Difficulty sleeping is one of the most common problem among adults.
There are plenty of prescription, over-the-counter, and natural remedies to help people fall asleep and stay asleep.
Sleeping is incredibly important for our overall health and wellness.
Poor sleep patterns can lead to a multitude of health concerns including: weight gain, depression, and heart problems.
Not everyone who has difficulty sleeping suffers from a sleep diagnosis such as insomnia or sleep apnea.
In fact, depending on when you struggle most to sleep could reveal what ails you.
Here are the most common times people struggle to sleep, what it means for your health, and how to remedy it:
If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep between these hours, it is probably due to stress.
Your mind is busy thinking about all the things you are worried about and is keeping you awake.
To de-stress before bed so that you can fall asleep faster is to try a few of the following techniques:
Reduce stimulations right before bed.
This can be exciting TV shows, the blue light on your phone or tablet, actually doing work right up until bedtime with nothing to unwind in between.
About an hour before going to bed, turn off these stimulations.
Try some meditation to clear your mind, take a shower, or prepare your lunch for the next day. Something that will both relax you and reduce your stress is key.
While trying to fall asleep, if worries pop into your mind quiet them with a gentle reminder that there is nothing you absolutely need to do right that moment, and it can wait until you are well-rested in the morning.
Sometimes, depending on the worry, there’s nothing you can do at all so there’s no point in it keeping you up because it is out of your control.
If you wake up during these hours (or are just going to bed) it could be related to emotional disappointment.
You could be upset with how something has gone, disappointed with an outcome, or even heartbroken about it.
This is when our mind brings up this unhealed emotional baggage.
Don’t make it worse by assigning blame.
That will only stir up more emotions and keep you awake.
Offer forgiveness to yourself and whatever emotional disappointment you’re feeling.
It was in the past, it can’t be undone, forgive it and don’t let it consume you anymore.
Offer yourself love and acceptance.
Whatever your role was in the emotional disappointment, remind yourself that you acted the way you did because it seemed right at the time.
You were learning and now that you’ve had the experience, you have had an opportunity to learn and grow from it.
If you are waking up between these hours, it’s typically due to unresolved anger.
You might be holding on to a grudge or are angry about a current or past situation that you are still trying to process and work through.
Don’t fuel the anger.
Replaying it and thinking about what you should have said or they should have done or what ought to have happened will only make it worse.
Write it down.
The only real way to stop being angry is to get it out.
Don’t take it out on anyone, but writing it down in a journal or a letter to yourself will help get it out of your head.
Accept your feelings.
Sometimes what can make us harbor anger is that we never really allowed ourselves to feel the emotions the situation made us feel.
Perhaps we had to be professional, or wanted to be mature and respectful and while those are good things in the moment, if we never allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling and we just repress it, then it’s going to wake us up in the middle of the night in the form of anger.
When it does wake you up, just feel what you’re feeling.
Accept that it whatever it was hurt you, offended you, was unfair, and made you unhappy.
Just accepting your emotion and how you’re feeling will help you relax and fall back asleep.
If you wake up between these hours it’s commonly related to sadness.
You might be grieving, feeling sad or lonely, and these emotions are causing you to wake.
Drink something warm.
A cup of herbal tea, warm milk, something to soothe you and make you feel comforted.
Recall a happy memory.
Think of something that makes you feel joyful again.
It can be a real memory, or perhaps even a fantasy you’re dreaming up that can help redirect your thoughts and fall back asleep.
Just allow yourself to feel it.
It might keep you awake for a little bit, but if you just express your sadness, loneliness, to yourself in the dark, you can begin to heal from it so that, over time, it won’t wake you anymore.
Waking up during the night is our body and our subconscious communicating with us.
There are other, very common, problems that we have that can result in the symptom of inability to sleep well and/or stay asleep.
Understanding these emotional responses that are manifesting in the physical inability to sleep will help you treat them and finally find healthy rest and relaxation.