The average person wakes up at least two times in the night. If you’re waking up a lot more frequently than this, it could be a sign that there’s a problem. A frequently interrupted night’s sleep could mean that you’re failing to get into a deep sleep, and this will affect your health in the long run. Below are just a few ways in which you may be able to reduce the tossing and turning.
Upgrade your bed
Are you waking up in pain or discomfort? If so, it could be time for a new mattress. Your mattress could be cheap, it could be old or it could simply be the wrong choice for your sleeping style. Whatever the case, it’s likely not supporting your body properly, making you achy and stopping you from sleeping.
Visit a mattress store to try and find the right mattress for you. Back sleepers and front sleepers can often benefit from firmer mattresses, while side sleepers may benefit more from softer mattresses. You should then consider the pillows and sheets – if you wake up itchy, you may want to consider hypoallergenic fillings and materials.
Block out the outside light
Many people sleep best in constant darkness. Exposure to light can often kickstart our cortisol glands and cause us to wake up. The glow of street lamps, passing car headlights or the early morning sun could all be examples of exposure to light throughout the night.
Blackout blinds are an effective way to block out light from outside. You could also try installing shutters onto your windows – there are many different types of shutter styles than can help to completely block out the light. Alternatively, you could start wearing a face mask to bed.
Try wearing earplugs
You may also be getting interrupted by noises throughout the night. This could be particularly the case if you live in an urban location.
Earplugs are the most effective way of blocking out these noises.
Regulate the temperature
Changes in temperature could also be causing you to toss and turn throughout the night. You could be waking up sweating from the heat, or you could be waking up shivering from the cold.
A decent HVAC system may be able to help regulate the temperature at a steady level. Meanwhile, try to choose breathable bedding that doesn’t react too quickly to temperature changes (Egyptian cotton is a good option for this).
Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and smoking
Alcohol, caffeine and smoking can each affect sleep quality in their own ways. Too much caffeine throughout the day could stop you from initially getting to sleep, as well as dehydrating you, causing you to wake up with a dry mouth. Too much alcohol is similarly likely to dehydrate you and stop you from getting into the REM stage of sleep. A smoking habit meanwhile can cause some people to wake up earlier and earlier as the nicotine craving kicks in.
Consider whether you could cut down on any of these habits to help improve your sleep.
Look into possible health conditions
An inability to get into a deep sleep can also be a sign of numerous health conditions ranging from sleep apnea to depression. If this concerns you, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor – they may be able to help you come to a diagnosis.