Why Can’t You Sleep?
Sleep impacts your entire life. The science is quite clear that sleep affects your ability to repair and recover from physically or mentally stressful situations, the body’s ability to produce and regulate hormone production, your emotional and mental health, weight loss, intelligence and much more. It is one of the most overlooked and underrated health tools available.
There is a lot of great articles, research, and advice out there on what the best practices are to ensure a good night sleep. A simple review of the literature consistently reveals these tips:
- Sleep in a quiet, dark, cool environment
- Establish a bedtime routine
- Go to sleep only when you are tired
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep the 4 to 6 hours before bedtime
- Only use the bedroom for sleep and sex, don’t screen watch or work in bed
- Don’t watch the clock at night
- Keep your naps short and early in the day
- Stay hydrated through the day, but taper off as you get closer to bedtime
- Exercise regularly, just not too close to bedtime
- Meditation and relaxation exercises (like yoga) can teach you how to relax and quiet your mind
- If you are on certain medications such as antidepressants, stimulants for ADHD, corticosteroids, thyroid medication, blood pressure medication, and certain contraceptives they may be negatively impacting your sleep. Working with your Doctor to find the right medications may help if you are struggling with sleep.
- Medical issues such as asthma and allergies will impact your sleep (a Natural Mattress may help with both these).
It’s also important to recognize that emotional and mental health play a big factor in how you sleep, and vice-versa, how you sleep impacts your emotional and mental health. Anxiety, stress, and depression will all negatively impact your sleep, and sleeping well will help with anxiety stress and depression. Unfortunately, these negative feedback loops can be difficult to break out of.
When you are caught in the middle of a negative feedback loop, where do you begin? Start with the fundamentals. Is there anything obvious from the list above, like irregular long naps, or evening caffeine use that you should address which may be impacting your sleep. Make those changes and observe the results.
Treating it like a science experiment and writing down what changes you make, and what the results of changing that variable are may be helpful. Perhaps you have identified four habits or lifestyle variables that aren’t consistent with good sleep. Approaching it systematically and changing one variable at a time, while observing and recording the results will help you pinpoint what makes the biggest impact on your sleep and how you feel. By getting exact and accurate data, it will help you to notice patterns and correct the issue correctly in the future should you run into periods of insomnia again.
At Natural Mattress, our goal is to help you sleep better because proper rest and adequate sleep are essential to your overall health and well being. Changing your mattress may or may not be the next logical step in achieving this goal. If it is, reach out to us and we are excited to talk to you about how we can help you sleep better.