Try as they may, some people have a really hard time falling and staying asleep. They toss and turn and stay restless all night. It disrupts their sleep cycle and can cause their partners to lose sleep too. Before you know it, no one is getting any sleep.
Restlessness can be caused by many factors. Paying attention to what’s triggering your restlessness can help. You can keep a diary of your restlessness and pay close attention to patterns that indicate what’s keeping you up at night. In the meantime, until you’ve collected enough data, stop doing these three things and it could help you get better rest.
- Stop eating and drinking after dinnertime
- Stop smoking
- Stop sleeping on your back
What you eat could be keeping you up at night- Eating foods late in the evening can cause the digestive system to work overtime. Spicy foods can cause heartburn and other foods can give you a jolt of energy when you need to be sleeping. Drinking caffeine can disrupt the sleep cycle too making it harder to fall and stay asleep. Drinking too much can also cause late-night trips to the bathroom disrupting restorative REM sleep.
Stop eating and drinking after your evening meal so you can digest your food and get your body ready for the most important task at hand- going to bed.
Smoking can disrupt your sleep- Smoking is toxic. Nicotine is a stimulant and can disrupt and override your circadian rhythm. Instead of slowing down for bed, smoking can rev you up. Smoking also causes a wide range of medical issues including emphysema, cancer, and respiratory diseases. Smoking can reduce the oxygen levels in the blood making it harder for the body to restore and repair itself at night leaving you feeling restless and tired throughout the night and into the next day.
Sleeping on your back can make you restless- Sleep apnea can cause obstructions that lead to failure to breath during the night. Sleeping on your back can contribute to the intensity of sleep apnea. Obesity is a contributing factor to sleep apnea and can cause soft tissues to collapse when the throat and tongue relax during the night. This happens more often when lying on our backs. Consistently being roused from deep sleep due to sleep apnea can result in restlessness, fatigue, and in some cases cause long-term health problems.
Being restless at night can contribute to stress during the day. Not getting enough quality sleep can manifest physically and emotionally. Doing what you can to overcome restlessness in bed will help. If you find you are eating and drinking past dinner time, try giving it up and see if things improve. Quit the smoking and try sleeping on your side or stomach too. Each of these can help improve your quality of sleep and reduce the level of stress you manage on a daily basis.