9 Reasons Why You Can Never Get Enough Sleep
If you feel like you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks, or even months, you’re not alone. Whether you are a student, new parent or kicking-butt in your career, we all want to know how to fall asleep faster and sleep better. I know I do. Recently, I sought the help of a sleep therapist to help me identify by bad bedtime habits and finally snooze with ease. Turns out, sleep hygiene can play a huge part in how well you sleep. If you can’t seem to get enough shuteye — these common bad habits could be to blame.
You’re spending too much time in bedWhile it may make sense to head to bed when you feel tired, spending too much time in bed can prevent you from getting restful sleep. If you find yourself waking up throughout the night or seeking out naps during the day, you could consider going to bed later or getting up earlier.
The idea is that shortening the amount of time you spend in bed consolidates your sleep, allowing you to sleep deeper. You should only sleep as much as you need to feel rested.
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You're not clocking in enough sleepMost adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night but with late nights, early alarms and that can’t-miss concert, it can be hard to get the right amount every single night. A sleep diary can help you figure out that perfect amount that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready. Start by tracking how many hours you get each night, plus how you feel the next day. Do you feel well rested after a solid seven? Or do you need a nap? Writing it down will help you find patterns and help you find your ideal amount.
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You’re napping too muchThis was my downfall. I looked forward to my Sunday afternoon naps all week long. That is because I relied on naps to catch up on sleep after a long week and some late-night karaoke. The problem is that these naps made it harder for me to fall asleep on Sunday night. I wasn’t tired enough when I went to bed at night and I would lay awake for hours.
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Your bedroom is to blameYou may have an amazing mattress and super-cute, comfy bedding, but there’s other ways your bedroom could be keeping you awake. Too much light can trick your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up, so consider getting dark blinds and keeping electronics out of your bedroom. Turning off alarms and notifications on your phone and shutting the door can help rid your room of noises that might wake you. Turning down the heat before bed can also help improve your sleep.
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Leave your problems at the bedroom doorEven if your bedroom looks like it came out of an HGTV show, you can still find it hard to fall asleep. Some nights, your head hits the pillow and it’s swimming with the day’s to-do lists, that mistake you made, that conversation you had with your boss... it can be hard to clear your mind. Making notes or writing down your to-do list before you head to bed can help get it out of your mind. Talking about your day to a friend or partner can help get it off your chest and ease your mind. Meditation can also help quiet your mind and body getting it ready for sleep.
Don’t go to bed hungryA little snack, like toast or crackers can help you fall asleep faster — but just make sure that it isn’t too heavy. While a snack can be good, don’t down a glass of water right before you hit the hay. Drinking too much before going to bed can cause your bladder to wake you up. Same with alcohol. While a night cap can help you fall asleep it can cause you wake up later in the night.
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Stop watching the clock like a hawkWaking up repeatedly or staring at the clock can lead to worry, anger or frustration, the last thing you need when you’re trying to drift off to sleep. If you find yourself watching the clock, try turning it away from you, covering it up or even putting it under the bed so you can’t see or reach for it during the night.
You’re not exercising enoughRemember how well you sleep after spending the day of hiking? It isn’t just the fresh air that helps you sleep better. Moving your body tires it out, making it easier to fall asleep and achieve deeper REM cycles. Just be sure to exercise at least three hours before you plan to hit the hay, to give your body time to calm down.
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It might be an underlying medical conditionTimes of stress and a busy lifestyle can cause periods of bad sleep, but if it lasts longer, you should consider seeing your doctor. Poor sleep and insomnia can be related to other health conditions such as depression, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia and more. Your doctor can best advise you on your health and what help you may need.
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