There is hardly a person alive who hasn’t suffered from a restless night’s sleep from time to time. Insomnia is the term used to describe a person’s inability to fall asleep or, having fallen asleep, to stay asleep long enough to achieve a restful sleep. The causes of insomnia are many and the solutions to the issue vary, but few people would argue that a poor night’s sleep can be detrimental to their best performance the next day.
While it may be of slight consolation to an insomniac that they are in good company, it may be helpful to consider some of the causes of insomnia over which you might be able to exert some control.
The inability to turn off your brain after a full day of classes, job concerns or relationship issues will sabotage your sleep cycle. Your brain wants to get to the bottom of whatever is on your mind. What better time than when the lights are turned off and there are no other distractions to keep you from giving full attention to your worries?
- While exercise is beneficial in burning off that extra tension from the day, exercising too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect. After exercising your body needs time to recover from the elevated heart rate and muscle exertion. Exercise stimulation can keep your body and your brain in high gear for a couple hours after you’re done.
- Another culprit in those last few hours before you intend to sleep for the night can involve what you eat or drink. The digestion process only begins when you put food into your mouth. From that point on, your body is busy working to move that food through the digestive system. Indigestion, constipation or acid reflux can cause you to toss and turn long into the night. A full stomach is a very uncomfortable sleeping companion.
- Other unwelcome bedroom companions include the television, computer or cell phone left on and nearby as you attempt to sleep. A dark room is an ally in getting a good night’s sleep. Those little blue lights and flashing modems only serve to remind you there is something or someone out there just waiting for your attention.
- Finding the right sleeping temperature is crucial to a good, sound sleep. Most people do best with a cooler room. You may have to adjust for the changes in the seasons to keep the climate in your bedroom suitable for sleep.
- A trickier issue to deal with when it comes to a good night’s sleep may be your sleeping partner if you don’t sleep alone. You may have to sacrifice a bit of shut-eye to a partner who snores, tosses or hogs the blankets. It could be a case of deciding between the lesser of two evils.
A good night’s sleep is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. There may be many reasons why a sound sleep is not always possible, but you should never stop looking for ways to improve the quality and quantity of those hours spent in dreamland.
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