Aah sleep, that illusive iPhone charger for the brain. It makes our days better, our brains faster and our bodies ready for anything. Sleep puts everyone on their back, and for a few hours, there is a great equalizer in the universe. There is peace.
Except for when you don't get enough.
I've struggled with insomnia for a loooooonnnggg time, and I can tell you, it's not pleasant. All my other insomniacs can relate I'm sure. So here, are 10 reasons you're not getting enough sleep, and maybe with each other's help we can get more!
1. You don't care enough.
This fact is REAL. For years I didn't get enough sleep simply because I didn't give a shit about it. I valued my work and my waking hours so much more than sleep that I ignored it entirely. Days on end, spent walking around like a ghost instead of just laying down and sleeping like a normal person, made me insane.
The Fix: Don't take sleep for granted! You need it dudes!
2. Too much caffeine.
I know, I know, this shit is my lifeline too, but you have to realize when to put the coffee or soda down for the evening and just let Mr.Sandman take you away.
The Fix: A good rule of thumb is to stop consumption of coffee/soda two hours before you head to bed. That way all of that jittery energy can leave your system and you can engage in stony sleep.
3. Too much alcohol.
Alcohol is poison. We all know that, but we all drink it. Myself included. Alcohol causes dehydration, and although using it to get to sleep faster may be a totally quick fix, but in the long run it's going to screw you over. Trust me, as someone who has felt hungover for the past year...it's not a good look.
The Fix: Switch out that shit for water. You will thank me. And you'll wake up more hydrated and happy :)
4. Eating too late.
When your tummy is digesting stuff, it makes your body stay active and awake. It's just physiology. If you want to be prepared for a great night sleep you've got to be empty. Or close to it. It's a weird thing, but hey.
The Fix: Stop eating at least an hour before bed. This will help your digestion process happen and your stomach won't keep you up all night. Indigestion and heartburn can really inhibit quality sleep.
5. You're on your phone or computer too close to sleepy time.
I'm always checking notifications from Facebook or Vingle right before bed. It's like an addiction right? That harsh light from our laptops and phones penetrates our brains and keeps them moving long after we put our heads to the pillow.
The Fix: Force yourself to power down electronics 20 minutes before bed. Crack a book or write in a journal. Read a magazine or listen to music. Just don't point your eyes at a shiny / glowing screen. 20 minutes. You can do it!
6. You're stressed/anxious.
This is the number one reason I don't get sleep! I have an anxiety disorder, and that often prevents me from closing my eyes and turning off my brain. We all have things we're worried about that spill over into our nighttime rituals.
The Fix: Try some deep breathing right before bed. Meditation and other mind-clearing activities will help. They may sound like B.S. but they're not. I find that taking three or four conscious breaths right before I sleep helps infinitely. I wouldn't lead you astray! Try it.
Try out these natural fixes, and let me know how you all do! I've been using these tips to get better sleep and as a diagnosed insomniac...I'm getting better! Woo! Getting more sleep has improved my mood and overall health.
Please share your tips below and keep on trying! You'll find something that works, I promise!