ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sleep Problems? Fall Asleep Quicker and Easier

Updated on November 10, 2015
Source

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is vital to our lives. When we sleep, we allow our bodies to rest so that we may be able to function to the best of our ability the next day. We give our organs time to stop working so hard. Sleep allows our bodies to heal from illness and injury. Sleeping gives our body a chance to grow when we are young or when we are building muscle. When we sleep, we process information, through our dreams and our subconscious. Overall, it enables us to remain mentally and physically healthy and to achieve better health.

What happens when we deprive our bodies from getting an appropriate amount of sleep? A recent study indicated when we do not get at least 7 hours of sleep at night, we lose brain cells. There is no making up for any of these hours we lose. The brain cells we lose are forever gone. If we do not get our sleep, our ability to grow, heal, and function is hindered; therefore, it is important for us to take steps to ensure that we get enough sleep. This article will serve as a guide to assist you in proper sleep hygiene which means you will create an environment and lifestyle that will provide a healthy night's rest.

Daytime Nap

Source

Common Causes of Sleep Disturbance

  • Physiological changes [growth, menopause]
  • Medical problems [hyperthyroidism, pain, illness, bladder]
  • Emotional problems [anxiety, depression]
  • Lifestyle changes [working late, a new baby]
  • Life stressors or worries
  • Alcohol
  • Environment [noise, temperature, lighting]
  • Daytime naps
  • Time of day
  • Physical stimulation
  • Mental stimulation

What Do You Think Is Causing Your Sleep Problems?

See results

What's Keeping You from Sleep?

Before solving the problem, you need to determine the cause of your sleep problems if you do not already know completely. If you have not had a medical check-up in a year, you should first go get checked for any medical problems that may be preventing you from sleep. Additionally, if you are having any types of physiological changes such as going through menopause, consult your physician.

To determine the cause of your sleep difficulties, take some time to make a list of what typically occurs when you are trying to fall asleep. This could take five minutes or even a day or two to observe your experience with sleep.

If your sleep problems are not related to any medical, physiological, or mental health symptoms, or if you are now receiving help from your doctor but need further help, consider the suggestions below for appropriate and helpful sleep hygiene.

Source

Sleep Hygiene

  1. Decide on a consistent time to go to bed and wake daily. Yes, this is a difficult task when you want to stay up or sleep late late for whatever reason on the weekends; however, consistency helps to regulate your internal clock. This means your body will be better prepared to sleep at your chosen times. A deviation in schedule every once in a while will occur, but try to get back on track as soon as possible.
  2. When determining your sleep and wake schedule, consider how many hours you need for a good nights sleep that will leave you feeling well-rested.
  3. Determine if short naps are helpful or a hindrance for you. Limit naps to approximately one hour. Pay attention to how these naps affect your sleep. If you find you have trouble sleeping at night when you have taken a nap, try eliminating them for a while to see if the naps may be a problem.
  4. Going to bed too early can disturb your sleep by causing you to wake too early. Your body has a set period of time that it needs to rest and take care of repairs. Going to bed early will not only create a less peaceful sleep, it will disrupt your regular sleep cycle and your internal clock.
  5. Keep your sleep environment comfortable. Make sure your room is clean and inviting. Clutter can trigger stress or a feeling of not wanting to be in the room. Dust or dirty sheets can cause allergic reactions or make sleep uncomfortable. Set the temperature in your room to an appropriate level. If you are too hot or cold, it will not provide you with a restful sleep. If you cannot sleep without being covered, make sure your room is cool enough. Ensure that your pillows and mattress are in good condition and are the correct level of support for you. Make sure your room is dark enough for sleep. Light coming from an outside light or even a clock that is too bright can cause you to wake up.
  6. Level of noise. Some people recommend a completely quiet environment. It is a fact that noise can disrupt sleep; however, if noises in your home bother you, it can be helpful to use a fan or some other calming sound to block out disruptive sounds. Note: If you use these items to block out sounds, understand that you may have difficulty with falling asleep when you are away from home.
  7. Designate your room for sleep and sex only. If you watch television in your room; work in your room; or do other activities in your room, your mind and body will associate your room with these activities and you will find it more difficult to relax and fall asleep.
  8. Avoid physical or mental activities directly before it is time to fall asleep. If you work out or work up until the moment before sleep, your body and mind will remain active will have difficulties relaxing.
  9. Develop bed time rituals. Take a bath, read a book, close up the house, put up your animals, turn off the lights, brush your hair, brush your teeth, have sex, etc.; it can be any routine that you do before bedtime that signals to your mind and body that it is time to relax and go to sleep. Note: Be careful of the timing and temperatures of baths and showers, as they can alter your body temperature and can make you uncomfortable in bed. Give yourself an hour or two so that your temperature has time to return to it's normal set point.
  10. Exercise regularly, just do not exercise directly before sleep. Exercise not only keeps your body healthy, but it reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and makes you feel better about yourself.
  11. Be careful of inviting pets into your bed. Although pets can be comforting, they can also be disturbing. They can prevent your legs or body from finding a comfortable position. Their body heat can increase your body heat, which may disrupt your sleep. Pets licking or scratching themselves can awaken you. When you move in your sleep, pets often believe it is time for you to wake up and love on them. Finally, when they want to be let out of your room, they may try to wake you or make noise at the door so you will let them out.
  12. Do not stress about not being able to fall asleep. If you are unable to fall asleep, take deep breaths and try to relax your mind. Try to envision a peaceful place or think of something that makes you feel happy or relaxed. If you are still awake after about 15 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something like reading a light book or meditate for about 20 minutes. Do not consider sleep for those 20 minutes to keep yourself from focusing on the negative, which creates more stress. After 20 minutes, return to your bed and try to relax without pressuring yourself to sleep.


Remember to Sleep, Not Stress

Sleep is necessary for your overall wellbeing. It helps to repair your body and to keep you physically and mentally healthy. Sleep provides you with the ability to have energy throughout your day and to function at your best. Although many physical, medical, and mental conditions can trigger insomnia at varying levels, these situations can be alleviated with the help of doctors, medications, relaxation techniques, or good sleep hygiene. And it is always important to remember not to create more stress for yourself by thinking about your inability to sleep, but to take appropriate measures to create a relaxing sleep environment within and around yourself.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MelissaWindham profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Windham 

      4 years ago from Powder Springs, Georgia

      Thank you Tiffany!

    • profile image

      Tiffany Lynn Solano 

      4 years ago

      Great article!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)