A good night’s sleep is critical to your health and mental wellbeing, but sometimes getting the volume or quality of sleep you need each night can prove a bit of a challenge.
The reality is, sleep issues can come down to a range of factors, so let’s look at six reasons your sleep might be suffering and how you can fix the problem.
Your sleep environment plays a key role in ensuring you get the rest you need each night, which is why it’s important to pay attention to your bedroom and bedding.
When it comes to your room, it should be the right temperature and well ventilated, with minimal sources of ambient light.
Meanwhile, your mattress should be comfortable and support your sleep posture. Your bed linen should suit the season, be made of natural fibres that retain the right temperature, and your pillows should be replaced regularly, and suit your sleep style.
A good sleep routine sets you up for a solid night’s rest. This routine includes having a regular bedtime and winding down in the hours prior to going to sleep.
If quality sleep is proving a problem, take the time to relax before bedtime with some meditation or a warm bath and step away from devices such as televisions, computers and mobile phones, at least an hour before you’re due to go to sleep.
When you eat and the food or drink you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime can all influence the quality of your sleep.
Try to avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea or sugary drinks before going to sleep. Ensure you have your dinner at least two hours prior to going to bed and avoid snacking where possible.
If you do feel a little peckish after dinner, opt for a snack that is light and healthy.
Your stage of life
Sleep habits can change over the course of your lifetime, whether that’s down to factors like having small children who regularly wake in the night, pregnancy, or aging.
It is well documented that as we age, it can become harder to fall asleep, and you might also find yourself waking earlier or more often during the night.
To manage this, look to your sleep environment, routine and diet, and if it proves to be a major problem, consult with your doctor.
Stress can prove a double-edged sword when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. On one hand sufficient sleep can help mitigate stress, but on the other it can be harder to get to sleep and stay asleep if something’s worrying you.
If stress is an issue, consider implementing a solid bedtime routine where you switch off, wind down and take the time to relax prior to going to bed.
An underlying health condition
A number of underlying health conditions can result in an interrupted sleep.
As Harvard explains, medical causes of a poor night’s sleep include sleep apnoea, heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, kidney disease, mental health problems, neurological disorders, respiratory problems, and thyroid disease.
If you believe there is an underlying health issue affecting your ability to sleep, do reach out to a doctor for advice.