I’ve been tired a lot lately, and while it could be something internal, there are plenty of possible external factors that are affecting my sleep every night. I just got a FitBit, and it indicates that I’m pretty restless throughout the night, sometimes waking up once or twice. While this could partially be due to the third creature in bed with us, I’ve had poor sleep for many years. I’ve even have suffered from night terrors and sleep walking.
As I look into natural ways to help me sleep with products from companies like Saje or with chamomile tea, there are several things we can avoid that could be affecting our sleep. Here are some of the things that could be keeping you up at night.
Your Air Conditioning
With summer just around the corner, you know you’ll want to blast that air conditioner sooner rather than later. But did you know that air conditioning can actually affect your sleep? Air conditioners can affect indoor air quality, bringing pollutants into your home and making it difficult to fall asleep. You can combat this by getting an air purifier or air cleaner and making sure you change your bedsheets often.
Air conditioners are also noisy, which can definitely keep you up at night. While I actually like the white noise sound that a fan or air conditioner makes while I’m trying to fall asleep, a loud air conditioner can signal that you need a new cooling system.
The temperature of your room might also be affecting how you fall asleep, and air conditioners can make a room much too cold for some people. I love sleeping in the cold, and I can’t stand trying to sleep when I’m hot. Either way, an uncomfortable room temperature can make falling asleep more difficult than it needs to be.
Too Much Blue Light
Electronics emit a blue light that can make it difficult to fall asleep if you use them right before bedtime. According to Scientific America, those who look at screens with blue light before bed take longer to fall asleep and have less REM sleep than those who don’t. Changes in sleep patterns can throw us off, making us crankier than we need to be the next morning.
There are apps for our phones and computers than can reduce brightness and eliminate the blue light all together. There are even filters for glasses that help reduce the blue light that comes through our lenses, which is great for those who work on computers all day and read on their phones at night.
A Dose of Caffeine
A cup of coffee or another caffeine filled treat can affect your sleep any time of day. For me, caffeine makes me giddy and anxious for an entire day, even after having one or two cups. Caffeine makes it difficult for me to sleep, gives me headaches, and has my brain thinking a mile a minute.
For someone whose brain often goes crazy thinking about unrelated things before bed, I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. Instead, I replace it with herbal teas, and I try not to eat too close to bedtime.
What do you think is affecting your sleep? What tips and tricks do you have for others who have a hard time falling or staying asleep?