Each tick of the clock is a blatant reminder that you can’t sleep. No matter how you reposition the pillows or yourself, sweet slumber still eludes you. As the sun peaks over the horizon into your bedroom window, you’re already awake and know you’ll battle sleepiness all day.
Does this sound like a familiar scenario for you? Although it’s normal to have an occasional sleepless night, your well-being can be compromised from chronic insomnia. What are the issues that stand between you and a refreshing night’s sleep?
Perhaps no other human activity has been pondered more than sleep. It’s evolved as a vital function that allows your brain to recharge while your body rests. Many early cultures believed that sleeping and dreaming were a portal to the spiritual realms.
Sleep is a common trope in global art, literature, and spiritual tradition. According to an article published by Ultimate Facts, you will spend at least a third of your life resting. Surprisingly, it also states that you will devote at least seven years during your life trying to get to sleep.
Sleepiness During the Day is a Danger Most People Ignore
Nothing is quite as miserable as battling sleepiness throughout your day. It is that groggy feeling that creeps up on you, usually right after eating. No matter how much coffee or cola you chug, you’re perpetually lost in a brain fog.
An article published by the American Sleep Apnea Association reports that approximately seventy percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep at least one night per month. Of that number, eleven percent say they are sleep-deprived every night. According to the article, approximately 50 to 70 million people in this country have some sleep issues.
Possible Hazards of Daytime Sleepiness
When you haven’t slept a wink all night, your body will pay in the morning. You’ll probably feel groggy and grumpy and may snap at anyone who crosses your path. During the rest of your workday, you’ll feel as if you’re moving in slow motion and can’t be productive.
Everybody has an occasional rough night due to stress and other factors. However, chronic daytime grogginess can affect your personal and professional relationships. Your work performance may be negatively affected, which can threaten your job.
Also, this chronic exhaustion from lack of sleep can put your life at risk. According to a study published by the United States Department of Transportation, approximately 91,000 reported traffic accidents in 2017 were related to sleep deprivation. Of these, about 5,000 led to injuries, and 800 people died.
Ten Habits to Help Decrease Daytime Sleepiness
If you are tired of being exhausted continually from a lack of sleep, then there are some things you can do to help decrease sleepiness. Here are the most common ways to help with sleeplessness.
1. Beat Daytime Sleepiness by Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol
These sleep robbers include going to bed after eating a big meal and drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. Both will tamper with your brain and can cause sleeplessness.
You know that if you drink a lot of liquids before bed, you might need to run to the bathroom all night. Do yourself a favor and improve your sleeping habits for a better night’s rest.
2. Enhance Your Sleeping Environment
Your sleeping environment is vital to sleep success. Your brain is hardwired to go to sleep when it’s dark and awaken with the sun’s light. Is your bedroom dark, or are you getting some rogue lighting from electronics or a light-up clock? These lights may seem insignificant, but they can trick your brain into thinking it’s daylight and interrupt your sleep pattern.
In an article published by the Sleep Foundation, they state that the optimal room temperature for a good night’s sleep is about 65 degrees. If your bedroom is any warmer, you won’t be comfortable enough to sleep. So, decrease your room’s temperature, and put on extra blankets and socks, if necessary.
3. Lower Stress Levels to Beat Daytime Sleepiness
It’s impossible to clear all stress from your life. Some pressure is good because it helps you learn and mature. Stress plays a pivotal role by activating the survival mode that’s hardwired in your brain.
The second that your brain detects a stressor, it identifies it as a threat. It pumps emergency hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream. While your survival mode is essential, it’s not without drawbacks.
Try using meditation, yoga, and other holistic practices to lower your stress, which equals more quality sleep.
4. Don’t Nap Too Long
There’s no harm in recharging your brain with a short nap. An article published by the Mayo Clinic shares that a 10 to 20-minute nap can relax you, improve your mood, and boost your performance. However, warns the article, too much napping can have the opposite effect.
If you’re taking long naps after work, it can cause your sleep schedule to be off. Skip the snooze, and see if it helps your restlessness.
5. Treat Mental Health Issues
You strive to strike an equal balance between your body, mind, and spirit for optimal well-being. If any of these essential aspects are out of balance, your entire body is affected. It stands to reason that mental health issues can lead to spiritual and physical problems, including disrupted sleep. Thus, you may experience daytime sleepiness
Depression and anxiety are common mental conditions around the world. One of the top symptoms for diagnosing either of these is poor sleeping patterns. These conditions are often worse at night, causing miserable nights plagued with worry.
Most people who have issues with their mental health are aware of them. If you know you have problems, it’s better to get them treated so that you don’t have to suffer needlessly when there’s help available.
6. Reduce Herbs and Vitamin Treatments
If you’ve become a nightly sheep counter, your treatments may be to blame, explains an article published by National Jewish Health. Some vitamins, like B12, can increase your alertness, which makes sleep challenging.
It can be helpful to take herbs first thing in the morning so that they do not mess with your rest. Also, you may need to take less of the vitamin if it’s messing with your sleep schedule. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be too much, and no one needs excess sleep loss.
7. Crate the Pets to Improve Sleep Quality
Did you know that one of the issues with your rest could be your animals? If you have a large dog taking up most of the bed, it could be one of the issues why you cannot sleep. While poor Fido loves cuddling with his mom or dad, he should be in a bed of his own.
8. Beat Daytime Sleepiness by Investing in a New Mattress
How old is your mattress? Are you sleeping on a full when you and your spouse need a queen or king-size? Your bed can make or break your sleep. According to The Sleep Foundation, you should replace your mattress every six to eight years so that it may be time for some new springs.
9. Watch What You Eat
If you often cannot rest because you have a stomachache or acid reflux, you’re not alone. Eating foods that are on the spicy side too late at night is a big issue. Indigestion and nausea can keep you up late at night. Additionally, you might not drink any caffeinated beverage, but some of your foods can be laden with caffeine.
Take, for instance, chocolate. Did you know that the average chocolate bar has around nine to twelve milligrams of caffeine, according to the US Department of Agriculture? So, you might want to save that chocolate for later, especially if you do not get sufficient rest.
10. Make Sleep a Priority
If struggle with chronic sleepiness, it could be because sleep is not a priority in your life. Set a bedtime and strive your hardest to be in bed by that hour. Too many people borrow from their rest period and create a sleep deficit. The last thing you need is to borrow time from the Sand Man, as it can seriously affect your mental and physical health.
Final Thoughts on Overcoming Daytime Sleepiness
Today’s overburdened society may not value sleep as much as it should, but you must have rest to survive and thrive. If you’ve been wandering through daily brain fog, it might be time to do some investigating and take preventative measures to help your sleepiness.
When you don’t have sufficient rest, your entire day is off. You feel moody, irritable, and don’t function as well as you should. Actually, sleep deprivation can cause things like delayed reflexes and even psychosis. Make slumber your priority, and you will see a difference.
Lastly, if you have a problem that causes you to stare at the ceiling for hours each night, there could be an underlying issue. Things like sleep apnea and other medical conditions can mess with your rest. So have any of these issues evaluated to get the help you need.