You Are Awake at 3am again and wondering how to improve your sleep? Welcome to the club, of many. If you were to conference call everyone awake at this time, you'd find you have quite a lot in common. Here's a conversation check-list:
Firstly, you could blame alcohol. After two or more drinks, it can disrupt your sleep patterns. It has also been found that alcohol causes you to have less REM sleep, one of the key restorative stages of sleep. (So, despite what many think, alcohol is a lousy sleep aid.)
Bedroom temperature and 'under the covers' temperature can also be to blame. Your body temp naturally drops about 2 degrees to get you to sleep and keep you there; bedding that traps heat works against that. (Think memory foam mattress and down comforter.) A room temperature of 65F, and bedding that helps draw away heat and moisture, will aid this process. (Our premium cool wool bedding is made just for this!)
Bedroom brightness for many, especially those living in big cities, can be an issue for getting back to sleep. A pitch-black room is better. Block-out curtains are great. OR their cheaper friends, a good quality, breathable sleep mask.
There’s also another reason you may be waking at around 2-3am, a less obvious but very common reason. Low blood sugar. During the night, your liver is metabolizing glucose; each cell in our bodies needs glucose for fuel. And our brains use quite a bit of it. But when the glucose store gets low, our adrenal glands send out the stress hormone cortisol as a way to naturally bring blood sugar levels back to an acceptable level. Unfortunately, being a stress hormone, it also wakes us up.
A snack before bedtime can help. Eating a small amount of 'good' protein and carbs together can help increase serotonin levels (says Web MD): think, whole wheat toast and peanut butter, whole-grain crackers and a handful of walnuts, low fat yoghurt and berries, etc. You can also try the honey-salt trick, it works for us! Mix 5 parts raw honey with 1 part pink Himalayan salt and put less than half a teaspoon under your tongue before bed.
As with all things, it’s always wise to check-in with your doctor or medical practitioner for any issues you may have around your sleep.
Sleep well now!