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Do You Struggle To Fall Asleep? Top 5 Causes Of Insomnia

Do You Struggle To Fall Asleep? Top 5 Causes Of Insomnia

Insomnia – or the inability to fall asleep – is becoming more and more common. While some people can put their head on the pillow and fall asleep like a baby, many people struggle to fall asleep or find themselves waking throughout the night. A sleepless night now and then is irritating but when insomnia becomes chronic it can have serious health problems far worse than just exhaustion!

If you have been battling with insomnia, help is at hand. Before you pop a prescription pill, read on to find out what YOU can do to improve your sleep patterns! 

There are many different causes of insomnia and the first step to a better night’s sleep is understanding the cause of the problems in order to address the culprits that could be sabotaging your sleep.

Let’s look at the top 5 causes of insomnia and what you can do to get a peaceful night's sleep.

1. Your mind is too busy

As soon as your body hits the pillow, your mind starts racing and you can’t switch off. You lie in bed thinking about what happened at work, the kids or an argument you had with your husband. How am I going to complete that project?

The deadline is on Friday, and I’m not even half way through. Gemma’s not doing well at school, the teacher complains that she struggles to complete her tasks and disrupts the class. The teacher recommended that we consult an educational psychologist. The washing machine has packed up and we can’t afford a new one because we are in debt up to our ears. 

It’s no wonder that you can’t fall asleep! Your mind is too active and if you are lying in bed worrying about anything and everything, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. Sleep experts believe that the brain struggles to refocus your thinking when you are tired or sleep deprived. It is very important that you learn how to train your brain to shut off.

What you can do:
Racing thoughts often occur when you are feeling anxious or stressed. Often you don’t even realise that having to meet a deadline or dealing with your child’s problems can cause you to feel anxious or stressed which then spills over into you not being to sleep at night. Don’t take your worries to bed with you. Make time to sort out any pressing issues that presented themselves during the day and hopefully, come up with a solution.

If your mind will still not quieten down (this is often easier said than done!), it is better to get up and go to another room, thereby preventing your bed from becoming a stressful place.

Write down all the things that are worrying you in point form and briefly indicate a course of action you can take in the morning. In this way you externalise the worries, put them on paper and defer them to the daylight hours. Then go back to bed. You can also take some Feelgood Health PureCalm – a herbal remedy in liquid drop form that helps to calm and relax you and quiet your troubled mind!

2.  Going to bed too late

Are you going to bed past midnight and then sleeping in? Watching movies or surfing the net until the wee hours of the morning?  While you may think that you are a night owl, your body is definitely not appreciating all the late nights. Going to bed so late actually throws off your internal clock which leads to difficulty falling asleep or trying to slay asleep. When you do eventually fall asleep, you wake up much later than you should and often don’t feel rested enough.

What you can do:
Stick to a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. A set bedtime routine will help to support your biological clock and get you back into a regular sleep rhythm.

Sleep experts suggest that if you do have a late night, you should only sleep in for an hour later. Make up for lost sleep rather by taking an afternoon nap for about 30 minutes – remember, if you have a longer afternoon sleep, it will keep you awake at night.  

3.  Cluttered or uncomfortable bedroom

Your bedroom is cluttered and messy. Clothes are strewn over a chair, plates and glasses are on the night stand and papers are on the floor. The mattress is old and uncomfortable and the pillows are not firm enough. Imagine having to sleep in an uncomfortable and messy bedroom every night? As we all know by now, a cluttered bedroom leads to a cluttered mind which leads to many restless nights.

Some people’s sleep patterns are also affected by the lighting of street lamps, TV decoders, DVD players or alarm clocks. A small amount of brightness is strong enough to enter the retina even when your eyes are closed which makes you feel awake at night.

What you can do:
Your bedroom is the space where you go to rest, sleep and make love.  Experts believe that removing the television, computer and any other electronic devices can promote healthier, more restful sleep patterns. 

Keep it clean and tidy by removing the clutter and mess and creating an environment conducive for sleeping and intimacy. Decorate your bedroom with calming colours, invest in a good mattress, luxurious linen and curtains or blinds to block out light. If you view your bedroom as your sanctuary, it will be much easier and enjoyable to sleep in. 

4. Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, during and after pregnancy and around menopause can affect women’s sleep routines. Estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate during pregnancy, perimenopause or when you have your period causing you to wake up many times during the night. Menopausal women often wake up because they are experiencing hot flashes - this causes lots of discomfort.

What you can do:
Pregnant women and those who experience hot flashes and night sweats often feel overheated. Lower the bedroom temperature and wear lighter clothes to keep cool. During perimenopause, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and avoid caffeine after lunch and alcohol before bedtime.

Other useful tips that can help is to keep your bedroom dark, drink a cup of chamomile tea before going to bed and most importantly, sticking to a sleep schedule. Herbal remedies have helped with the menopause for thousands of years. If you are going through the menopause and experiencing insomnia or hot flashes, try our herbal remedy called MellowPause, helping you to navigate the hormonal changes more easily – and sleep better!

5. Keep children and pets out

How often do you go to sleep and there is a little person or furry creature in or on your bed? Parents of younger children and pet owners complain about their sleep being disrupted all time because they are forced to share their bed.

What you can do:
Firstly, no one should be sharing your bed but you and your partner. Women who are breastfeeding will usually have the baby in bed with them because it makes the process so much easier. However, when a child is older and still crawls into bed with mom and dad, it can affect their sleep. In order to help you get your bed back, you have to start sleep training with babies and young children early. Let them sleep in their own crib or bed from a young age and implement positive sleep routines which include dinner, followed by bath time, a lullabye or bedtime story.

Your furry friends should not be sharing your bed with you at all! Besides the fact that they are disrupting your sleep, it allows them to believe that they are in control. If you want them near you, place their bed, basket or cushion in your bedroom on the carpet or floor so that they can have their very own space – in this way, both of you will get a good night’s sleep.

Knowing the causes of your insomnia and taking some simple steps, will definitely have a positive effect! Also try our Serenite Plus – a herbal remedy especially formulated to help you to become naturally drowsy and help you to fall asleep (without unwanted side effects or risk of addiction).

If you have any health-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE advice. We always love hearing from you!
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