These 8 Things May Be Preventing a Good Night’s Sleep

You have big plans and a busy schedule, but it isn’t easy to do anything after not sleeping through the night.

Without enough rest, your body can’t function properly or restore your energy. Getting blackout curtains and finding a comfy pillow aren’t the only ways you can try to sleep more soundly. Check out these eight things that may be preventing a good night’s sleep so you can rest up and feel like yourself again.

1. Sleeping On an Old Mattress

Mattresses aren’t supposed to last forever. Even the most expensive models will sag where you sleep and break down with time. Flipping it can extend the quality of your mattress, but the lumpy padding and uneven springs could be what keeps you up at night.

Invest in a new mattress with the right firmness for your health needs. A firm mattress supports people with back and neck pain, ensuring a better night’s sleep. It’s a worthy investment that should last up to a decade, so consider it if you haven’t replaced your mattress in more than seven to ten years.

2. Sharing a Small Bed

Your partner means the world to you, but sharing the same bed could cause you to wake up during the night. You might bump your arms or rouse from your sleep because the mattress moves when they roll over. Upgrading to a larger bed gives each of you more space to rest, which could solve your sleep problems.

3. Using the Bathroom

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Needing to use the bathroom during the night isn’t unusual, especially if you drank a glass of water or milk before bed. It could be preventing a good night’s sleep if you head to the bathroom more than once or twice each night. If that happens frequently, you may suffer from a condition called nocturia that has nothing to do with the water on your bedside table.

Nocturia is an age-related condition that causes frequent urination. It can also begin if you experience other common causes such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Anxiety

Talk with your doctor if this sounds like something that may apply to your health. They can point you towards prescription medications that will relieve your symptoms and help you get more sleep.

4. Snoring Excessively Every Night

Most people snore occasionally, but it rarely wakes them up. When snoring keeps you from sleeping, it may be because you have sleep apnea. It’s a condition where your throat muscles or brain signals keep you from breathing properly.

When you wake up, you might feel out of breath, experience dry mouth or have a headache.

Although this may be preventing a good night’s sleep, there’s an easy solution — a mouthpiece. A dentist can order a fitted mouthpiece that prevents blockage of the airway by positioning your tongue and jaw. It’s a custom solution that helps many people who receive a sleep apnea diagnosis.

5. Talking In Your Sleep

Does your partner mention things you say in your sleep? There’s no clinical solution to sleep talking because it’s relatively harmless. If you think this is why you never achieve deep sleep, you can reduce stress to beat sleep talk related to elevated stress before bed.

Think about what gets your mind racing and try stress-reducing habits before going to sleep, like relaxing in the bath or meditating. Trying new habits could help you find the best way to feel more relaxed and drift off to a deep sleep every night.

6. Looking At Your Phone

It’s tempting to scroll through social media on your phone after snuggling under your blankets, but it’s better to put your phone down. Phones and other electronics make blue light that disrupts your circadian rhythm.

When your circadian rhythm isn’t on track, you won’t go through the individual cycles that restore your energy and bodily functions. Researchers found that when subjects avoided blue light before bed, it advanced their melatonin production and gave them better quality rest. Instead of using your phone, you could relax by reading a book in dimmed lighting or practicing breathing exercises.

7. Eating Before Bed

Snacking right before bed or eating a late dinner could be why you can’t sleep. Your digestive tract and metabolism work hard to digest your food, requiring continual energy production. Your body won’t slow down and switch into its sleep state if it’s still processing food. Skip the late-night snacks and ground your dinner in a healthy source of protein to avoid the late-night stomach growling that normally leads you to the pantry.

8. Feeling Increasingly Anxious

Consider when you can’t sleep and if you struggle to rest only during certain days of the week. You may have anxiety on Sunday night because you dread going back to work or taking an exam the next day. Anxiety keeps people on edge, but you can defeat it with healthy habits like cutting out sugar or practicing self-care. Try new ideas to find what works best for you to solve your sleep problems for good.

Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep Tonight

These things may be preventing a good night’s sleep, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Think about why you struggle to fall asleep or stay that way. The cause of your nightly problems will lead to a practical solution, so try something new every day and you’ll quickly find the best way to sleep through the night.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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