Not being able to get to sleep or stay asleep can be distressing and start to affect every single part of your life. It can affect your overall health, performance at work, and even your relationships with those around you. To fix the situation, you have to know what’s at the root of the issue. Only then will you be able to tell which course of action to take. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons why you’re not sleeping.
1. You’re watching screens before going to bed
One of the worst things that you can do is watch hours of YouTube videos before going to bed. That is because the computer screen and most screens on electronic devices emit what is known as blue light.
This type of light is said to be particularly harmful to our circadian rhythm, or internal clock. This is why you should get in the habit of shutting down any screen at least two hours before going to bed.
You shouldn’t stop there, however. Look at other electronics in the room and see if any might be emitting blue light too. Even things like digital clocks can be disruptive to sleep, so see if you could go for an analog clock instead.
2. Not sleeping because of too much light
Light coming from outside the room can also disrupt your circadian rhythm. If light from things like street lamps is entering your room while you’re sleeping, you might want to consider going for shades that will block out the light completely. These are known as black-out curtains and will help create a perfect environment for sleep.
3. The room is at the wrong temperature
Another thing you will have to pay special attention to is the temperature of the room you’re sleeping in. The temperature should never be lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcius) and never higher than 67 Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celcius) for you to get the best sleep possible. If you’re having difficulty maintaining temperature in that range, consider looking at some of the smart home solutions out there.
4. Not sleeping? You might be anxious
Anxiety can also be a major contributing factor to sleep disorders. If you can’t get to bed because you have too many negative thoughts going through your head or are constantly worrying about bills or other issues, then you may have found your culprit.
In many cases, talking about the problems to a trusted friend or seeking professional help for treatment is helpful. There are also some natural treatments that you can try on your own, but they’re not all proven and may not provide enough relief for you to get good sleep.
If you want to learn more about the correlation between anxiety and sleep, we suggest you check out this guide to anxiety and sleep by Rise. This explains the very important difference between anxiety and stress and helps you figure out from which one you’re suffering.
5. You’re drinking too much
Many people wrongly believe that having a drink before going to bed is good for sleep. While alcohol is a nervous system depressant and could help you fall asleep faster, the quality of your sleep will be much lower.
That is because alcohol reduces the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that you’ll be getting. If you want to try something true and tested for helping people sleep, you should look into supplements like melatonin instead.
6. You’re working out too hard, too late
Another major mistake people make is exercising too late in the evenings. They assume that physical exhaustion will help them sleep better, and it makes sense when you first think about it, but that’s because most people don’t understand what is happening with hormones when they work out.
The worst thing that you can do before going to sleep is engaging in heavy strength training. Large amounts of cortisol are released into the bloodstream when you engage in strength training. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and it takes some time before the level tapers down.
Exercise during the day, on the other hand, is great if you want to get better sleep. Once the initial cortisol spike has tapered down, you will feel much more relaxed and have a much easier time getting to sleep. If you absolutely want to get some exercise before getting to sleep, we suggest you go for a nice walk instead.
A few last words on not sleeping
If you’re experiencing sleep disorders, these might be some of the reasons why. Pay special attention to your habits and see where you might be doing something wrong. From then on, you’ll be able to rearrange your lifestyle and sleeping environment to maximize sleep quality.