Can’t Sleep a Wink? Eliminate the Drink… and Other Sleep Inhibitors

People who sleep soundly often take the ubiquitous activity for granted. They are unfamiliar with the endless wakeful nights of the tormented insomniac. But most people have experienced insomnia at least once in their lives—a terrible night when no amount of tiredness can shut down an active brain. I’ve had many of these nights in my life. They often happen in times of stress, when my troubles occupy my thoughts. It took a few years of regular insomnia before I started really researching possible causes, from my diet to my brand of foam mattress. I was surprised to find some clear criminals among the commonly-used substances in my daily life. I didn’t realize that my lifestyle choices were sabotaging my sleep! They may be sabotaging yours too. Here are some common culprits.

Booze and Your Brain

It may seem counterintuitive, after all, alcohol does have the side effect of making one sleepy. But, while alcohol may help you fall asleep, it’s not likely to keep you in dreamland. According to the National Institutes of Health, alcohol reduces REM sleep, which leads to increased daytime sleepiness. Over time, a REM deficit can be truly dangerous leading to increased stress and anxiety and a variety of psychological and physical ailments. This is something of a catch-22 since increased anxiety may lead to more drinking, which leads to poor sleep, which leads to anxiety.

Caffeine: Trouble Even Hours After You Drink It

Ah caffeine, the most popular drug in the world and the insomniacs ambrosia. Unfortunately this stimulant has long-lasting effects, even many hours after you consume it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it takes 6 hours for ½ of the caffeine you consume to be eliminated. This means you still have caffeine circulating in your blood stream for a full 12 hours after consumption! So, if you’re drinking a late afternoon latte, you’re trying to sleep at the height of your buzz. Caffeine also reduces low frequency delta activity in the sleeping brain. This can profoundly reduce your quality of sleep.

Noise of All Sorts

Noise is an obvious sleep disruptor but you might not realize how much even tiny sounds are affecting your slumber. In an interesting study, people who slept comfortably through the night were better able to block out small noises, those sounds, like a passing car or a distant ringing phone, that disturb a light sleeper (like yours truly). Try using a white noise machine to drown out other nocturnal sounds. The steady noise is soothing and regular, as opposed to the jarring unexpected noises of the night.

(Visited 119 times, 1 visits today)

Share
Amber Merton

Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

Recent Posts

How To Assemble Your Latex Mattress

Congratulations on your decision to invest in your healthiest night’s sleep. You're going to love your new latex mattress. Latex… Read More

2 weeks ago

20 Things To Do Before Spring Ends

Summer officially begins on June 21, 2019. This leaves us with two more weeks to enjoy the Spring season. (more…)… Read More

3 weeks ago

Using an Adjustable Bed for Back Pain

Back pain. It can be disruptive when trying to get a good night’s sleep. Whether you have an injury or… Read More

1 month ago

Live a Vibrant, More Intentional Life With Loveleaf Co.™

If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know Loveleaf Co.™ founder, Ally Milligan, now is your chance. (more…)… Read More

1 month ago

Caring For Your Organic Cotton Bed Sheets

When you purchase organic bed sheets, you are making an investment in the quality of your sleep. Like any investment,… Read More

2 months ago

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day falls on April 22, 2019. It represents a day when the world celebrates the planet together. In fact,… Read More

2 months ago