yourself earlier to recover from your tiredness.
Make your bed inviting and comfortable
The foundation of a good night's sleep is a comfortable and supportive bed. The bed is often overlooked when it comes to getting a good or a bad night's sleep. And yet it plays a pivotal role.
Past research shows that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can rob your of up to an hour's vital, restful sleep. Instead of waking up refreshed, revitalised and ready to face the world, sleeping on a grotty old bed is likely to give you a disturbed night and a stiff neck or back in the morning. And as I asked some friends, they commented that their matters impacted on how well they slept, whether that's good or bad.
Tips for a good night sleep. See: http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-sleep/
Misma Hemming - Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Life Coaching, Mentor