What to do When You Just Can’t Sleep
You may not need me to tell you that sleep is important, but it is very possible that you don’t realize just how important sleep is to your wellbeing. It is! You need good healthy sleep to stay healthy, feel energized, and stay focused.
While you sleep many things are happening that you may not be aware of. Your body is healing. Right, you’re not injured? Well, your body is still healing. Your cells are renewing, your liver is working to process toxins in your body, and your muscles are getting the rest they need. That’s not all. Your immune system is working to stay in top shape, and your brain is sorting through all your day’s events deciding what needs to be stored in long-term and short-term memory.
Better sleep will lead you to have improved mental clarity, lower anxiety, a better immune system, and over-all better health and sense of well-being. Now, the question is “how much sleep do you really need?” Ask yourself these questions –
- When you get up in the morning, do you need more than 15 minutes to “wake up”?
- Do you yawn during the day?
- Do you doze off while at your desk at work or while watching TV?
- Do you seem to always wish that you had more energy?
If you answered “yes” to 2 or more of these questions, then you most likely need more sleep! Most authorities on the subject suggest 8 hours of sleep per night, but, the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. More active people might need more sleep. Older people seem to need quite a bit less sleep than middle-aged adults. Teens may need as much as 10 hours of sleep.
When you have enough sleep, you know it because you wake up easily and feel rested. You have energy throughout the day without that “groggy” feeling. The mind fires on all cylinders and you can concentrate without too much effort.
What Can You do to Get More Sleep?
How to improve your sleep depends on what type of sleep issue you have. Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you fall asleep fine, but wake up too early? Or do you feel like you just didn’t get quality sleep? These are some common issues with sleep and each one needs to be handled a bit differently, but these tips should help.
Take a nap if you need to. Do you wake up feeling like you slept well, but then start nodding off in the afternoon? Maybe you aren’t really getting enough sleep at night, and an afternoon nap can help with this. Napping has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, so treat yourself to short afternoon nap. This can even improve your night-time sleep.
Another thing you can do to improve your sleep is to start an exercise routine if you aren’t already doing this. Daily exercise has many health benefits including improved sleep. It’s very possible that you just aren’t burning off enough energy during the day. Don’t try to exercise right before bed, though, because getting your heart rate and adrenalin up can backfire, making it hard to fall asleep.
You can also try to develop a bedtime routine to trigger your mind to recognize when it is time for sleep. This might include a nice warm beverage such as chamomile or lavender tea, a relaxing bath before bedtime, or turning the lights down about an hour prior to going to sleep. You can also try essential oils such a lavender in a defuser or sprayed on your pillow.
If falling asleep is your problem then I bet you are saying to yourself, “I just can’t shut my brain down so that I can fall asleep!” This is another common issue. For this problem, I suggest a bedtime meditation routine. Practicing mindfulness can also help with this problem.
I hope that this helps with your sleep issues!
If you would like a little more personalized help with your sleep problems, I am here to help! You can schedule a nurse consultation with me here: