Having a restful, quality night’s sleep is absolutely vital. When we sleep, our bodies grow new cells and repair old ones, as well as carrying out vital bodily processes. A lack of sufficient, quality sleep can be very damaging to both our physical and mental health.

However, if you can barely remember the last time you slept well for 7 to 8 hours and woke up feeling rested and refreshed, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from sleep issues or deprivation, whether hitting the pillow too late, or tossing and turning when they get there.

If you’re not sure why you struggle to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, check out this list of the factors that may be to blame, as well as our tips for what to do about it.

Why You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

1. No Fixed Routine

Going to bed at different times throughout the week can be disastrous to your sleep patterns. If you stay up late on weekends, and then try to get an early night during the week, don’t be surprised if you can’t drop off to sleep easily. Equally, sleeping in on some days and then trying to get up early on other days will only lead to feeling groggy. This is because your body operates on a circadian rhythm: this is your body clock, and your body naturally tries to get into a steady rhythm every day. If you get up and go to bed at different times every day, this rhythm is disrupted as is your sleep.

2. Non-Ideal Sleep Environment

Where you sleep is important, and if your bedroom is not conducive to sleep this will undoubtedly get in the way of getting solid rest. Make sure that you have a comfortable mattress and cosy bedding. Your sleep area should also be dark, which may mean investing in solid blinds and curtains. You also need to make sure you are not disturbed by noise, so if you have a noisy environment you may need earplugs. Finally, make sure temperatures are comfortable with a fan or air conditioning.

3. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle could be playing havoc with your sleep. There are a number of habits that can cause disrupted sleep. For example, drinking alcohol within four hours of when you go to bed, or eating within three hours, can cause your sleep to be disturbed. Drinking caffeine in the evening or even late afternoon can also cause problems, as can naps too late in the day.

4. Age

Our sleeping habits often change as we get older. Particularly, as we get older we are more likely to be plagued by interrupted sleep. Older adults may find they wake up earlier, but this may simply effect a new circadian rhythm and your reduced need for sleep, rather than an issue.

5. Disruption from Others

Sometimes the issues we have with sleep are not related to us, but rather the person we share our bed with. If your partner snores, this can be detrimental to your sleep. Snoring can also sometimes indicate severe health issues. If your significant other is a regular snorer, urge them to speak to their doctor or a sleep specialist, for both your health and theirs.

How to Get Better Sleep

If you want to improve your sleep, the first thing you should do is take a self-audit. Is something about your lifestyle that is stopping you getting a good night’s sleep? Check if you have any underlying conditions that may be affecting your sleep, such as anxiety or depression. If you do, before you address those issues, you’ll never be able to achieve good sleep.

Once you’ve eliminated underlying causes, there are some other things you can do to help you get enough good-quality sleep every night. Setting a strict routine, where you go to bed and get up at the same time every day can make a big difference. Establish good sleep hygiene by avoiding electronic devices at least two hours before you go to bed. Make sure your sleeping environment is conducive to sleep, being cool, dark and quiet. Getting regular exercise, but not within one hour of bedtime, can also help to support better sleep.

It is also worthwhile looking into alternative therapies to help you achieve more, good quality shut-eye. CBD can be very helpful in promoting better, high-quality sleep: the World Health Organisation has said that CBD may be helpful in managing pain and therefore promoting better sleep quality. CBD can also be helpful in managing anxiety, an underlying There are many ways you can take CBD, from CBD oil by itself or mixed into food or beverages, or even edible products like CBD butter.

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