Stress: Relaxing activities just before bedtime will help prepare you to sleep. Everyone develops coping strategies in times of stress, but once the stress is gone, those coping strategies may become habits that interfere with restful sleep. If you find that you cannot return to your regular lifestyle then you may need to get help.
Diet: Alcohol, caffeine and tobacco all contribute to a restless night. Heavy or spicy meals just before bedtime can make it difficult to sleep. Foods containing tryptophan or too much liquid can also be the culprits of interrupted sleep.
Environment: Is your room too cold, warm, light, humid or noisy? Are you in a different bed or room, have a new or old pillow or mattress? Do you have a different bed partner or is your bed partner’s sleeping keeping you awake? Is your sleep interrupted by children or pets? Changing your environment can make your nights more conducive to sleep.
Exercise: A workout will improve sleep quality, but make sure to exercise at least two hours before bedtime. If sleep is still elusive, then increase the amount of time between your workout and sleep.
In my next blog post, we will examine four other factors that can contribute to sleep disorders. Remember, if you have concerns about your sleep, ask your provider about available treatments that will improve your sleep quality.