What to Avoid When You Can't Sleep

The secret to excellent health is getting enough sleep. It can be difficult for you to operate during the day if you have problems going to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night.

Sleeplessness can be caused by a number of things, such as certain foods, drugs, and mental health issues. While some forms of insomnia are persistent, others may only last a short time.

1. Staying up late

It's possible that the pandemic disrupted your sleep schedule or you've simply developed a late-night habit, but staying up late can make it difficult to get to sleep later. Experts advise getting out of bed and doing something calming in low light, like reading a book or listening to calming music, if you have been trying to fall asleep for what seems like twenty minutes, until you feel tired enough to go back to bed.

Being a late chronotype—someone who typically stays up late and sleeps in on the weekends—can disrupt your circadian rhythm and raise your chance of developing long-term health issues. If you experience insomnia frequently, consider changing your sleeping patterns in consultation with a medical expert.

2. Watching TV

TV viewing before bed can promote a sedentary lifestyle, which raises the risk of obesity. Additionally, it can be stressful and distracting, particularly when watching a scary television program. A particular TV show may cause violent or upsetting dreams for some people, while a particular plot thread may keep them up at night for others.

Choose a calming or peaceful show on the TV if you plan to watch it before bed, and set a timer to turn it off at a respectable hour. Alternatively, consider utilizing a white noise generator, a pair of blue light-blocking glasses, or a podcast.

Van den Bulck et al. (2012) discovered that viewing TV for more than two hours a day at baseline was linked to difficulty falling and keeping asleep in a sample of churchgoers from different ethnic backgrounds. TV continued to be a significant predictor of sleep issues even after other variables including demographics, baseline sleep duration, weekend and weekday napping, exercise routines, and food were taken into account.

3. Staying up too long

Many people struggle to fall asleep and spend their nights tossing and turning. This can lead to major health issues and make it difficult to achieve restorative sleep.

Avoid engaging in stimulating activities like monitoring social media or engaging in heated debates or discussions with friends and family when you're having trouble falling asleep. Instead, experts advise getting out of bed and doing something peaceful and calming in low light, like reading, listening to music, or sipping chamomile tea, if you've been awake for more than twenty minutes.

Over time, these routines can help you get better sleep. Although they can require some practice, the benefits are great—you'll sleep better at night and feel better all day. Eliminating these harmful behaviors can also lower your chance of developing chronic insomnia.

4. Drinking caffeine

Coffee may seem like a wonderful way to boost your mood, but it can actually make it harder to fall asleep. Adenosine, a chemical that induces sleep, cannot be metabolized by the body while caffeine is present. It also messes with your REM cycles, which means you won't get the healing sleep your body requires.

Caffeine addiction can also result from consuming it too late, since it increases your body's demand for the stimulant in order to go to sleep. Even if you are getting enough sleep, this can make you irritable and tired.

Attempt to reduce your intake of caffeine by consuming it earlier in the day or by substituting decaffeinated drinks. Try indulging in herbal teas with relaxing properties, such as peppermint or chamomile. Magnesium and potassium, which are abundant in bananas, aid in sleep.

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