Do you start your day at the office chugging a cup of coffee or tea trying to keep your eyes open long enough to be productive? Sadly, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep and it can affect everything from work productivity to relationships, to your ability to drive safely.
Sleep is one of the most important ways you can make sure you are taking care of yourself. In an era where everyone is focusing on the term “self-care” take a few minutes to think about why you are not getting enough sleep and how you can go about resolving those issues.
Casper, the mattress start-up company, recently published some fun sleep cards that show a few of the major reasons why people don’t get enough sleep and some helpful tips to combat them.
Do any of these apply to you?
Sleep Problem #1 - Not Tired
Many people feel exhausted the entire day but, once they get into bed, they feel wide awake and not tired at all. When this happens, most people pick up their phone to scroll through social media and their email or they turn on the TV. What they don’t know is that the bright lights tend to make you stay awake longer, so instead of picking up your phone, pick up a book. It will help calm your mind, slow your thoughts, and relax you enough to feel tired and fall asleep.
Sleep Problem #2 - Noise
If you are a light sleeper, you know that the slightest sounds can wake you up in the middle of the night or prevent you from falling asleep in the first place. Good news is there are a couple things to help drown out the noise so you can fall asleep and stay asleep! The first option is ear plugs. Try buying a cheap, disposable pair from your local grocery store to see if they work for you. If they do, you may want to consider buying the long-term, washable earplugs online. They are specifically designed for your ear, so are more comfortable than the disposable and end up being cheaper in the long run.
If you don’t like the feel of earplugs try a white noise machine or even an app on your phone that plays background noise. You can set the level of the noise to your preference. It won’t be deafening, but it will help to cover up the normal noise disturbances that bothered you before.
Sleep Problem # 3 – Sunday Night Insomnia
Weekend sleep schedules can be problematic. Those of us with standard 9-5 jobs are used to waking up the same time every weekday. Then, the weekend comes and you don’t have to go anywhere! So maybe you sleep in an extra hour or so and you feel refreshed and relaxed. But, come Sunday night, you can’t fall asleep and you wake up Monday feeling exhausted.
There is a very easy fix to prevent this problem: get up at the same time on the weekends as you do during the week. Don’t look at it like you can’t sleep in, instead be excited for the extra time you have in the morning to relax and get stuff done around the house that you’ve been pushing off.
Sleep Problem #4 - Busy Mind
Do you lie in bed at night unable to fall asleep because of all the to-do lists and projects running through your mind? You’re not the only one! Today’s culture has a focus on getting stuff done and being productive and there is a misconception that when we take a break we are being lazy. So it’s only natural that when you lay down to sleep you are thinking of a million other things you could be doing. But the truth is that your body is designed to spend 1/3 of the day asleep, so it’s important to make that a priority!
There are some simple solutions you can do to help turn off your brain and go to sleep.
Think back to when you were a kid, or if you have children how do you get them to go to sleep? Most likely they have a pre-bedtime ritual. Involving changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a book, etc. Having a pre-bedtime ritual will help your mind wind down, and it will help your mind and body start to recognize that it’s time for bed, so when you actually get into bed you’ll be relaxed and ready to sleep.
These are 4 of the most common reasons why you might be losing sleep at night. A good night’s sleep is extremely important to helping us achieve success in our personal and professional lives. Make sure you understand your sleep habits and problems and rectify them so you can be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be!