Why can’t I sleep?

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Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Can’t even get to sleep? Waking up during the night and unable to get back to sleep?

It could be a sign of being stressed.  We all have some stress in our lives that we can cope with. In small doses it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best.

Unhealthy Stress Beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and your health can suffer. Chronic stress or ‘Bad’ stress disrupts nearly every system in your body.  It can raise your blood pressure, suppress your immune system and increase the risk of heart attack and even speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can leave you vulnerable to sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety and depression.

Effects of Lack of Sleep

Do you frequently find yourself feeling:

* frazzled and overwhelmed

* irritable and moody

* lethargic and lacking in energy

Are you struggling with

* making decisions

* remembering things

* dramatic weight gain or loss

Then it’s time to take action to bring things back into balance. The remedy to sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine. The following tips will help you improve your nightly rest.

Eat Healthy and Get Regular Exercise What you eat during the day and how active you are play a role in how well you sleep.

Avoid big, heavy meals at night. Try to make dinner time earlier.  Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up.

Reduce your caffeine consumption. Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to 10 to 12 hours after drinking it. Try to avoid it after lunch or cut back on your daily overall intake.

Exercise regularly. Research shows that you will sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly. So be sure to incorporate twenty to thirty minutes every day of varied activities. If you struggle to find the time, break it up; say a 15 minute walk before work and another 15 when you get home. Try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon. Exercising stimulates the body, raising its temperature so avoid doing it too late in the evening.

Stop the Worrying and What Ifs Many things we worry about are outside our control so we need to learn to manage our thoughts. Evaluate what’s worrying you: is it truly realistic? Can I actually control what happens? Learn to replace the irrational thoughts with more productive ones? Write down anything that is worrying you before you go to bed, you can deal with it tomorrow.

Create a Regular and Relaxing Bedtime Routine. Set a regular bedtime by choosing a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn.  Turn off the television early as it actually stimulates the brain. Make a conscious effort to relax and unwind before bed, listen to music or read a book, this will send a message to your brain that it’s time to wind down.

Try Relaxation Techniques Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, still the mind and get ready for sleep.

Deep breathing. Close your eyes, take a slow, deep breath in, feel your lungs fill and slowly release. Try to make each breath deeper than the last.   Visualization. Close your eyes and imagine a place that is calming and peaceful. Think about how relaxed this place makes you feel and let the tension from your body go.

If you continue having sleeping problems you may want to seek help from a health professional to support your journey to achieving less stress and a better nights sleep.

 

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