Why You’re Not Sleeping – Infographic

Why You're Not Sleeping Choose Your Own Adventure (Infographic)

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When did we all stop sleeping?

 

A look at the societal pressures which lead us to become a nation of insomniacs.

 

Let’s face it, if you’re under 40 you’re probably exhausted.

You’re trying so hard to keep up with life’s expectations that you’ve forgotten what a good night’s sleep actually feels like.

You tell yourself you can wait until the weekend to catch up on the sleep you’ve missed. But this never happens.

Don’t worry. It’s not your fault.

You’re a product of a society constantly telling you to be more than you already are.

More successful. More wealthy. More sociable.

How about having more energy to actually do these things?

Here are 6 factors that will help you to figure out how to fall asleep when you can’t.

 

1.      Magnesium Deficiency.

 

 magnesium helps us to sleep

A lot of us are likely to have a magnesium deficiency and not even know it.

Magnesium is a mineral that helps us sleep better by decreasing the stress hormone ‘coritsol’. (This is the hormone that keeps us alert and awake.)

Some symptoms include; Anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue…. The list goes on.

So when trying to discover how to fall asleep when you can’t, we have to look at why we have a lack of magnesium.

We get magnesium from our diet and the foods we eat. For example, green vegetables, bananas, and oily fish.

You might be thinking, “I eat all those foods and I still suffer from insomnia”. 

Well if the sleep infographic above lead you to feel that might be the problem, then it’s worth taking a moment to try and figure out why.

It’s not your fault. You are doing everything right. The problem is how these foods are being farmed.

Scientific American writes:

“Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows”.

So the foods farmed decades ago were far better for you. This is because they didn’t have added fertilisers.

A study was done by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  It was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Davis says “Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly”.

The focus is no longer on the quality of soil but the desire to produce more and sell quickly.

The best way to avoid this is to shop at local organic farms or grow your own fruit and vegetables.

You can also take magnesium supplements if needed but it is always best to try and get it from your diet first.

 

2.      Late night social media.

 

social media phone screen

Social media is everywhere.

It is used to communicate with friends and family and many businesses rely on it.

But it can also become addictive.

Lying in bed looking at short pieces of social media content releases the hormone dopamine.

Dopamine is the pleasure hormone.

This leads us to a cycle of seeking more enjoyment. This makes it harder to put down our phones when we know we should be sleeping.

If you can stop using your phone an hour before you intend to go to sleep you will notice a huge difference.

You’ll be one step closer to discovering how to fall asleep when you can’t.

But… I know it’s not as easy as that.

It will take practise.

I found it easier when I replaced social media with reading.

 

3.      Blue light from technology keeps us awake.

 

apple-laptop-notebook

 

Due to our busy lives, many of us only get to catch up on social media or work emails just before we go to sleep.

Some of us even turn to apps like Reddit or Instagram when we can’t sleep.

However, using your phone or laptop before you go to bed is actually going to make it harder for you to fall asleep.

The blue light emitted from your devices makes your brain think it’s still daylight. It suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin.

So we wake up tired, with a lack of energy.

I know it’s not as simple for some of us to just stop using these devices at night. So instead download the apps Twilight for Android Phones and F.lux for PCs.

These apps will filter out this blue light making getting to sleep a bit easier.

 

4.      Coffee Control. 

 

 coffee cup with happy face

You wake up, you have a coffee.

You get to work, you have a coffee.

You have a meeting, you have a coffee.

You meet a friend, you have a coffee.

You feel tired, you have a coffee.

All these coffees are affecting your sleep quality. In fact, they’re not doing much good at all.

But it’s what we do right? Everyone’s got a Starbucks in their hand. It’s part of the fabric of our culture.

It’s not acceptable to have an apple juice, is it? Even if that’s what you want to drink.

Instead, it’s got to be a skinny chai latte or a vanilla mocha instead.

Not only is this costing us a lot of money but it is costing us our sleep too.

By drinking coffee first thing in a morning, we are stopping our body from being able to stay awake and alert all by ourselves.

We produce the stress hormone, cortisol. This controls our levels of alertness and is at its peak between 8am and 9am.

So if you’re drinking a coffee then, you’re choosing to suppress that hormone.

You, therefore, rely on more coffee to wake you up.

But the more you drink, the more resistance you build up.

So you rely on it more and more to give you energy.

Instead, try avoiding it for an hour after you wake up. This is so that it doesn’t interfere with the production of cortisol.

Also, avoid it after 2pm (you can still have one at lunchtime).

This is because it stays in our system for up to 8 hours. We want to make sure we are caffeine free when we settle down to sleep.

Caffeine is one of the most common problems faced when trying to discover how to fall asleep when you can’t.

 

5.      Work Night’s Out.

 

twork night's out

Have you ever been asked to go on a night out with work colleagues on a Thursday night?

What’s wrong with Friday? I don’t get it. It’s always Thursday.

You really want to say no. But you know that it could potentially affect that promotion you want.

No sleep = hardcore, so how can you turn them down?

The next day you feel like you are dying. You have no energy and are struggling to get any work done.

So what do we do?

Go out for one drink. Make your apologies, then get yourself to bed and read a book.

Yeah right.

No matter how much we may want to fall asleep when we can’t. This one is hard to avoid.

So go out and do what you need to do.

Just try and catch up on sleep the following evening.

 

6.      Get More Daylight If You Want To Learn How To Fall Asleep When You Can’t.

 

get more daylight if you want how to fall asleep when you can't

Lunch Breaks.

They’re evil and should be banned.

Does that attitude sound familiar?

It gets to 12pm and you notice no one has moved from their desk.

You wait a little longer in the hope someone will go for lunch.

Before you know it it’s 3pm and you are still sat at your desk.

The canteen has now closed so you grab a mars bar from the vending machine.

This bleak routine is something we can all relate to.

Obviously, It is not good for you.

But don’t blame yourself. Peer pressure at work can be so powerful it is almost easier to just conform.

Also sometimes you genuinely don’t have time to take a lunch break.

However, by skipping lunch and staying at your desk all day, you are not doing your health any good.

Getting more daylight can be key in figuring out how to fall asleep when you can’t.

 

Be the change you want to see.

 

When one person goes for a lunch break, others will follow.

If you can get outside and have a walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime, then you are adding so much more value to your health.

Daylight is important for regulating our body’s internal clock. (Known as the circadian rhythm).

This is important because the circadian rhythm produces the hormone cortisol. This is the hormone we talk about in tip 4.

This hormone is influenced by exposure to sunlight. This is why being outside, makes you feel more alert and energised.

The sun also helps to decrease the amount of cortisol we produce at night making it easier to fall asleep.

So even if you are busy or your boss is working at his desk, make sure you get outside. You will feel far better as a result.

Unfortunately, society has led us down the path to insomnia. Our culture encourages working hard and partying hard, which leaves us exhausted.

But these 6 factors will help us to learn how to fall asleep when you can’t.

So, what next?

Well, If you want to save hours of free time and have tonnes of energy here’s what you need to do next.

Download my FREE short cheat sheet of some of my favourite tips for getting to sleep in minutes.

 

Enter your e-mail to get the PDF.

Or if you’d like to read more sleep advice why not check out my Blog Post: Tired All The Time? Read This.

 

All the best,

Ian

Ian Jordan

30 year old human male from the United Kingdom, I’m a self help author and former insomniac.

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