There are plenty of reasons why we can’t get to sleep at night, but what about ways to solve the problem?
Stress, stress, stress
The number one reason for disturbed sleep is worry. Most of us are familiar with lying awake in the middle of the night with something on our minds, but for some people it gets beyond a joke when every night is spent dwelling on tomorrow’s problems.
Experts suggest keeping a notebook by your bed and writing down your worries, so at least you have an ordered list to deal with when you wake, rather than it all swimming about in your head.
Not being tired enough
Research shows people with manual jobs can get off to the Land of Nod far more easily than those with non-physical jobs, such as office workers. When your body just doesn’t feel tired, it can’t switch off.
Solve this difficulty by taking plenty of exercise during the day to compensate for lack of it in your job; but not late at night, as this will simply energise your body even more.
Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
Too much of these will disturb sleep and even if you slip away, the quality of your zeds will not be the same. Some people use a tipple to get them off to sleep, but quickly find they need more and more to do the same job. Best to avoid all stimulants, in the couple of hours before bedtime.
The quality of your mattress, bedding, pillows, heating, depth of darkness and even the furniture arrangement of your room can all have subtle but lasting effects on your sleep pattern. They all affect release of the hormones need to sleep. Maybe a bedroom audit could help you make changes to the comfort and darkness needed?
Humans are generally creatures of habit and your body relaxes most effectively by doing things at set times. This includes having a regular bedtime and rising time, and other tactics such as reading a book for a little while, a milky drink, some gentle music – whatever routine it takes, to convince your body! Think of it as a form of self hypnosis; the power of suggestion is an under-rated tool.