Do you ever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day? Are you constantly tired and feeling like your concentration and productivity are slipping away? If so, chances are you’re experiencing interrupted sleep. Interrupted sleep is when you don’t get enough consistent, restful sleep without periods of wakefulness. It can cause fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability and many other negative impacts on your daily life. Read on to learn about ten reasons behind interrupted sleep and helpful tips for getting back into a healthy sleep cycle. From the importance of a quality mattress to the role of diet and exercise, you can do plenty to get your sleep back on track.
1) Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can be challenging to cope with, and they can take a toll on our health and well-being. They are caused by feeling overwhelmed, being under pressure or worrying too much about something. This often results in mental exhaustion and physical symptoms such as headaches, the tension in the body and difficulty sleeping. When we’re under stress or experiencing anxiety, our bodies release hormones like cortisol, making it difficult for us to relax and get good sleep. Sleep disturbances caused by stress and anxiety can seriously affect our mental and physical health over time.
Dealing with stress and anxiety can help improve your sleep quality, so taking time out of your day to relax and unwind is essential. This could mean taking a hot bath, practicing meditation or yoga, listening to music or spending time with friends and family. However, sometimes you need to take things a step further and reach out for professional help.
Certain medications can have an impact on our sleeping patterns. Antidepressants, some blood pressure medications and even over-the-counter allergy relief medications can make it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. If you are taking any of these types of medications and having difficulty with sleep, talk to your doctor about adjusting or replacing them. It’s essential never to stop any kind of doctor-prescribed medication on your own. However, there’s nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion if you feel something isn’t right.
3) Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in coffee, tea and energy drinks. Too much caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle as it keeps us alert at night when we should be winding down. In addition, alcohol and nicotine are both known to have adverse effects on our quality of sleep.
Source: Burnosova Sveta/Shutterstock.com
To improve your sleep pattern, make sure that you avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages late in the day or evening, limit your alcohol intake before going to bed and don’t smoke shortly before sleep time. Cutting back on these substances will help improve the quality of your sleep.
The environment in which we sleep plays an important role in getting restful sleep. Ensure your bedroom is comfortable and quiet by ensuring windows are shut tight and noise from outside is minimal. You definitely want to limit the amount of ambient light in the room. A good solution is to get blackout curtains or an eye mask if you don’t have any.
Another important aspect is the temperature: It should not be too hot or too cold. Experts suggest keeping the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. If you’re unable to do this, several solutions, like cooling blankets and mattress pads, can help regulate the temperature. On the flip side, if you’re too cold at night, it’s probably time to invest in good quality bedding comforters to help keep you warm.
5) Mattress Quality
The quality of your mattress significantly affects the quality of your sleep. Over time, mattresses lose their shape and ergonomics, which means it doesn’t support your body as well as they should. This can cause lower back pain and other types of discomfort that make it difficult to sleep.
If you’re waking up with aches and pains or having difficulty falling asleep, it might be time to replace your mattress. Investing in a good quality mattress is an investment that pays off in the form of deeper, more restful sleep. They’re one of the most important pieces of bedroom furniture you will ever invest in, so ensure they get the budget they deserve.
6) Restless Sleep Partner
If you have a partner who snores or tosses and turns all night, it can be challenging to sleep well. However, several things can be done to help minimize the disruption caused by a restless sleep partner. Use separate blankets if your partner’s tossing and turning are particularly disruptive. Invest in earplugs if they snore too loudly and prevent you from getting good-quality sleep. And going back to the mattress suggestion, you should find one that minimizes motion transfer and disturbance so you’re not awakened by your partner’s movements. Finally, if all else fails, it might be a good idea to have separate beds or rooms if possible. That way, both of you can get the sleep quality that you need and deserve.
7) Irregular Work Schedule
If you work shift hours, travel for business or have an irregular sleep schedule due to other commitments, getting restful sleep can be very challenging. This is because your circadian rhythm (body clock) becomes unbalanced, and your body doesn’t know when to sleep.
To ensure you’re getting the appropriate amount of rest, try to stick to an established bedtime routine as much as possible. Even if you can’t keep the time of day consistent, a series of activities such as taking a warm shower, reading a book or listening to calming music before bed can help your body recognize it’s time to sleep. Then it won’t matter if you’re tucking yourself in at 10 a.m. after the night shift or dealing with jetlag in Tokyo; you’ll be able to sleep better.
Getting restful, quality sleep is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to ensure that you are getting the best possible sleep each night. With these tips, you should be well on your way to achieving a healthier and more energized lifestyle.