LIFE

13 People Reveal Why They Can’t Sleep At Night

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18/04/2017 2:25 AM AEST | Updated 18/04/2017 7:13 PM AEST

Having trouble sleeping is far from unusual.

In fact, according to the NHS, as many as one in three people in the UK suffer from regular bouts of insomnia.

Insomnia means experiencing difficultly falling to sleep or staying asleep for a reasonable amount of time.

tetmc via Getty Images

There are many possible causes of insomnia ranging from lifestyle choices to mental health issues. While most experience occasional insomnia, some can have issues for months or years at a time. 

That’s why one Reddit thread on sleep is really resonating online.

Reddit user D_195 asked fellow users why they were awake and the responses are eye-openingly honest and varied.

Here are some of them - and see below for tips on how to have better sleep.

“Nocturnal lifestyle.”

anunknownusername

“Too much caffeine.”

slycinephile

“Because of my job.”

funmovtv

“Ever since I was forced to quit my job my life has consisted on staying up late on Reddit every night and drinking.”

Turpen_the_savior

“Because, I am supposed to be studying for English final exam that is tomorrow morning.”

WillowsofWisteria

“Cause i can’t sleep at airports.”

b0nder0ven

“Haven’t spoken to my ex in two months since she broke up with me...wondering if I should message her or not. She’s been going through a lotta personal shit lately (kicked out of school, family, etc...) since before we broke up.”

vatezvara

“Just got shit on my mind. Having unsettling dreams.”

ezra_sinclair

“I’ve been in an accident, and lost a fair bit of my memories, and I guess I kind of ‘split’ from the person I used to be.

“And now with every night’s sleep I can feel the previous ‘me’ coming back, and am worried that I’ll stop being myself when they all come back.”

low-key-weeb

“My sleep schedule is wild.”

Lenny97

“Night shifter.”

Aw_Frig

“Got diagnosed with lung cancer.”

kingofthekarts

“Crippling anxiety and depression.”

thewolfofwhite

  • Ditch The Late-Night Coffee
    haveseen via Getty Images
    When it comes to messing with sleep schedules, one culprit is worse than all of the others: caffeine.

    "No caffeine after 3pm," explains Joseph Gannon, sleep physiologist at The Sleep Disorders Clinic.

    "Caffeine is hidden in many drinks - teas, coffees, fizzy drinks, even hot chocolate and chocolate. It's been proven in numerous studies to hinder sleep consolidation and fragment sleep."

    And if you're dependent on gulping down the espressos to combat your sleep deprivation, don't be.

    New research from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research presented at Sleep 2016 (the annual meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and The Sleep Research Society) discovered that yes, caffeine can help you stay awake after a couple of nights of restricted sleep of five hours or less. However, if you have three bad nights in a row or more, it's essentially useless. But it will still make you irritable and jittery.
  • Be Careful With Drinking
    Sam Diephuis via Getty Images
    Sure, alcohol is wonderful at sending you into a dreamlike doze - especially after that seventh Sambuca shot - but it has a bad impact on your overall sleep. According to Gannon, numerous studies have shown that as sleep progresses and the alcohol wears off, it has a fragmentary effect.

    "You’ll have a lighter sleep for longer and won’t get into the much-valued slow-wave sleep," he says.
  • Avoid Screens Before Bed
    Portra Images via Getty Images
    Not only is technology in the bed a potential problem for your relationship - like when you spend your nights curating snaps on Instagram instead of chatting to your flesh-and-blood partner face-to-face - it's also an issue for your sleep. Especially the lights the devices emit.

    "One of the key controlling factors in your sleep-wake cycle is your circadian rhythm and it’s affected by the blue lights in a light source and the screens you look at," says Gannon.

    "They will reduce the levels of melatonin that are released in your body (melatonin is a hormone that helps to induce sleep)." He suggests shutting off, putting away and forgetting about all devices from at least an hour before bedtime. 

    "I recommend that the bedroom should be for sex and sleep," Gannon adds. "You shouldn’t be working in the bedroom or checking emails in the bedroom. It should be a relaxation zone." 

    Blackout blinds or curtains can help to make the bedroom an oasis of sleep and keep it dark - as it should be.
  • Embrace Routine
    John Lamb via Getty Images
    As tempting as it is to stay up late one night and sleep in later the next morning, it's not great for your sleeping schedule. In fact, sticking to a routine - with a regular bed time and wake-up time - can improve your sleep. This means getting up at 7am on weekends, too. 

    Super tired when you wake up? Don't let yourself oversleep. Get up at the normal time and put yourself to bed earlier to recover from your tiredness.
  • Make Your Bed Inviting
    gerenme via Getty Images
    Blackout blinds, calming tunes, cosy, plumped up pillows: you want your bed to be as comfortable as possible. Remember that bedding is key (you want sheets and a duvet that help keep you cool in the summer and warm you up in the winter), as is investing in a breathable mattress. 

    Thinking of upgrading your bed? Now's the time to try out a TEMPUR® mattress, which contours to the exact shape of your body and provides support and cushioning, whether you prefer a firmer or softer feel when you sleep.

    The best part? You can now try a mattress from sleep experts TEMPUR® for 100 nights (if purchased from 22nd August – 1st November 2016). This offer is available at participating TEMPUR stockists. 

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