Not being able to fall asleep at night can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with. Tossing and turning through the night when all you want is a full night of sleep is no way to live your life!
Whether you’re stressed out or you simply cannot sleep at night, then have no fear! I have come up with a little master list that hopefully answers some of the questions that you may have when struggling to fall asleep at night. Whether you’re confused about why it’s happening, what the long term effects are or how you can fix it, we’ve got you covered!
What Is Causing My Lack of Sleep?
Wondering what’s causing you to not be able to sleep at night? Although it can be a number of things, one of the most common causes for insomnia is anxiety and stress. External factors in your life can leave you being unable to fall asleep at night.
Whether it’s concern about school, relationships or finance, we all have some sort of stressor in our lives. In fact, not only is it perfectly normal, but stressors can actually be helpful to us! They can help us achieve goals and achievements that we have set for ourselves.
However, there comes a time in our lives where you can take on too many stressors. For example, life milestones such as starting a new job or moving can huge stress on someone’s life. As a result, this can impact whether or not we get a full night of sleep.
What Are The Long Term Impacts of Lack of Sleep?
Although it is just plain annoying not being able to fall asleep, it can also have some long term impacts on your overall health. Sleep is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and if you are unable to fulfill your basic needs, that never ends well.
Chronic insomnia is defined as having a difficult time sleeping for 3 months or longer. One of the biggest effects of long term insomnia is its impact on your overall mood. After a sleepless night, you may find yourself to be somewhat irritable. Now imagine what your mood is like after 90 nights of now sleep.
A couple more impacts of not being able to fall asleep include:
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Cardiovascular conditions
How Can I Fall Asleep At Night?
1) No Screen Time Before Bed Time
I know it’s hard to put your phone or laptop down. I understand that there’s so much going on in the world and that you need to stay connected. However, speaking from personal experience, I find that screen time affects my sleep.
Although I love binging Netflix or scrolling through social media as much as the next person, I try to get at least 25-30 minutes of screen-free time in right before bed! And I’d recommend the same to you!
It is scientifically proven that electronics before bed may cause a lot of stimulation in your brain! I know when I shut down my electronics, it allows me to clear my head before bed and focus on full relaxation! Try it out next time!
2) Breathing Exercises
One thing that I find super helpful when I am struggling to fall asleep is to practice some breathing exercises! Here are just a few that you can follow to help you fall asleep at night:
- 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
- Allow your lips to gently part.
- Exhale completely, making a breathy whoosh sound as you do.
- Press your lips together as you silently inhale through the nose for a count of 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale again for a full 8 seconds, making a whooshing sound throughout.
- Repeat 4 times when you first start. Eventually, work up to 8 repetitions.
- Three-Part Breathing Exercises
- Take a long, deep inhale.
- Exhale fully while focusing intently on your body and how it feels.
- After doing this a few times, slow down your exhale so that it’s twice as long as your inhale.
- The Papworth Method
- Take deep, methodical breaths in and out, counting to 4 with each inhales — through your mouth or nose — and each exhale, which should be through your nose.
- Focus on your abdomen rising and falling, and listen for your breath sounds to come from your stomach.
3) Get Yourself On A Proper Sleep Schedule
One of the most simple things you can do if you’re struggling to sleep at night is to try to put your body on a proper sleep schedule. Your body’s circadian rhythm is a natural and internalized process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It repeats every 24 hours.
Therefore, if you get your body on a natural routine every night, your body’s natural rhythm will eventually synch up with this cycle. For example, if you start going to bed around 10 o’clock and getting up around 8 o’clock everyday for about 2 weeks, your brain will adjust.
As a result, you will likely begin feeling tired around 10 P.M and feeling ready to wake up around 8 o’clock. Setting a good sleeping schedule is not only key to helping you fall asleep, but it also is beneficial in your overall lifestyle performance!
We hope this answered some of your questions about why you may be having trouble falling asleep at night! Feel free to use some of these techniques! Or, comment some of your own remedies you may have! Sweet dreams!