(I’m reposting this because it never shared on Bloglovin’ and I don’t think anybody saw it. #bloggerproblems)
Sleep is one of those things like working out or eating healthy – we know we need it, but getting enough can often be a bit of a struggle. I’ve always been a night owl, but as I get older I’m starting to crave a more early bird kind of schedule. Making the switch hasn’t been easy though. I’ve found that I have no problem getting into bed at a decent hour, but it’s the whole “falling asleep” thing that I’ve been struggling with. After some trial and error, I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of things that make it harder to catch those much needed zzz’s.
Too Much Caffeine
This one probably sounds super obvious, but so many things contain caffeine these days, you might not even realize you’ve had some until it’s too late. The things that usually get me are beverages – I’m a big fan of iced teas and sparkling drinks, but I have to make sure to switch to decaf versions after 3pm or I find it super difficult to fall asleep without my mind racing. Some other things you’ll want to watch out for are coffees and espressos, energy drinks and supplements, coffee-infused desserts like tiramisu and ice cream, and some types of smoothies.
No Set Routine
If your routine is all over the place, it’s going to be that much harder to fall asleep at night. Having a different bedtime each night (10pm one night, 3am the next, etc.) not only makes it difficult to stick to a nightly routine, but it also throws off your internal clock. To have an easier time of falling asleep right away, try to go to bed at the same time every night. Doing so will help let your body know when it’s time for sleep, plus the act of going through a nightly routine will help you feel more prepared for bed so hopefully your mind won’t race.
Probably the biggest reason I have for not being able to fall asleep easily is distractions. I usually sleep with my phone on the bedside table next to me, so I always see when it lights up from notifications and messages. Then there’s things like outside traffic, headlights shining in my bedroom, loud neighbors…the list goes on and on. All of these things can keep me from being able to fall asleep quickly, so I’ve started doing a few tricks to help eliminate any distractions. First, I put my phone on nighttime mode so now it only goes off if someone calls me in an emergency. I also wear a sleep mask to bed now, so flashing lights don’t catch my attention anymore (this also helps with a problem I have where my eyes will just flick open without meaning to – super annoying when you’re trying to fall asleep).
The second thing that causes me the most unrest at night is being uncomfortable. I’m a bit of a picky sleeper, and have to have my surroundings just right in order to fall asleep quickly. Depending on your preferences this could mean different things, but definitely make sure your room is to your liking before going to bed. For me, I have to have my room ice cold with a fan going at all times (both for white noise and to have a nice breeze). When my bedroom is just right, I can fall asleep almost instantly, but if it’s hot and stuffy I end up tossing and turning for hours before getting any rest.
Not Enough Exercise
On days where I’ve sat at my desk for 6+ hours, I find it much more difficult to fall asleep than days where I’ve been up moving around or have gotten a good workout in. Our bodies are meant to be physical, and sleep is supposed to allow us to rest and heal up for the next day. However, when we don’t get the exercise we’re supposed to, our bodies aren’t sufficiently tired and it can take awhile to reach a state of drowsiness that will allow for sleep. Even if it’s only a quick workout before bed, the exercise will definitely help you pass out faster.
Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night?