Causes and solutions
Difficulty sleeping may arise due to environmental factors, emotional upheaval, or health problems.
Your brain generates a hormone called melatonin as daylight fades and your body and mind respond by becoming relaxed and sleepy. However, if your bedroom is light, you are likely to find it hard to get to sleep because you have not received the signal from your brain that tells you to wind down. In order to encourage your brain to produce melatonin, you can shut light out of your room, and relax during the evening under a low level of light as opposed to bright illumination.
If your bedroom is too hot, you will probably find it hard to get to sleep. You will find sleeping in a cool room with plenty of ventilation easier than if your room is humid and stuffy.
Lying on an uncomfortable mattress can result in sleepless nights as you toss and turn, attempting to find a comfy position in which to rest. One third of your life is likely to be spent in bed. Therefore, if you live to be sixty, that is twenty years. Buy a comfortable mattress, and at least you can enjoy peaceful slumber instead of years of irritation and insomnia.
For many people, insomnia comes as part of grieving after the death of someone that they love. You cannot hurry grief, but you can distract your mind with a light activity when somber thoughts strike late at night, or use gentle music to help you feel calm.
Stress can befall you for a variety of reasons, from career problems to family difficulties. When you are going through a stressful patch in life, make sure that you let off steam physically by exercising, and emotionally by sharing your woes with a trusted friend. You can also relax and calm your mind by having a hot bath before bed, and by avoiding stimulants such as caffeine.
Some health conditions can be accompanied by pain, which is not a friendly bedfellow. If you have an injury that is causing pain or discomfort, use pillows and cushions to help support your body in a relaxing position.
If you are allergic to dust mites, hot, humid weather might exacerbate the problem and keep you awake. Hay fever and mold allergies can also result in transient insomnia as you find that it is hard to breathe comfortably. Dealing with the allergy will mean that you can sleep better.
Pregnancy, the menopause, and menstruation can cause hormonal fluctuations in women and keep them awake. Following healthy sleep hygiene practices such as shutting light out of your bedroom, and reducing noise that could keep you awake might help. However, if the problem persists seeking advice from your GP might be beneficial.
Dealing with environmental, emotional, and health issues that keep you awake can make all the difference between transient insomnia playing havoc with your nocturnal wellbeing and a peaceful night’s rest.