The average amount of sleep humans get in a 24-hour period is 8 hours. That means we spend a third of our lives catching Z’s. Every hour we spend recharging our batteries matters, so if you can’t sleep for whatever reason, it will definitely impact you the next day. Anyone who has burned the midnight oil on occasion, binge watched the latest new entry on Netflix, or pulled an all-nighter can attest how sluggish they feel the next day from the sleep deprivation. For anyone else who tries to get a good night’s sleep but can’t, these could be the reasons why:
1) Stress –Stress is considered to be a silent killer. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to high blood pressure, chronic headaches, and poor sleep habits. We go over stress management techniques in another blog post if you have trouble keep life’s stresses at bay.
2) Irregular schedule – We are all creatures of habit. If you work 4 AM to noon every Monday through Friday, you’d be thrilled to sleep in on the weekends. The big drawback with this habit is the grogginess you feel when you sleep in. So even if you hate waking up at 3 AM, waking up at noon Saturday and Sunday morning isn’t any better.
3) Sleep apnea – if you have trouble breathing when you sleep, snore loudly, or wake up frequently, you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, as this is one of the easiest sleep conditions to treat.
4) Eating right before bedtime – It takes up to four hours for consumed food to be digested by your stomach and move onto your small intestine. Eating within the four hours before you sleep could result in gastro esophageal reflex disease or GERD, which is when stomach acid backflows into the esophagus. This is one of the most common causes of disrupted sleep and could also be a result of your diet.
5) Taking OTC sleep medication – Sleep pills or PM medicines sometimes include antihistamines. Antihistamines are in allergy medicine and can also lead to drowsiness. Their primary purpose is to combat allergies, not as a sleep remedy.
6) Sleeping with your phone – The blue light from electronic screens, whether it’s a computer or smartphone, has been proven to disrupt circadian rhythms by reducing your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Remedy this by installing an app that reduces the blue light from your electronics or power down 2-3 hours before you go to bed.