Can't Fall Asleep?
Oh, the Things that Keep You from Sleeping!
Oh, those miserable nights when you can't fall asleep.
The only thing worse is when you finally doze off and then can't stay asleep.
There are SO many things that we do to set the stage for a sleepless night...and they all involve some form of excitement.
Did you know that something as simple as surfing the internet could keep you wide awake? That really, really good book you can't put down can be a culprit, too.
Some of us unintentionally set the stage for a night when we can't fall asleep, just with our normal activities.
Top 5 Things that Encourage Insomnia
- Computer. I'm guilty of this, myself. Using the computer late at night can interfere with the body's ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that the body naturally produces that encourages sleep. Research shows that looking at a bright computer screen decreases the production of melatonin.
- TV. Unless you're tuning in to Lawrence Welk reruns, you're probably watching something that's got your blood pumping. Even sitting on the edge of your seat to see who wins the Miss America Pageant can be enough of a stimulant to interfere with sleep.
- Reading. Same thing as that television. Reading the latest best seller usually involves a lot of cliff hanging action. This keeps the adrenaline pumping through your body. Instead of sleeping, you feel like you can go work out for an hour!
- Eating. Wide awake after that bowl of ice cream? Sugar gives our body energy, so loading up with it at bedtime is a nice way to stay awake for a while. Also, eating too close to bedtime makes the body work hard to digest the food. Who can sleep when they're working?
- Alcohol. Having a nightcap might help you fall into that beloved slumber, but research has shown that during the second half of the night people wake up and can't fall asleep again. Instead of being a sleep aid, alcohol will actually keep you from going into REM sleep, and will also make insomnia worse.
What to Do?
- Computer. If you absolutely must be on your computer before bed, see if you can dim the brightness on the monitor.
- TV. Instead of watching that latest, greatest whodunit...opt for a lighthearted comedy. Or maybe something educational on the Discovery Channel.
- Reading. Take advantage of bedtime to educate yourself a little. Instead of reading that heart thumping thriller, try buffing up on some history. Maybe a crossword or sudoku puzzle. Something that will slow the brain down, so you can relax.
- Eating. If you absolutely can't fall asleep because you're starving, choose something that's low in sugar and easy to digest. Maybe peanut butter and crackers? Otherwise, try to not eat closer than 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Alcohol. If you have to have it, how about a 5 o'clock nip? A glass of wine or a few beers might be okay, but anything more than that might interfere with sleep.
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Natural Sleep Remedies
Can't Fall Asleep