What to do if you can't fall asleep.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

We all know the dreaded feeling of not being able to fall asleep. Your body feels tired, you’ve been staring at the ceiling for hours, but your mind is running in circles. 

Tossing, turning and being unable to fall asleep is frustrating. When it happens night after night, the inability to fall asleep can even create ongoing anxiety. When we develop negative feelings around falling asleep, it can make drifting off seem like an impossible task. 

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 30% of adults say they've had insomnia—the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

To get a better idea of why you can’t sleep, and resolve the issue, you must address physical ailments, behaviors, and attitudes that disturb slumber. Sleeplessness can be influenced by things like:


-Stimulation before bedtime

-Too much caffeine

-Prescription medication

-Stress

-Work schedules

-Sleep disorders

Quality sleep is integral to good health, and your mental wellbeing. It’s important to determine the cause of why you are unable to sleep in order to find the right solution.

To see if you may have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, take our instant Sleep Apnea Quiz. You can also book an appointment with one of our sleep specialists. 

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions to try if you feel you’re having trouble falling asleep:

Focus on Relaxing Thoughts

Instead of contributing to the anxiety of not being able to fall asleep, imagine yourself in a relaxing environment. Picture yourself on a sandy beach listening to the sound of the waves, or focus on another peaceful image. If you have a clock in your room, turn it away from you so you’re not tempted to watch the time pass.

Change Your Sleep Environment

For optimal sleep, invest in a high quality mattress, bedding and pillows to maximize comfort. You should also ensure that your room is cool and dark (sleep experts recommend keeping your room between 18-21 degrees).

If there are noises that keep you awake, try creating “white noise” with fans, air cleaners or white noise appliances.

Turn Off All Screens

TV’s, computers, phones and tablets should be turned off an hour before going to bed. The “blue light” emitted by these screens can stimulate daytime hormones, and disrupt your body’s readiness for sleep.

Establish a Sleep Routine

Go to bed, and wake up at the same time each day if you can. A consistent routine will create a habit that your body will adapt to. Though it may be tempting to oversleep on the weekends, it may make your Monday morning more difficult. If you are not sleepy however, don’t force yourself to try to sleep.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Taking good care of yourself has many benefits, and one of them is getting good quality sleep. Limit caffeine and alcohol, don’t smoke, and exercise frequently. Magnesium and Vitamin B12 can enhance sleep so include things like nuts, spinach, leafy green vegetables and fish in your diet. Try not to eat large meals before going to bed and limit the amount of fluids you drink.

If You Still Can’t Sleep…..Get Up

After 20 minutes of trying to fall asleep, get up and go to a different place in the house. Try reading a book, listening to music or participating in a relaxing activity. Change your focus so that being unable to sleep doesn’t become an issue. It’s important to avoid creating an unhealthy link between bedtime and sleeplessness.

If you would like a personal consultation to assess your sleep issues, please contact us today!