A couple of days ago, I gave you 6 simple reasons why you may be having trouble sleeping. But we all know that list isn’t all-encompassing. If you’re having trouble sleeping and you ticked “no” on all the reasons I listed before, don’t fret just yet. Here are 7 more reasons why sleep is eluding you, along with how to fix it.
That’s right. You could be missing out on sleep simply because you’re not getting enough water in your system.
Studies have shown that dehydration can result to mood swings and low energy. In fact, women who have failed to replace even just 1.5% of their water weight have reported experiencing just that. This triggers the brain to start sending your body an SOS to get it to drink more water. And your brain will hardly be kind enough to wait until morning to alert you that you need hydration, would it?
What to Do: Hydrate. Drink water. Rule of thumb: if you’re not peeing once every 3 hours, you’re not drinking enough.
- Vitamin Deficiency
Specifically, vitamin B12.
This vitamin helps your body make red blood cells and keep your neurons working properly. Fewer red blood cells mean fewer cells to carry oxygen through your body. That’s why you feel asleep even when your eyes are wide open. Other symptoms include fatigue, restless, numb or tingling lower extremities and forgetfulness.
What to Do: Check your diet. Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal foods. Or see a doctor about getting supplements.
The stress hormone is cortisol. It runs highest in the morning and lower at night. At least ideally. If you’re chronically stressed, however, the pattern may go off-kilter. And when that happens, you may find your body alert and awake when it should be winding down for rest.
What to Do: Stress, unfortunately, is one of those uncontrollable things. But while you cannot totally eliminate stressful situations from your life, you can control how you react to it. Finding a way to relax (meditation, anyone?) can help you feel more in charge and sleep better at night.
- Heart Disease
A study published in the Heart & Lung journal some time back found something alarming: at least 50% of women who suffered heart attacks also said they had trouble sleeping. They also felt unusually tired, weary and had shortness of breath when they exercised.
What to Do: Well, if you found yourself nodding to the above signs, then go see a doctor immediately.
Low iron levels mean you also get poorly formed red blood cells, if you get much at all. As previously mentioned, red blood cells carry oxygen through the body. Without enough, you’d feel fatigued. So iron deficiency certainly is a problem.
However, getting too much iron isn’t good either. When you have an excess of the mineral, your body will use every available resource to get rid of the extra and that will leave you feeling just as tired.
What to Do: Seek medical help to find out if you need more or less iron in your system. Consider the risk factors. Vegetarians, vegans, those with digestive problems, those using birth control, those with thyroid issues – they’re all at risk. Feeling cold, dizziness and thinning hair and nails are usually warning signs.
Just like iron, you could be getting too little or too much exercise and the result will be the same.
What to Do: Set aside time to work out if your lifestyle is too sedentary. At least an hour and 15 minutes of rigorous activity per week is recommended. You’ll find that doing so will have you sleeping better.
On the other hand, if exercise is leaving you too tired, take a break and ease back on your regular routine.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
People with UTI report feeling fatigue. That’s because the body is forcing itself to rest so it has enough fuel to fight the infection off.
What to Do: See a doctor. You may need to take antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria.
Sleep is important and we should all be getting enough to ensure we stay healthy. Being unable to sleep can be due to so many different things. The faster you can identify what’s causing the problem, the quicker you can get to a fix. So pay attention to your body.
photo credit: Reality Hits –