If you struggle with insomnia, then you may have issues staying asleep throughout the night. When you are sleep deprived, you can have issues with mood regulation, focus, attention, learning and memory. Sleep quantity is important - the number of hours you are in bed. However, sleep quality is also important - the type of sleep you are getting.
Many individuals wake up in the middle of the night. Up to 35.5% of individuals wake up in the middle of the night at least three times per week. Wake ups normally happen in the earlier stages of sleep, or the light stages. Stress can cause these awakenings, fluctuations in blood sugar or hormones, as well as physical discomfort. Here are 10 things you can do to reduce these nighttime awakenings.
1. Create a sleep routine
Creating a sleep routine is a very easy thing to do, and necessary! It's essentially conditioning or coaching your brain on when it's time to go to bed. It's similar to sleep training for infants and toddlers. Do a specific set of activities in a similar order each night and your brain will begin to associate them with sleep. This will help you wind down before it's time to go to bed. Do relaxing activities like reading, taking a bath or shower, reading, or spending quiet time with your family.
2. Take a sleep supplement
Sleep supplements may be a huge help if you struggle to go to sleep because of a hormone imbalance. They won't work if you have a poor sleep routine or sleep environment,however, they can enhance your body's natural ability or efforts to go to sleep. Melatonin is a great sleep supplement, but it's important to take it from a reputable brand that is regulated by an agency.
3. Increase protein intake before bed
Spikes or dips in your blood sugar can cause those nighttime awakenings. You can reduce this, and late night cravings, by eating a protein packed snack before bed. This stabilizes your blood sugar levels and can help curb your appetite. Late night snacks can be the cause of weight struggles, and can also lead to some middle of the night digestion issues.
4. Prioritize your mental health
Stress can interfere with your ability to get a good night's rest. If you are able to reduce your stress levels, then you may be able to calm your mind enough to get a good night's sleep,and stay asleep the whole night. Stress management tools like deep breathing, meditation, journaling, or other stress-relieving techniques can help balance out any anxiety you may be carrying with you to bed.
5. Meditate for your nighttime routine
Meditation before bed can help reduce your stress levels and balance out your mental health disturbances. Meditation is perfect for calming your mind prior to bed. You can learn how to focus on the task at hand - which is going to sleep - as well as remove some clutter from the day. There are a variety of meditation techniques that can be used so you can find the one that works for you.
6. Reduce liquids before bed
If you are waking up multiple times at night because you have to use the bathroom, then you may be consuming too many liquids late at night. This can especially be troublesome if you have a water goal to hit and chug a bunch late at night. If you are waking up constantly to use the bathroom, then try reducing liquids before bed so you can stay asleep throughout the night.
7. Reduce blue lights in the bedroom
Blue light is the antagonist of sleep. It interferes with the release of melatonin from the brain. Melatonin is the sleep hormone, and when its release is delayed then you may have trouble initiating sleep, or staying asleep throughout the night. Electronics are the main source of blue light - TVs, cell phones, laptops, and tablets. By removing then from the room, you can reduce the amount of blue light to which you are exposed and improve your sleep quality.
8. Improve the comfort of your bedroom
Your bedroom must be comfortable in order for you to get optimal sleep. This means it needs to be dark, cool and quiet. Without these three qualities, you may have trouble getting comfortable enough to go to sleep. Your bed should have neutral or cool colors. Stimulating, or bright colors may have an antagonistic effect on sleep efforts. Also, a clean room that is decluttered can help reduce any anxiety and claustrophobia that can ensure from a cramped room.
9. Make the bedroom exclusive for sleep and sex
The pandemic has exacerbated the issue of working in the room. The issue with blending a space of relaxation with activities that are the antithesis of relaxation is that your brain may be confused. When you walk into your room to sleep, then your brain should automatically associate the bed with one of two activities: sleep or sex. If you are doing anything other than these two activities, then you may be unintentionally stimulated when you go to bed, which can be a contributing factor of your sleep disturbances.
10. Use a sound machine to block out noises
It can be hard to get a room completely quiet, so a sound machine may help to block out other noises. If you live in the city, and are subject to the noises of traffic, public transportation, or just general outdoor noises, then it may be impossible to truly get a quiet bedroom. A sound machine can help to reduce some of these noises or cover them up, without being so disruptive that it interrupts your sleep.
If these ten tips don't help, then you. may have an underlying sleep disorder that is causing you trouble sleeping. If this is the case, then please click the orange button below to take a free online sleep test.