A lot of patients think that all the extra activity during this season would help improve their sleeping by wearing them out, but honestly, it’s this time of year that they have to make a more concentrated effort to preserve their sleep.
I see this in a ton in my patients. The weather starts turning pleasant and they gravitate towards activities that allow them to enjoy it, but in the process end up just feeling more tired with no idea why they aren’t really able to rest after a full day of physical exertion.
I’ve put together a list of the three factors that are impacting your sleep at night, that you probably aren’t even aware of.
3 Hidden Factors That Affect Sleep Patterns
Factor #1: Going to Bed Too Soon
Now, I know this one may seem like crazy talk, but it’s a common trend I see among people. They start to feel like they are dragging and getting sleep, so they decide to go ahead a turn in early only to spend hours rolling around before actually drifting off.
There is no benefit to laying there for hours not sleeping; it’s actually counterproductive. Instead, you should find another activity outside of bed to distract you and keep you awake until your body is truly ready to sleep.
Factor #2: Bedtime Reflection
This is probably the most common (and hardest to break) hidden factor I see affecting patients. While it’s normal to “lightly” reflect on your day, using the bed to replay tense or hurtful situations, or delve deeper into the stress factors in your life can negatively impact your sleep patterns.
Your bed has a specific purpose in your life – for sleep. When you start to use it for other things, then it becomes much more difficult for your body to treat it as it should. Any activity that you do from bed such as watching TV, reading, listening to upbeat music, trolling your phone, is counterproductive to relaxing. You are stimulating your brain and making it take longer to disengage and fall into restful sleep.
Factor #3: Evening Workouts
This factor may appear obvious but you’d be surprised at the number of people who focus their workouts in the evenings (after school and work) and do not understand why they suffer from sleep issues.
While a mild stroll can be relaxing for some people, it’s unrealistic to expect your body to be able to shut right down following aerobic or cardio exercise due to the Cortisol released in the process. If evenings are the only time you can fit in a workout, then it may take some time to train your body to fall asleep.
If you are struggling with sleep, and it’s not due to bedtime jumping jacks, our office would love to help.
Give our office a call to schedule a consultation today.