Why Your Sleep Is Broken
Have you ever looked forward to a good night’s sleep only to toss and turn all night?! Nothing is more frustrating than sleep being elusive and broken. Why does this happen?! You may have seen me post on Facebook or Instagram that I recently had my first night away from baby – I had the chance to stay in a hotel room – all. by. myself. I was soooo looking forward to a solid night’s sleep and maybe even a chance to sleep in – but something told me it might not happen. And it didn’t. You know the feeling…
- You wake up an hour or two after you’ve fallen asleep
- You see every hour on the clock
- You have to get up and pee, again
- You wake up and suddenly have all the thoughts
- You wake up in the early hours of the morning and think “I might as well get up and be productive”
I’ve learned that sleep is really a gauge of how my nervous system is functioning. If I’m stressed, my sleep is greatly affected. But before we can jump there (this is a much more complex topic!) we need to make sure you have a solid foundation to fix your broken sleep, even when you’re stressed. In a previous article, I mentioned there are 4 important pillars to optimal sleep – regularity, continuity, quantity and quality. In this article (Part 2 of 4), I’m sharing with you the 5 surprising ways you may be causing your sleep to be broken and how to fix it.
Continuous sleep is the most restorative sleep there is.
We all know the feeling of waking up after a solid night’s sleep – or maybe it’s been so long since that’s happened for you it’s a distant memory. If your sleep is broken, you don’t get the chance to go through full, uninterrupted sleep cycles and the wakings in between can leave you restless and frustrated. I get it. For now I just want you to know what might be affecting your ability to actually get into and stay into a deep sleep:
1. Alcohol – I love me a glass of Pinot Noir, but alcohol wrecks our sleep by a couple of ways. It inhibits REM sleep (the sleep stage when you dream, which is more frequent and longer in the early hours of the morning), increases our core body temperature and affects our Heart Rate Variability (have you ever noticed a racing heart beat and the sweats after too much booze?). All this to say – 1 drink 2-3 hours before bed might be ok. More than that may significantly be affecting your sleep.
2. The other liquids – yes, I want you to drink water. Yes, a cup of sleepy time tea before bed is a great part of a bedtime routine. But too much liquid too close to bed can wake you up with a full bladder. If you’re under the age of 65 and do not have a bladder condition, you should not need to wake up during the night to pee!
3. Your bed buddy – yes, we love them – but your partner, kids and/or pets may not be the best buddies to sleep with. Partners can disturb our sleep if they come to bed or wake up at a different time, snore or toss and turn themselves. Kids should only be sleeping in your bed when they’re sick. Pets… my cat snores and wakes me up sometimes. It’s kinda cute, but not really. Sometimes you just have to be tough and consider a sleep divorce from whoever is in your sleep space. Reclaim your bed.
4. Babies – ohhhh do I get this one. And I recognize there’s not always something you can do about helping your baby sleep longer or through the night. But, I also hear all the time from moms with older kids and teenagers that they haven’t slept well since having babies. We need to change that – check out my free 21 Day Sleep Challenge to get your sleep back on track!
5. The screens – the irony is not lost on me. You are clearly reading this from a screen, my hope is that it’s not at night, it’s not from your bed and that if it is, you have nighttime mode and blue light blocking glasses engaged. I cannot overemphasize how much screen time is negatively affecting our sleep.
For more on that, check out my article of Why You Need More Sleep if you haven’t already. But it’s not all lost. Just like babies, we sometimes need to train ourselves to sleep through the night.
To start, pay attention to the 5 items above. Ask yourself if there’s any thing within those areas that you could change or improve upon. Then implement the change – one step at a time.
In my next article, I’m going to share the 3 crucial parts of a sleep routine to fix your broken sleep for good! If you want to get started sooner, book your complimentary visit or call now – it’s free!