5 Things that keep you awake at night

By June 30, 2016Sleep

Despite the popular quote “sleep when you die”, everyone needs a good night’s rest. But falling or staying asleep can be very difficult for some people. If you’re struggling to sleep, it may not be insomnia – it could be a lot simpler than that. Here are just 5 things that might be keeping you awake at night.

1. Caffeine
We all know that caffeine helps you stay awake, but what you probably don’t know is that coffee and fizzy drinks aren’t the only sources of caffeine. Many over-the-counter drugs contain caffeine to stop you from falling asleep. If you have to take the medicine? Well, the best thing to do is to take it 8 hours before you go to bed.

2. Aches and Pains
Aches and pains keeping you awake? Sure they are. Back pain, neck pain and joint pain can make finding the ideal sleeping spot difficult, which also keeps you from falling sleeping. If there’s a condition that is causing you pain, like arthritis, you might want to speak to your doctor about it. But if you don’t have one, your mattress might be to blame. An old mattress can cause back and neck pain, so do yourself a favour and replace it every ten years.

3. Working in your bedroom
Constantly thinking about work – or even doing work in bed – might be the main reason why you can’t sleep. The light from your computer or laptop is very strong and tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. If deadlines are due and you have no choice but to work at home, it’s fine – just switch everything off an hour before going to bed. The same rule applies when you watch TV or use your iPad or cellphone.

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4. Drinking water before sleeping
Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night just because you need to pee? Well, you might be drinking too much before going to bed. If this happens quite often, it could interfere with your sleep cycle. Try to avoid drinking an hour before going to bedtime.

5. A hot bedroom
South Africa is well-known for its hot summer weather, but while that might be great during the day, it can be troublesome at night. The best thing for you to do is to wear loose fitting clothes, open a window and sleep with a fan on.

If you still have trouble sleeping at night, then why don’t you chat to one of our doctors – they’re available at any time of the day or night! Simply sign up on our website, and download the free Hello Doctor app from the Google Play or iTunes store. With the app, you can talk to, or text our doctors, anytime, anywhere!

Sources: Huffington Post; Women’s Health