Welcome back to the Hopkins Health and Wellness Center blog. Getting a good night of restful sleep is essential to your health and wellness, especially when you are recovering from an injury. Unfortunately, achieving the recommended seven hours of good, quality sleep is difficult for many adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of adults living in the United States report getting significantly less than the recommended amount of sleep. As your Top Rated Local® massage therapy provider in Woodbury, our goal is to provide you with alternative therapies, as well as the tools you need for at-home wellness care. Today, we will look at five everyday habits that may be contributing to your sleepless nights so that you can not only identify these, but take the necessary steps to remedy these common causes for sleep disturbances. Please continue reading below to learn more.

Eating Late Meals

Everyone gets the late night munchies now and then, but eating meals too close to bedtime can interrupt your sleep. For some people, their work, school, and social schedules make it challenging to eat dinner at a reasonable hour. It’s best to eat your last meal of the day at least two to three hours before going to bed. This gives your digestive system time to start doing its job. However, if you eat right before bed, you may have a hard time getting into a comfortable position, and, depending on what you eat, may be kept awake by an upset stomach. What’s more, eating processed foods that are greasy, salty, and packed with sugar, can irritate pain and inflammation in the body, which may contribute to nighttime discomfort.

Too Much Caffeine

Let’s face it — we all need a little caffeine boost during the day. The trouble is that when you need an afternoon pick-me-up and guzzle down coffee or black tea, the effects of the caffeine may linger well into the night. This can not only keep your body feeling jazzed, but also your mind, making it difficult for you to find calmness and stillness when it’s time to get some shut-eye. It’s best to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks after about 2 p.m. and to limit your caffeine consumption throughout the day to one or two cups. You might, instead, get a caffeine-free energy boost from eating a healthy afternoon snack.

Alcohol Consumption

Drinking heavily or drinking alcohol just before bed can significantly affect your sleep. Most alcohols have some amount of sugar in them which can help keep you awake. More importantly, drinking alcohol before bedtime alters your sleep rhythms that can either keep you from falling asleep, or which can wake you up in the middle of the night. Additionally, alcohol impedes REM sleep and can keep you from falling into a deep and restful sleep.

Not Addressing Your Stress

Stress, although not necessarily a bad habit, can affect your sleep significantly. While stress is something that affects all of us, it is harder for some than others to effectively manage their stress. Stress is linked to all kinds of sleep disturbances such as hyperarousal, insomnia, and waking up frequently during the night. There are many ways to treat and manage stress so that you can improve your sleep patterns, including getting regular exercise, practicing breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular massages.

Not Treating Your Pain

Pain and discomfort are common culprits for keeping people awake for hours on end. Whether you suffer from neck pain, chronic lower back pain, joint pain, or pain from an injury, when you’re hurting, your sleep suffers, too. Treating and managing your pain naturally with chiropractic care, massage therapy, and other effective alternative treatments can relieve your pain without the use of prescription painkillers and medications that can also disrupt your sleep.

Schedule a Relaxing Massage   

Sleep is essential to your health, wellness, and injury recovery. At Hopkins Health and Wellness Center, we provide you with effective treatment options that can help improve your sleep patterns to enhance your overall wellness, and your body’s natural ability to heal from an injury. Call our wellness center today to schedule an appointment for massage therapy in Woodbury to relieve your pain, alleviate stress, and help you get a better night’s sleep.