Stop Tossing And Turning All Night With These Tips
Are you tossing and turning all night? Poor sleep can be caused by a myriad of things - from simple lifestyle habits to major medical issues. The good news is that, in most cases, you can regain your rest by making a few simple changes to your daily routine. Here's how.
Why Am I Tossing and Turning All Night?
Poor sleep can be caused my any number of things, including:
Diet - Caffeine, sugar, and simple carbohydrates can make falling asleep difficult. Caffeine is a stimulant, preventing your brain from shutting down properly at bedtime. Sugar and simple carbohydrates act similarly. Alcohol also interferes with sleep; while initially it acts as a depressant, after several hours its effects are reversed and it acts as a stimulant - causing tossing and turning throughout the night.
Screens - If you fall asleep watching television or scroll through your social media feed as you're reclining in bed, you may be sabotaging your sleep. The blue light emitted from electronic screens actually interferes with your sleep cycles and should be avoided before bed.
Erratic Schedule - Your body's circadian rhythm is affected by both the natural light of the sun and your daily habits. If your work schedule is such that you sleep at odd times or you wake and rise at widely varying times, it can severely affect the quality of your sleep and lead to tossing and turning; your body prefers routine and regularity.
Medical Problems - Sleep apnea, thyroid problems, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety can all cause poor sleep. Additionally, medications that you are taking for other conditions may be contributing to sleeplessness.
Tips for Better Sleep
In order to get better sleep, it's necessary to get your circadian rhythms back on track. Here's how to readjust your body back into a healthy sleep routine.
- Maintain a regular bedtime.
- Maintain a regular waking time - even on the weekends.
- Don't watch TV, look at your computer, read on your tablet, or scroll through your phone for two hours before bed.
- Wear orange-tinted, blue-light filtering glasses that filter the blue light if you do use electronics close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine (including chocolate) afternoon.
- Do not drink alcohol before bed.
- Avoid late-night sugar.
- Don't sleep with your phone plugged in by your bed.
- If you nap, don't sleep for more than 15 minutes - and avoid all naps after 2 pm.
- Get at least 20 minutes of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
- Take 3-5 mg of melatonin about 20 minutes before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Use a white noise machine to block out distracting sounds.
- Keep a piece of paper by your bed to dump any random thoughts/to-do lists that pop into your head while you're waiting to drift off to sleep.
- Talk with your doctor about your night waking to see if it could be a side effect of your medication, if you show other symptoms of depression or anxiety, or if it can be attributed to other medical conditions such as sleep apnea.
If you struggle with poor sleep or insomnia, depression or anxiety may be to blame. Counseling can help you overcome these issues and help you get better rest. BetterHelp.com offers affordable counseling - and they conveniently offer it online so you can do it from the comfort of your own home.