Always tired? You are not alone
Nearly half of the average person doesn't get enough sleep, or what they do get isn't good enough. Whether you have trouble falling asleep or can't seem to stay asleep, there's a reason why the sleep you need is so elusive. We list the possible causes:
You look at your phone before going to sleep
The problem? Your brain thinks the artificial light from the screen is daylight . As a result, your body doesn't make much of something called melatonin. That's a chemical that helps you sleep. If you don't have enough of it, you may experience insomnia - the inability to fall or stay asleep.
The solution: Turn off all digital devices at least an hour before you end your day. It's also best not to keep your phone near your bed, especially if you're tempted to check it before turning off the lights, or worse, in the middle of the night.
You go to bed at different times throughout the week
Going to sleep at 9:30 PM on Wednesday and midnight on Saturday can throw off your internal clock . That can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can also make you sleepy when you wake up.
The solution: You may not be able to go to bed at the same time every day, but try not to vary by more than 30 to 45 minutes , even on weekends.
You survive your afternoon slump with a cup of coffee
Caffeine has many health benefits. A major disadvantage? It disrupts your brain's ability to keep track of how long it's been awake, making you more alert than you should be. If you enjoy coffee, or regularly drink other caffeinated drinks, you may think you've built up a tolerance to it and can still have a cup of coffee before bed. But even for the most experienced caffeine lovers, this would have a bad effect on their sleep.
The solution: Stop caffeine at least 5 hours before bed, and earlier if you know you're particularly sensitive. Most caffeine leaves your system within 7 hours. But if one cup of coffee makes you really nervous, stick to one for lunch.
Your bed is anything but dreamy
If you're tossing and turning, it could be your mattress. The position you sleep in can also make you uncomfortable, making it difficult to sleep. Your dog or cat can also be the cause of your bad mornings. Pets that share your bed with you can wake you up at night, even if you don't remember it the next day. A partner who kicks or takes up more than half of the bed can also be the culprit. They can wake you up and prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need.
The solution: Get your pet out of bed, and make sure they stay out of bed. And if your partner takes up a lot of the bed, consider a larger mattress. You sleep better when you have room to move .
Your bedroom is too warm or too bright
A cool room reflects the natural drop in body temperature you have when you sleep. If your room is too hot, it makes it harder for your body to cool down as it should. That can make you restless. The same goes for light. Even small amounts can give you less melatonin, making you feel alert at bedtime. The darker your room, the easier it is for your brain to get into "sleep mode."
The solution: Most studies show that around 70 degrees is ideal for sleep , but it's different for everyone. You may have to play with the thermostat and try different layers of blankets to find what's right for you. If your window coverings let in light, consider blackout curtains.
Most important of all, you are stressed
If you have a lot on your mind when you get into bed, it will be difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. All of the previous factors can be important for better sleep, but in most cases stress will be the real or biggest cause . We all experience stress in different areas and it is often unavoidable.
However, sleep remains essential, especially in periods of stress. That's why it can help enormously to take a natural supplement , such as our Metis Sleep & Nervousness duo , which helps the body both with stress during the day and with falling asleep and staying asleep at night. This is in contrast to sleeping medications, which can cause addiction and habituation and only help you fall asleep temporarily.
In addition, create a relaxing pre-bed ritual and stick to it, even on days when you are not tense. Taking a shower, stretching, or reading a physical book — not a book on a tablet — before bed are all good ways to help your brain relax .
Pharmacist Dirk Christiaen
Founder of Metis Supplements