Here are six questions to ask yourself if you have trouble sleeping, falling asleep, or wake up feeling like you haven’t slept.
Am I Avoiding Caffeine In the Late PM Hours? Caffeine doesn't give you energy, rather it works by blocking your Adenosine receptors (your sleep receptors). Simply put, when Adenosine binds to those Adenosine receptors, you become more tired. Caffeine, blocks those receptors from binding with Adenosine. It is recommended you stop drinking caffeine 5-8 hours before you go to bed. Everyone has a different tolerance to caffeine and that’s why the number can vary.
Am I Eating Too Much Before Bed? However hungry we may feel at night, it's best to not eat big meals late at night. Eating your last big meal at least 2-3 hours before bed will help you get tired sooner and fall asleep faster. If you skipped dinner on the other hand and are hungry before bed, snacking or having a small amount of protein can help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Am I Exercising? Exercise helps you expend your energy. If you haven’t done enough work during the day it will simply be harder to fall asleep. Morning exercise can help you shift your circadian rhythm forward, and evening exercise can help you release anxiety/stress, relaxing your mind for sleep. Find out what works best for you because everyone exercises differently based on their chronotype.
Do I Have a Consistent Bedtime? Sleeping at the same time every night will strengthen your sleep routine and circadian rhythm. Your body gets used to staying up for a certain time, cycling through the circadian rhythm, and then getting tired. If you find yourself going to sleep too late, try waking up earlier to help shift your circadian rhythm to get tired sooner.
Am I Getting Sunlight in the Morning? Sunlight is another thing that helps you shift and maintain your circadian rhythm. Sunlight in the morning tells your body it's time to stop producing melatonin. The body then starts producing more cortisol which gives you energy. Sunlight also increases your serotonin levels which makes you feel good, and it boosts your production of Vitamin D which supports your immune system.
Do I Get Enough Magnesium In My Diet? Do you have proper magnesium levels? Sufficient levels of Magnesium are important for good sleep. Maybe you need Magnesium supplements? Read about Magnesium and how it helps support your sleep.
Read more about specific topics below:
Caffeine and Sleep: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/caffeine-and-sleep
Consistent bedtime: https://www.sleep.org/get-sleep-schedule/
Sunlight in the morning: https://www.tuck.com/sleep/importance-of-morning-sunlight-for-better-sleep/
Magnesium and sleep: https://www.tuck.com/sleep/magnesium-and-sleep/