It’s no secret that American’s aren’t getting enough sleep every night. According to the American Sleep Association nearly 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Almost 40% of people have reported falling asleep during the day while at work or school and nearly 5% of people have reported they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel of a car.
Lack of sleep isn’t just dangerous on the road, it can cause a variety of health issues from anxiety and depression to weight gain and indigestion. It’s easy to blame restless nights on a new born baby or busy work schedule, but what about nights where sleep is evasive without an obvious reason?
Are You Sure It's Not Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the number one cause of restless nights for people across the world. In fact nearly 1 billion people suffer from sleep apnea. The sleep disorder is often attributed to being overweight but sleep apnea can happen to people of any age and any weight for a variety of reasons. Sleep apnea is a condition that can affect your overall well-being and should be treated by a doctor when diet and exercise interventions don’t lessen symptoms. If it’s not sleep apnea, it could be one of the following reasons:
1. The food you're eating
Diet may not be the most surprising cause of sleepless nights on this list but one of the most common reasons for poor sleep is eating difficult to digest foods, spicy food or acid inducing foods too close to bedtime. Heartburn and indigestion can show up in a variety of ways from back pain to flank pain and aren’t always obviously heartburn. If you suspect your diet may be keeping you up at night, try moving dinner time to at least 3 hours before bedtime.
2. Your work schedule
Stress and anxiety are big factors when it comes to interrupted sleep but it’s not always work stress that can keep you tossing and turning. Shift work or an inconsistent work schedule can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythm. College students experience similar issues as shift workers from balancing irregular class schedules and work loads. Chances are you can’t help your work schedule, so how can you keep your job and also catch some zzz’s?
Create a healthy bedtime routine. Bedtime routines aren’t just for toddlers. Studies show that having a reliable routine around sleep can help signal the body that it’s time to wind down; even if your bedtime is inconsistent. Try soft lighting before bed, bedtime tea or light yoga and stretching.
3. Too much exercise
There are hardly many downsides to working out but it may be surprising to learn that working out too close to bedtime can cause restless nights. Intense cardio or anything that gets your heart pumping and your body temperature elevated could delay your bedtime. When the body is ready to rest, our body temperatures drop and that helps signal the brain to get ready for sleep. If your body temperature is too high, it may take a little longer to fall asleep. If you think this may be your problem, move lower intensity workouts to nighttime and try blood pumping workouts earlier in the day.
4. All of the lights
Light be another cause that sounds like a no brainer but the light that disrupts our sleep can come from more than just a bedside lamp or computer screen. Human’s are overwhelmed with light pollution so much so that we often don’t notice how bright our lives are. A study of people that lived in urban areas with populations over 500,000 had lower quality of sleep based on their proximity to street lights. Darkness signals our brains that it’s time to sleep, if it’s never dark when does your brain know to turn off?
If your neighborhood is bright at night, try blackout curtains or light blocking shades. Many light blocking products can be purchased inexpensively online. If streetlights aren’t your problem, consider that people that text within an hour of bedtime reported 38% lower quality sleep according to a recent survey. The blue light from our phones can delay sleep signals to the brain. Try nighttime mode on your favorite apps or phone if you can’t resist tapping before sleep.
5. Hitting the sauce
This one may actually be surprising considering that an alcoholic beverage before bed is called a “nightcap” but drinking too much before bed can actually lessen not only the amount of sleep but the quality of sleep too. In fact, consuming more than 3 alcoholic beverages can disturb REM sleep and lead to waking less rested and falling asleep during the day. If your evening libations are disturbing your sleep, try moving your nightcap up a few hours or drinking night time tea to wind down. Please never mix alcohol with sleep medicines, it’s very dangerous.
No Matter the Cause, Better Sleep Leads to Better Mornings
Reaching for over the counter sleeping aids or prescription medicines isn’t everyone’s first line of defense when it comes to sleep interruptions. Homeopathic and natural sleep remedies work wonders for many looking for more peaceful sleep. Our Dream line of Premium CBD is carefully crafted with naturally derived calming botanical like valerian and melatonin. Natural sleep remedies may help induce more restful and longer lasting sleep, which can lead to more powerful and productive mornings. Do you have a favorite natural sleep remedy? Let us know in the comments!
We’re lovingly sharing this advice to help our Hemp Lyfe Tribe explore natural and homeopathic supplements for their mind and body. This is not medical advice. Nor do we suggest replacing sound medical advice with internet research. Please always discuss your health with your health practitioner or doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and any natural remedies mention have not been proven to treat or cure illnesses.