If you’re familiar with the infomercials on free-to-air-TV that run all night, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And the busier and more stressed you are, the more difficult getting a great night’s restful sleep can be – just when you need it the most.
Sleep is a basic human need (like water), so it’s important to ensure that good quality sleep is at the top of your priorities. Your goal is not to sleep like a baby (remember – babies wake every few hours), but to sleep like an adult with 6-8 hours (depending on what is perfect for you) and to wake feeling refreshed and energised.
Sleep is a basic human need.
If you aren’t getting restful sleep on a regular basis, it will impact all aspects of your life – from your energy, your mood, your motivation, your brain function, your work performance, your health and your relationships.
Did you know that women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep?
There are a few reasons for this:
- the fluctuation of hormones during each monthly cycle
- the roller-coaster of hormones and emotions during different life stages
- menopause (most usually due to hot flushes and anxiety)
- being woken by movement in the bed by your partner – men are usually larger and movement can cause disruption
- difficulty sleeping during pregnancy because of the position of the baby and just being plain uncomfortable
- the light sleeping patterns of mothers – always with an ear open for your babies
- the endless worry about children, finances, family, relationships, work and everything else a woman juggles each and every day
- and, just when you thought your worries were over, there are teenagers!
If you’ve been struggling with fatigue, waking up like the living dead and wondering how on earth you’ll get through the day, then you’re not alone. Studies show that up to 33% of the adult population are not getting enough good quality sleep. This can lead to accidents, lack of concentration, brain fog, increased illness, depression and, yes, weight gain.
7 Ways to Get to the Bottom of What’s Keeping You Awake
- First things first – have a health check up – there could be a physical reason that’s keeping you up at night – pain and inflammation being the most common. Rule out the obvious and address your physical health issues.
- Check any medication – did you know that some drugs are prescribed to be taken at a certain time of the day to be synchronised with your body’s natural bio-rhythms? By taking them at the wrong time, you could be unbalancing your body clock. Also check for side effects of medications you are on. Ask your doctor about an alternative if this is a problem.
- Address your stress. And I mean, really take a good hard look at what’s keeping you up at night. Then take steps to work through any issues – get help if necessary to find solutions. Stress hormones can tip your body clock upside down, causing you to be awake at night and sleepy through the day.
- Suffering anxiety or panic attacks? Anxiety hormones can wake you in the early hours with butterflies and feelings of overwhelm, leaving you awake to brood on your problems. Most likely, what you are worrying about will never happen, but getting back to sleep and shutting down your mind chatter can be difficult.
- Look at your exercise routine – being physically active with access to fresh air will always ensure a better night’s sleep. If you’re guilty of being a couch potato, take steps to make sure that exercise is factored into your daily routine.
- Get help with blood sugar regulation – if you are regularly waking between 2-4 am, it could be a blood sugar problem. By increasing your protein at dinner and adding in a small protein snack before bed, it could help you sleep through the blood sugar crisis in the middle of the night.
- Reset your body clock – sometimes your insomnia has become a habit. By going to sleep and waking up at the same time, even on weekends, you can reset your body clock. It’s important to stick to the same time routine for a few weeks to be successful.
Don’t let sleep be an issue in your life. Contact me to discuss getting your health back on track.
With your health in mind,
Learn more about how you can take back control of your health by subscribing to the iNaturally Newsletter here www.inaturally.com.au
Catherine McCoy is a Naturopath, Health Coach, Writer and Presenter who is the founder of iNaturally.
Catherine helps women experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and overwhelm to regain their health and re-connect with their passion and purpose.
Get your health back on track and create the change in your thinking and lifestyle to be the healthiest and happiest person possible.