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Health 10 May 2019
By: Natasha Tanga

7 Reasons Why You Might Have Trouble Falling Asleep at Night


Sleeping is a crucial part of someone's daily routine. Without sleep, the cells inside the body would not be able to renew itself and get rid of toxins accumulated throughout the day. That's why, you might feel tired and groggy after a sleepless night. Have you ever wondered what factors might hold you back from getting a good night's sleep? On this week's journal, we will be explaining a number of reasons why you can't seem to drift to dreamland. Read on!

1. Inconsistent sleep schedule.

A consistent sleep schedule will synchronize your body’s internal clock, so you feel sleepy at a regular time every night. If you’re having problems getting to sleep, try getting up at the same time even on weekends until your sleep improves. Also, be reminded that naps longer than 30 minutes reduces your need for sleep at night and might mess up your sleep pattern. In result, you’ll only be able to sleep much later in the night, and not when you want to.

2. Using electronics before bed

Zoning out in front of the TV or your smartphone can be second nature to most of us, but your sleep cycle could be at stake. When your eyes are exposed to this light during the night, your brain is tricked into thinking it's time to wake up and reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone released by your pineal gland that causes sleepiness and lowers body temperature. Therefore, train yourself to limit the usage of TV, smartphones or tablets before bed, at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.

3. Exercising too late.

As individuals with busy schedules, sometimes we have to fit in exercise whenever we can. However, bear in mind that exercising during certain times of day can be costly to our rest. Working out too close to bedtime can be overstimulating to our metabolism, raising heart rate and causing us to feel restless and lay wide awake. Try to exercise in the morning or no later than mid to late afternoon, which will result in sounder sleep.

4. Your daily coffee intake still leaves an effect

Stimulants like sugar and caffeine, which can come from coffee, tea, soft drinks, and particularly energy drinks, needs to be avoided after late afternoon or evening. Caffeine stays in your system for around six hours, so the later in the day you take caffeine, the greater the risk of it affecting your sleep at night.  Most of us drink more than one cup of coffee, and many of us drink it late in the day.  If you're going to drink coffee, drink it early.

5. Eating too much or too little during dinner

Your body can’t sleep when it is busy digesting a meal, so avoid having large meals around at least two hours before bed. Try and have your last meal at the same time each day as this will help establish a good sleeping pattern.

Likewise, if you eat too little during dinner, it could also interfere with sleep since blood sugar will be too low at night. Aim to eat a small snack an hour or two before hitting the sack, especially if you had an early dinner. 

6. Inconducive sleeping arrangement

Having a humid room can hinder your efforts to have a good night's sleep. Placing an air conditioner or fan in your room will keep it consistently cool and help you fall asleep. Be sure to set a temperature that is comfortable, because a freezing cold room can disrupt your sleep as well. 

7. Stress

Last but not least, this could be one of the major reason why someone couldn't seem to fall asleep. Stress and worry from events in your personal or professional life might cost you your precious rest at night. Overthinking, being anxious, or just stressing over things you can’t change activate might lead to chronic stress and interrupted sleep. Therefore, seek for some stress relieving activities or professional help when needed.