Can't sleep? People who have insomnia have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep at night.
What are the biggest reasons people can't fall asleep at night? We spoke with Chris Brantner, a certified Sleep Science Coach of SleepZoo, on what's keeping people up at night.
Recently, Deloitte conducted a survey of 200 US consumers and discovered 81 percent of people use their smartphones within an hour of bed, 66 percent within 30 minutes, and 35 percent within 5 minutes of going to sleep.
So what changes can people make before they go to bed? "Start by using nightshift mode to reduce the harsh blue light emitted by cellphones," Brantner, told Tech Times. "Also, try not to look at smartphones within an hour of bedtime. This will allow minds to focus on winding down and begin to produce melatonin," he said.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that around 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders - that's about 18 percent of the US population.
"People with generalized anxiety disorder, about 50 percent have difficulties getting to sleep. Children who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders are the most likely to have challenges falling asleep," said Brantner.
"Anxiety is one of the most common reasons for not being able to get to sleep at night. And why not? Not only is dealing with anxiety a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the US," said Brantner.
What can help reduce anxiety and get people to sleep more easily? "I'd suggest people focus on anxiety-reducing behaviors before bed, such as dimming the lights, listening to soft music, drinking a glass of warm milk or honey, taking a hot bath, or meditation," said Brantner.
Alcohol And Coffee
"The two common offenders here are coffee (or other caffeine-containing drinks) and alcohol. On one hand, coffee is often used to help groggy people stay awake at work," said Brantner.
"When your body is in need of rest, it produces excess adenosine, which researchers believe signals a persons body to feel tired. Caffeine stimulates the cerebral cortex and blocks adenosine receptors," said Brantner.
"While this may seem great in the short-term but it can have negative effects on your sleep cycle. With that in mind, people should avoid caffeine altogether within 6 hours of bed time," said Brantner.
"Alcohol, on the other hand, is often used as crutch to help people wind down and go to sleep. And I'll admit, a few glasses of wine will likely help you go to sleep... initially. The problem is that drinking alcohol before bed can often ruin the second half of your sleep," said Brantner. "After a few hours, it begins to behave like a stimulant rather than a depressant. So people are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and then not be able to get back to sleep," he said.
Our Body And Brain Like Routines
What should people do to fight against insomnia? "Our body and brain like routines. I advise resisting the urge to stay up until all hours of the night on the weekend--especially Saturday," said Brantner. "And even if you stay up too late, don't sleep in more than an hour so you can keep your body's sleep cycles in check."