Having trouble getting good sleep?

Having trouble getting good sleep?

  • Maintain a regular daily schedule.
    • keeping routine with when you eat, exercise, go to bed and wake up in the morning can really help your body know when it’s time to wind down and relax ready to go to sleep. Shift work constant change in bed time or get up time can make it more difficult for some people to easily fall into restful sleep.
  • Reduce or time your caffeine intake.
    • Essentially caffeine is a stimulant and can block the action of a natural brain chemical that is associated with causing drowsiness and slowing down of neural activity that naturally induces sleep. This is often very handy when you need a “kick” to ward off tiredness or drowsiness but obviously is not helpful when you want to sleep. Using caffeine during the day because you are tired from sleeping poorly can become a viscous cycle in sleep problems and tiredness. Caffeine can be found in is found in coffee, tea, cocoa, cola soft drinks and energy drinks, chocolate bars, energy bars and some medications, like cough syrup and weight loss tablets. The effects of caffeine can last for up to between 8-14hrs
  • Turn off computer and TV screens
    • Our normal body clock is affected by artificial light. Short wavelength blue light which is most commonly used on back lit devices like phones, laptops and ipads is the most disruptive. Because of the exposure the body does not produce as much melatonin which is the hormone that is usually produced in us as it gets dark and helps to naturally cause sleepiness.
  • Don’t go to bed on a really full stomach.
    • bloating or irritation of a full stomach can make it had for you to relax into restful sleep
  • Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.
    • hunger can also leave you restless
  • Engage in regular exercise.
    • Studies that have been performed suggest that exercise significantly improves the sleep of people with chronic insomnia. Also noting if morning or afternoon exercise has an affect
  • Limit fluid consumption before bed.
    • waking in the night to go to the bathroom can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult for some people to fall back asleep again.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
    • a dark environment promotes natural metatonin release which can naturally help induce sleep
  • Invest in a good bed and pillows etc.
    • Comfort is an important factor. Neck pain, back pain, headaches or other aches from ill supporting pillows, or mattress can make it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep for a good length of time as can being too hot or too cold.
  • Get in tune with your internal alarm clock – Try to go to sleep and wake by it.
    • If you are naturally tired early and are an early riser maybe don’t fight it and try staying up late in the evening to watch tv or to do things. When you’re in a good sleep routine and achieving quality sleep you often find your body will tire and wake and predictable times
Are you tired all the time?

Are you tired all the time?

tired laptop slumped girl

There are many causes of being tired. Most of the time there are some simple things that you are or are not doing that can be contributing to tirdness. There are also some other medical things that might need checking if simple changes haven’t worked.
The biggest simple things that can affect how tired you might feel are

1. Exercise

regular exercise that is finished at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down. Exercise actually gives you more energy by improving your cardiovascular health delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Almost all the studies that have looked at this question have found the same thing: Sedentary people who start exercising feel much less fatigue than those who don’t. As little as 3 times a week for 20 minutes can make a difference

2. Sleep

It seems obvious, but many people don’t get enough sleep. Most healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Quality of sleep is important too. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV and mobile phone before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful. Late nights on weekends can throw out your usual sleep patterns so weekend naps might be a great idea to help catch up on lost hours.

3. What you eat

Using caffeine and sugar to get through the day can make you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate. A balanced, healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is really important. Make sure that you are consuming all of the nutrients you need for your lifestyle. Strict dieting while increasing exercise can also leave you feeling tired. Make sure your diet has enough good sources of Iron rich foods such as lean beef, kidney beans, tofu, eggs (including the yolk), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter. Skipping meals especially breakfast can also leave you feeling tired.

Other things that might be having an effect:

How much water you drink.

Being even slightly dehydrated can have an effect on energy levels and also lead to headaches.

Anxiety

Constant or bouts of anxiety from the very mild to severe can make you mentally exhausted. Getting outdoors, meditating, exercising, or sharing your concerns with a professional or friend may help you better cope and control anxiety levels.

Having a break

When was the last time you had a break? Allowing yourself to truly unwind allows your mind and body to rejuvenate Taking breaks can help you become more creative, productive, and effective.

Alcohol

Alcohol initially depresses or relax the central nervous system, producing a sedative effect, but hours later as it is being broken down it can have the reverse effect creating a surge in the adrenaline system making you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve been drinking.  Ideally you should not have alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.

Could It Be Something Else?

If you’ve tried all the things mentioned above it might be worth seeing your GP as there are also many medical reasons for chronic tiredness

  • Anemia. – can be caused by many things but is easily diagnosed with a blood test.
  • Thyroid problems. – Over- and under-active thyroids both can cause fatigue and again a simple blood test can check
  • Diabetes. -That is undiagnosed or poorly controlled can be picked up in a blood test
  • Depression. – If your feelings of exhaustion are accompanied by sadness and loss of appetite, and you just can’t find any pleasure in things you once enjoyed, you may be depressed.  Your doctor is the best person to see about getting treatment
  • Other sleep problems. – When no other conditions can explain tiredness a sleep study can be useful, especially if you snore. Snoring can be part of obstructive sleep apnea, in which people briefly stop breathing several times a night which if diagnosed can be treated.
  • Other health issues. – many other health issues can have tiredness associated with them and can be diagnosed and investigated by your GP