Feeling restless at night is a terrible way to go through life. A lack of sleep has been linked to a number of mental and physical conditions. Make sleep a priority with these helpful tips.
To help you conquer constant waking and insomnia, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about restlessness. We’ll go over the most common causes and what to do about them once and for all. Let’s get you to sleep.
The Science Behind the Feeling of Restlessness at Night
Your body works on an internal time clock known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm regulates your hormones as well as your melatonin levels. What is melatonin?
Melatonin is our body’s natural way of letting us know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. As the evening gets later, your body will release more melatonin to get you ready for sleep. If you feel restless at night, this could be because your melatonin levels are off.
There are many things that can affect the release of melatonin in your body. A supplement can help regulate your body’s melatonin levels.
It’s important to know that it isn’t all in your head. There’s science behind constant waking, insomnia, and restless feelings in your arms or legs.
Keep Your Screen Time in Check
One of the worst things you can do before bed is to overstimulate yourself. We live in a world full of screens. Whether it’s your television screen or your phone, lights from devices can interfere with your circadian rhythm.
About an hour before you’d like to be asleep, turn off your screens. Yes, this means your cell phone. Consider charging it across the room from you. This way if you wake up in the middle of the night, you won’t be tempted to reach for it.
If you have a television in your room, shut it down before you go to bed. If you think of it as a crutch to falling asleep, this could be part of your problem. If you need white noise, use a sound machine.
If this is a drastic change for you, try limiting your screen time in baby steps. The first couple of days, turn off your phone thirty minutes before you’d like to be asleep. By the end of the week, work your way up to an hour.
The final step will be to put your phone away from your bed while you sleep. If you constantly turn to screens when you wake up at night, it will be harder for you to fall asleep.
Check Your Mattress
If you’re feeling hot and restless at night, it could be your mattress or your bedding. Ideally, our bodies like to be on the cooler side during sleep. If your body is overheated, it can start to work overtime trying to get your temperature down.
The ideal mattress is one that moves body heat away from you. Your mattress and your bedding should allow for plenty of airflow. Try changing your pillow and pillowcase as well.
If your room is too hot, consider opening a window or turning on a fan. If you’re feeling restless and waking up in a sweat, getting cooler can make a big difference.
Manage Your Stress
Stress keeps everyone up at night at some point. No matter how calm and collected you are, stress can interfere with your sleep quality.
If you’re feeling agitated and restless at night, stress could be the culprit. To help you stay asleep, keep your stress levels down.
While this may seem impossible, there are ways you can manage your stress. First, if you have severe stress or anxiety, speak with your doctor. Mental health is too important not to seek professional help.
Mental health issues, anxiety, and depression have all been linked to poor sleep quality. Unfortunately, this is also a vicious cycle. The more stress you have, the worse you sleep.
The less sleep you get, the more anxious and stressed you’ll feel. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can affect your mood, relationships, and emotional reactions.
Get Plenty of Fresh Air
Fresh air can do wonders for your mind and body. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, get some fresh air before bed. Consider going for a walk after dinner.
If you aren’t getting physical activity, this can also affect the quality of your sleep. Light jogging or walking outside can help you destress and lower your anxiety. You’ll also feel a rush of endorphins.
Exercise and fresh air will help regulate your hormones, your melatonin, as well as your mood. This can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. If you aren’t able to walk outdoors, try eating outside for dinner, or have a cup of herbal tea in front of an open window.
Take Time to Wind Down
Think of your mind like a machine. Sometimes, when you try to shut it off, it takes a minute to wind down. You may find yourself going over your to-do list or thinking about work as you lay there in the middle of the night.
Give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bed. Close your work computer and stay off the phone. Once you shut off your screens, give your mind some time to shut off.
Consider taking a hot shower or a bath before bed. Read a book, stretch, or meditate to get in the right mindset for sleep.
Watch What You Eat and Drink Before Bed
If you’re feeling restless at night, your diet could be to blame. Drinking too close to bedtime could be causing you to wake up to use the bathroom. Caffeine and alcohol right before bed can also disrupt your sleep.
What to Do When Feeling Restless at Night
If you’re feeling restless at night, there are a few things you can do to help. Stay away from screens and give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bed. Help manage your melatonin levels and destress.
Stress, anxiety, and even your diet can all be keeping you awake at night. For more health tips, head to the blog section for great resources and guides.
Rene Bennett is a graduate of New Jersey, where he played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s Editor, he enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.