- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Why Can't I Sleep?
Why can't we sleep properly nowadays?
Everyday more people suffer from sleeping disorders or just can't get a full rested night. It's turning into a big issue even among younger people that really need their full hours of sleep. In the US alone, 40 million suffer from chronic sleep disorders. If you want a better look at the statistics, click here.
When did it become such a frustration? Going to bed, stare at the wall glimpsing the clock every five minutes. How did we lose track of those precious nights full of dreams and relaxation, how did it turn into such a task? I can't remember the last time i had a perfect night of sleep without any worries or stress. Many of us go to bed exhausted but we're still full awake. And the biggest problem is we're used to it.
Main reasons keeping us awake
1 - Overthinking
Nowadays the stress is overwhelming and there's so much going on with ours life, or so many interactions, especially now with the growth of social networks that we spend so much time thinking and thinking about what we've said and what we've done, that it keeps us awake unintentionally. I'm sure you can relate with it. Whenever you get in an argument with anyone and words don't come at you in the moment but when you're trying to go to sleep, the best comeback line slips into your mind. Or reliving moments that you wish you had done something differently. We can't control our thoughts but they sure control us.
2 - Bullying of the Clock
One of life's "slap in the face" is the clock alarm. Everyday, when we're bed, we just stare at it endlessly! Calculating, "How much time do i still have to sleep?", "Oh god, only two more hours!" Personally, i hate it when it happens. Many times i can't sleep because i'm counting down the time i have left. It doesn't look like it, but the pressure really builds up when "time is running out".
3 - Our best buddy
Caffeine. This little guy fixes our morning grumpiness but is one of the reasons why sleeping is so troublesome, unintended. The effects of caffeine lasts around 15 hours! We don't feel it that much because we're so used to it but our body does. Sadly, i can't live without it!
4 - Party Helper
Alcohol. This one is a two-edged sword. It really helps people to sleep and many use it as a helper. On the other hand, it doesn't provide a good night of sleep. Booze leads to a more arousing night. People that use it to sleep normally have 15-20 arousal that night. However, they probably don't remember it because the brain needs to be awake around 5 minutes to be more aware. Still, it's not a full resting night since we wake up a bit during those moments.
5 - Smoking
As the above, smokers wake up 15-20 times more due to nicotine withdrawal. We just don't realize it.
6 - It's our job
Another reason is the pressure of needing to go to sleep. Being in bed listing tomorrow's schedule, need to wake up at 5.30 am, take a shower, do the laundry, dress my kid, prepare breakfast, and so on. It's one of those things we can't do when we're trying to sleep.
7 - Compensating
Our brain has an internal clock. Our cells are used to X amount of time of rest and whenever we try to "cheat" it throws it out of balance. Those nights that we only get 2-3 hours of sleep, if we try to compensate it the next day, we'll be out of balance in the remaining days starting a cycle of sleeping difficulties. We should always stick to our regular daily amount of sleep. If you're feeling really tired take a 30 minutes nap for an energy boost.
8 - Don't raid the fridge!
Never, ever go to bed hungry! Remember to have a light snack before or you'll spend a lot of time thinking about assaulting the fridge or listening to your stomach growls.
9 - Oh the snoring
Your lovely spouse snores so loud that you can't bare it. Time to whack him hard! Violence aside, the only thing you can do is seek medical products that can fix it or at least minimize it. Good luck!
10 - Sound sensitivity
For many people, even a little sound can keep them awake. For others, it's the lack of sound. People that live in big cities, when they're in a quiet environment, it takes ages to fall asleep.
Everyone needs as much sleep as they require. The table is just a general guideline. Some people can function with as little as three to four hours, while many adults need as much as ten to be at 100%. Every individual is unique :)!
How to fix it?
In the end is all up to you. You need to figure out your own way to keep yourself from overwhelming your brain and steal away your sleepy nights! Sleep deprivation is a serious matter. If let unchecked, it can really hurt you in the future. Especially if you're young and are already creating bad sleeping habits.
If you suffer from severe sleeping disorders, you should check up on yourself with a doctor. It's life threatening, so please, don't take it lightly.
Take care and sleep tight everyone. Thank you.