Here we are talking about the external environment. Like internal factors, some of these elements may be more within your control than others. Regardless, it is important to consider the influence outside factors may have on your sleep, so that you can work on catching those Z’s.
Ever wonder why coffee is the first thing you reach for when you wake up in the morning? It’s because you are EXHAUSTED! Had you gotten a restful night’s sleep, maybe you wouldn’t need that morning cup of Joe to get yourself going. Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits in sleep disruption, and often because its power is underestimated. That cup of coffee or tea you drank continues to affect you long after the initial jolt wears off.
You may be thinking that you are different because you can still fall asleep even right after drinking that evening cup of Joe. The problem is that even though you can fall asleep, the sleep is not restorative, hence the need for that cup of fresh brew first thing in the morning.
We recommend cutting off daily caffeinated tea consumption at 4:00 PM. As far as coffee, we suggest calling it quits no later than 2:00 PM.
Why, you ask? Because caffeinated beverages increase cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Stress means no sleep.
This is a complicated one. Like most drugs, alcohol affects each person differently. For some, a glass of wine helps to both fall and stay asleep. For others however, alcohol disrupts the REM cycle, the deepest stage of sleep and the result is that you feel tired when you wake up in the morning.
Do you drink before bed? Try that white Russian without the liquor and see what happens.
This is an easy one. Plug up those ears with some cheap store bought noise-suppressants. Don’t worry, you’ll still hear your obnoxious alarm clock. Alternatively you can get a fan for the white noise effect, it will blot out those disturbing nocturnal sounds.
Okay – the warm and fuzzy thing – that’s a classic misconception. While warm temperatures certainly make us feel sluggish and lazy, they are certainly not conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Go to bed with a blasting heater, and you will wake up feeling groggy and tired. The recommended temperature for the ultimate sleep is actually a crisp 65 degrees or lower.
Chances are your thermostat is cranked up a bit too high.
This list represents a small faction of factors that may be influencing your sleep. The list is much longer, and includes exercise (getting enough of it), and avoiding electronics before bed. The take-home message here is this: before swallowing harmful pills, consider more holistic approaches to sleep-regulation.
So take a moment to reflect, examine your tendencies, and maybe, just maybe, put down that Grande-mocha-tripe-shot.
Reducing stress and improving your health go a long way towards improving your sleep patterns. You can get help sleeping better. Fill out the contact form and click Send.