ACCORDING TO THE US National Sleep Foundation, the average newborn baby needs between 14 and 17 hours of sleep each day.
Luckily, by the time you hit adulthood, the number of hours your body needs to sufficiently rest and repair itself has dropped to a much more manageable seven or eight hours.
Even if you’re logging the ‘correct’ amount of time in bed though, you may find you’re waking up feeling groggy and badly rested. It’s not just the number of hours you spend horizontal that play into your sleep quality, as adult sleep coach Christine Hansen explains:
“Put simply, sleeping is harder for some people than it is for others. An efficient sleeper knows how much rest they need and which factors will help them to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
Here are just some of the unexpected reasons you’re waking up feeling foggy despite going to bed on time…
1. An inconsistent sleeping routine
Source: Unsplash/Krista McPhee
“Sleep should feel welcomed and your body should be ready for it,” explains Christine. “Getting a consistent routine in order helps to consolidate your sleep cycles.”
As with most things that are good for our bodies, putting a proper sleep routine in place involves discipline, on both weekdays and weekends. “Set a strict bedtime and waking up time for a few weeks to give you time to read your body’s signals,” advises Christine.
Note how long it takes to fall asleep and how tired or rested you feel when you wake. Then you can adjust accordingly.
2. A high level of stress
If you’re struggling with sleep issues, your stress levels should be your first port of call. “In 99 per cent of adults I meet, the top reason for sleep issues is stress,” says Christine.
When we are stressed, our cortisol levels are elevated, which is bad news for sleep quality:
Cortisol manipulates our sleep. Our body’s usual rest and repair processes are disturbed when we are stressed.
Even positive life events like weddings, christenings or social events can put our bodies on high alert, so do what you can to clear your mind before bed, whether it’s writing tasks down or chatting things out with a friend or loved one.
3. Your tired-out mattress
Source: Unsplash/HS Lee
A mattress isn’t just another bedroom accessory like a rug or duvet cover. It’s something you’ll spend roughly 2,920 hours each year lying on, so it’s worth finding one that suits your body and sleep style.
“If you have had your mattress for more than ten years it’s time to re-invest,” recommends Christine. “There are different types of mattresses you can get, from memory foam to horse hair, so put some research in.”
Many large bedding suppliers will allow you to trial or rent out a mattress before making a final decision, and Christine says you should take it home “for at least two weeks” before deciding.
4. That late-night snack
Source: Unsplash/Alex 6729
While cutting out all food after 6pm simply isn’t realistic for everyone, taking note of what you eat in the evenings could throw up patterns you didn’t know were there.
“If you’ve been sleeping badly of late, start keeping a food diary,” says Christine.
I often find that diet and falling asleep are connected. If there’s too much sugar in your bloodstream, your body won’t be able to drift off as easily.
Waking up too warm, needing to urinate or craving a drink of water are some of the key signs that your blood sugar is too high during the night.
5. An undiagnosed food intolerance
“As well as emotional stress, biochemical stress can affect sleep quality too,” explains Christine. “This kind of stress occurs when hormones are imbalanced or when our body is experiencing an inflammation of some kind, often due to food sensitivities.”
If you suspect that an intolerance to dairy, gluten or another food could be to blame for sleep issues, it could be worth eliminating certain food groups for a few days and charting the effect on your sleep. “Keep track of which foods you are eating and when,” advises Christine.
6. Those after-work drinks
Source: Unsplash/JP Valery
Alcohol has been shown to increase deep sleep or SWS (slow-wave sleep) in the earlier stages of the night, but it can in turn disturb sleep quality later on in the night.
Put simply, you may fall asleep more quickly after a glass or two of wine, but the toss-up is that you’ll also wake up less refreshed.
“By drinking alcohol, you’re manipulating your deep sleep cycles, which is when most of your body’s restoration is happening,” explains Christine.
Whatever the causes behind your sleep disturbances, it’s important to remember that for most healthy adults, this too shall pass. ”We all go through phases where we have sleep difficulties,” says Christine.
If it’s been for a short while, I wouldn’t worry just yet. Try journalling or talking to someone about what’s going on before going into full panic mode.
Stress is one of the main causes of sleeplessness. If you’re struggling with stress, a natural remedy like Kalms or Kalms Night could help. The Kalms range features traditional herbal medicinal products to aid restful sleep, and to help you to deal with whatever challenges life throws at you. Available in pharmacies, healthstores and leading supermarkets nationwide.
Source : http://www.thejournal.ie/sleep-quality-reasons-3792740-Feb2018/1190