Ideally, you should split the 24 hours in your day three ways: eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight for everything else. It’s hard to live up to this ideal as it is, and it’s the third of our day devoted to sleep that often takes the cuts, work hours being pretty non-negotiable. Furthermore, we often lose sleep time due to an inability to fall asleep, leaving us tired throughout the day. Here are some reasons you can’t get a good night’s sleep—and how to make sure you do.
There’s Too Much Caffeine in Your Bloodstream
Coffee or black tea to start the day is practically mandatory. These same drinks as post-dinner digestive aids, however, could keep you up at night. It may not cross your mind at 7:30 in the morning as you’re dragging yourself through the beginning of the workday, but caffeine takes hours to leave the body, and this stimulant can do its work well into the night, leaving you restless while you watch the clock draw ever nearer to your wakeup call. Try herbal teas at night or cut down on your evening caffeine intake altogether.
You or Someone You Love Is Snoring Too Loudly
There are some noisy sleepers among us. You may be one of them. Many people toss, turn, talk in their sleep, and of course, snore—and loudly. All this noise can be a distraction when it comes from your bed partner. In extreme cases, it can even be a distraction to yourself. Snoring has many causes, many of which you can resolve yourself with simple lifestyle changes. In some cases, however, snoring could be indicative of sleep apnea, a condition you should explore with a specialist.
A Room That’s Too Hot or Too Cold
There’s a little Goldilocks in all of us. Those tendencies can often manifest when we’re trying to sleep. When your bedroom is too hot or too cold, it can be too distracting, leading to an inability to fall or stay asleep. You want your room to be just right—generally somewhere in the upper 60s. It’s tempting to bring the bedroom down to cooler temperatures to trick yourself into snuggling up in your blankets, but ambient air that’s too cool or sheets that are wrapped too tight can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling insufficiently rested at the start of the next day.
Too Much Late Screen Time
For years, millions of Americans went to bed watching Johnny Carson. Today’s late-night viewing looks a little different, often taking the form of scrolling social media or watching videos on smartphones. Not only does the content on your phone probably lack Johnny’s perfect comedic timing, but being in such proximity to blue light is terrible for winding down before bed and one of the top reasons you can’t get a good night’s sleep. Put away the phone for the night before you go to bed and read a book—the old-fashioned paper kind—instead.