3 Reasons You Can’t Sleep and What You Can Do About Them
A good night’s rest is vital for one’s physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. It boosts the immune system, helps the body recover, enhances memory, and prevents depression and other illnesses. Despite its importance, however, it is unfortunate how insufficient sleep has become a pervasive and severe problem in the Philippines.
A recent survey by a popular sleep tracking app revealed that the country ranks as the fourth most sleepless country in the world. While sleep experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep for adults, the poll found that Filipinos are only getting an average of six hours and thirty minutes of snooze.
If you are one of the many Filipinos who have trouble dozing off or getting good-quality sleep, it is time to address the issue for the sake of your health. Below are several reasons why many people have trouble sleeping and the solutions to counter them. Go through each item to see whether any of the conditions apply to you, and consider following the recommendations to improve your situation.
Unless you live in Baguio City or other highland areas, chances are, your room is hot and humid for most of the year.This can significantly affect your ability to sleep soundly. Whether you realize it or not, the temperature of your room matters. After all, how can you fall asleep when you are sweaty and uncomfortable?
According to a bedroom poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, close to 80 percent of individuals consider the coolness of the room as a critical factor in getting a good night’s rest. And they are right because the body is programmed to feel sleepy at lower temperatures. While what feels cool differs by a few degrees from person to person, experts recommend a room temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius for optimal sleep.
What You Can Do:
Instead of relying on electric fans that don’t really reduce the temperature in your room, it is best to invest in an air conditioning unit that can easily make your bedroom cool and comfortable. Simply adjust the thermostat at 180C before going to bed, and you are ready to hit the sack. If budget is a concern, you can always search for the best aircon deals online. Keep in mind that purchasing a suitable air conditioner is a worthy investment, especially now that the temperature in the country is continuously rising due to climate change.
Perhaps the primary reason why the majority of Pinoys lack good sleep is stress. Filipinos are known to be a resilient and happy people, but it does not necessarily mean that they are stress-free. In fact, the recent Gallup Global Emotions Report ranked the Philippines as the second most stressed country in the world.
Stress is the body’s natural response to something that causes tension. It heightens the senses and increases heart rate and blood circulation. That is the reason why you feel restless and unable to sleep when you have a problem or when you are under a tremendous amount of pressure.
What You Can Do:
Stress is a normal part of life. While you cannot completely avoid it, there are plenty of ways to manage and control it. For instance, you can try to engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime that does not involve a screen, such as reading a book, coloring, or chatting with a friend. You can also try meditation or deep breathing techniques. Listening to calming music or taking a warm shower can also help relieve stress. Also consider replacing your mattress if it is old and worn out. The simple act of upgrading the item you sleep on each night may be key to relieving your stress and making you fall fast asleep when you need to.
Poor Bedtime Habits
You probably do not realize it, but your before-bedtime-routine may be the culprit why you struggle getting a good night’s rest. Below are a few of the most common activities known to interfere with good sleep. If you are guilty of doing one or more of the items on the list, then you are sabotaging your chances of sleeping soundly:
- Exercising close to bedtime
- Drinking coffee before sleeping
- Using gadgets in the bed
- Late-night eating
- Working late
What You Can Do:
The first thing you should do is eliminate your poor bedtime habits. And as you do, also try adopting different strategies that promote healthy sleep. These include the following:
Keeping a regular sleep schedule. Sleeping and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, can help maintain the timing of your body’s internal clock and program you to doze off at night and wake up in the morning more easily.
Steering clear of drinks and food that have stimulating effects. If you want a good night’s rest, you must stay away from coffee, soda, energy drinks and similar beverages that keep you awake. Eating foods that are high in sugar or salt like chocolate and ice-cream, and cured meats are also a no-no as they tend to stimulate the brain and keep you active.
Avoiding late afternoon naps. Napping late in the day can confuse your internal body clock, resulting in trouble sleeping in the evening.
Creating an environment conducive to sleeping. Make sure to keep your bedroom neat, cool, and free from distractions so that you can easily relax as soon as you climb on to your bed.
People lack sleep for various reasons. While some of them require medical attention, many of these conditions, such as those above, are readily fixable. If your sleep issues are manageable, you better address them immediately. Remember that a good night’s rest is vital in preventing the development of multiple physical, psychological, and mental health issues.