My sleeping habits have made me frustrated

Even if I sleep early, I wake up late. I even don't hear the alarm clock. If by chance I wake early, I stay in bed for a long and have no motivation to get out of bed. This has affected my day to day life. I have become frustrated by this. I have gained a lot of weight too
Asked by Mary

Hello:  Thank you for feeling comfortable with reaching out for support regarding your sleep.  A good night's sleep happens when a few variables come into play as it is important for both your physical and mental health.  Proper sleep can have many benefits it.  It can help to improve mood, productivity and actually overall quality of life, though it requires developing healthy habits and sticking to them.  Small changes, to begin with, can lead to lasting changes in the long run.  The first thing to explore is adopting a regular sleep schedule.  This is considered one of the most important steps in working on sleep hygiene.  We normally do our best with getting between six and nine hours per night of sleep.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day trains your body to sleep and will help to regulate your internal clock.  There may be times that you want to sleep later in the morning, but resisting this will help you to gradually work toward your goal of consistency.  The second area to explore is to look at limiting nap time.  If you do find yourself needing a nap for some reason try to keep it short.  A quick nap of 20-30 minutes can improve your mood and make you more alert, but any longer may interfere with your nighttime sleep.  The third area to explore is trying to get regular exercise.  Even 10 minutes can have a positive effect on your overall well-being.  Exercising regularly can also lead to high-quality, and continuous sleep.  It is best to try and aim towards exercising in the morning or early afternoon as exercise does release endorphins, which are good for you, but endorphins may keep you awake if you do too much strenuous exercise during the evening.  The fourth area to explore is to try and avoid nicotine, and or alcohol before bedtime.  Both of these substances are stimulants, which means that they are most likely to interrupt your sleep.  The effects of caffeine, which is found in not only coffee but also tea and some chocolate can interfere with sleep.  

Another area that may be interfering with your sleep is worry thoughts.  It is important to try and not work on areas of concern as you are approaching bedtime as it keeps the mind active and becomes difficult to shut thoughts off.  Many times I suggest that someone pick a time to work on "worry thoughts" during the day, allowing them permission to work on areas of concern, but also giving them permission to shut thoughts down as bedtime approaches.  

The following tips can be accessed through the American Sleep Association and summarize some of the above suggestions:

*Maintain a regular sleep routine.

*Avoid daytime naps.

*Don't stay in bed awake more than 5-10 minutes.

*Don't watch TV, use the computer, or read in bed.

*Drink caffeinated drinks with caution.

*Avoid inappropriate substances that interfere with sleep.

*Try to have clean fresh air in the room.

*Try to have a quiet, comfortable bedroom.

*Try not to be a clock watcher when sleeping.

*Try taking a warm bath or shower prior to bed.

*Try to quiet the mind with gentle meditation.

In regards to concerns with your weight, getting a good night's sleep by developing better habits will allow more energy and motivation during the daytime which can also allow more focus on eating habits and exercise.  Everything starts with a refreshed mind which comes from a balance in all areas of your life.