If you’ve ever spent the night tossing and turning in bed, trying to calm the racing thoughts in your mind, you likely know how irritating this can be. While restless sleep is normal to some degree, it can become problematic if you’re sleep deprived for a more extended period. This blog will discuss why you may have difficulty getting a good night’s rest and what to do to improve your sleep.
What causes tossing and turning at night?
There are different reasons why you may struggle to sleep, and addressing the underlying cause is vital in improving the quality of your sleep. Here is why you may be tossing and turning all night:
- Stress. Stress is the main culprit that impacts your ability to fall and stay asleep. Factors like work and relationships activate your body’s fight or flight response, triggering the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This makes it difficult for your body to relax, leading to restlessness and muscle tension. Since your mind is preoccupied with different problems that stress you out.
- Excessive blue light stimulation. Electronic devices like tablets, computers, and smartphones emit blue light, suppressing melatonin production – a hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Consequently, you have difficulty falling asleep, and overusing electronic devices before bedtime causes mental stimulation, which doesn’t allow you to relax. This is why experts advise avoiding screens for at least one hour before bed.
- Poor sleep schedule. Your body’s internal clock – the circadian rhythm- is tied to the natural daily pattern of day and night, playing a vital role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. If this rhythm is disrupted, you may have trouble falling asleep. Some factors affecting your circadian rhythm include shift work, jet lag, and inconsistent sleep patterns.
- Increased caffeine consumption. Coffee is a part of people’s morning routines, but too much caffeine can lead to insomnia. When awake, your brain produces a sleep-promoting neurotransmitter known as adenosine, which accumulates during the day, making you sleepier. But caffeine prevents adenosine buildup, so reducing its consumption will always be effective in improving your sleep.
- Health issues. Different health conditions can lead to sleep problems, such as restless legs syndrome. RLS leads to an uncontrollable need to move your legs, especially lying down or sitting. Sleep apnea could be another issue.
What can you do to sleep better?
Sleep is vital for all your body processes, ensuring good health and well-being. You can do many things to get a good night’s rest, and while some are more common, others may not be so evident. For instance, did you know that the mattress you sleep on significantly impacts your sleep quality? Yes, that’s right – once your mattress lifespan ends, it no longer gives your body what it needs, and at that point, you should consider getting a new one. Your posture may also be to blame for poor sleep, so consider getting a millet knee pillow. This unique type of pillow promotes good posture and supports deeper sleep so that you can wake up the next day feeling energized. The environment in your bedroom should be conducive to sleep, so pay attention to elements like noise and light. Unsurprisingly, loud noise disturbances lead to sleep fragmentation, affecting your physical health and mental well-being. Hence, it only makes sense to ensure your bedroom is quiet, and you can do that by putting on some soothing music or using noise-blocking curtains.
According to PineTales, your body temperature also affects how well you sleep. Putting a millet knee pillow between your legs works miracles, preventing your body from overheating, thus helping you keep a comfortable temperature so you can get the rest you need. Here’s an extra tip for enhancing the environment in your bedroom: consider filling the space with soothing scents such as lavender essential oil. Since it promotes relaxation, it will help you sleep better.
Besides creating the right bedroom environment, here are other tricks to consider:
- Pay attention to your diet. What you eat influences your health and also the quality of your sleep. For example, dairy, nuts, and proteins promote a good night’s rest, while caffeine, sugary drinks, and greasy foods deserve caution, as they can cause sleep disruptions. Also, experts suggest waiting at least three hours before bed after eating, as discomfort may not let you fall asleep.
- Create a consistent sleep schedule. This aspect plays a crucial role in maintaining good sleep hygiene. Consider keeping your bedtime and wake-up time within a 20-minute window – even during the weekends – as this will help regulate your body’s internal clock. Suppose you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes; in that case, you should leave the bedroom and engage in a relaxing activity, like listening to soothing music or reading a book. Once you start feeling tired, you can return to bed. Also, if you want to nap, it’s best to do it early in the afternoon so it doesn’t disrupt nighttime sleep.
- Manage stress. As mentioned in the article, stress and anxiety may be another reason you’re constantly tossing and turning at night. Moreover, not getting sufficient sleep worsens anxiety, which results in a vicious cycle of worry and lack of sleep. To effectively manage stress and improve sleep, you can adopt a holistic approach that includes different strategies, such as taking time to reflect on the day’s events before bedtime. You can do this through journaling, which is efficient for coping with stress, as it will help release any lingering emotions, making it easier to relax and fall asleep. Other strategies for managing stress include meditation, relaxation techniques, deep breathing, and exercise.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your life, impacting everything from your mood to your productivity and immune system. Thus, building habits that promote a good night’s rest only makes sense. Having a consistent sleep schedule, paying attention to what you eat, and creating the ideal bedroom environment, are some things you can do so you can drift off peacefully at night.
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