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The 5 reasons why you’re struggling to sleep (and what you should do!)

Picture this: You’re super sleepy and can barely keep your eyes open. You’ve had a massive day, are utterly exhausted and can hear your bed beckoning your name. You jump under the covers, snuggle in and…. Lie there for an hour with your eyes open, your mind racing a million miles an hour.

This happens to nearly everyone at some stage in their life, but for some, it becomes a daily occurrence. Rather than milling on how sleepy you are, let’s try and figure out just why you can’t get to sleep.


#1 Using technology before you sleep

We live in the modern era, where our hands are connected to our phones, and our eyes glued to our screens. It can be tempting to hop into bed with Iphone in hand, and watch Netflix for a few hours or scroll aimlessly through Instagram. DON’T DO IT! Research has shown that blue light emitted from screens influences the brain to delay the production of melatonin – the exact hormone responsible for inducing the feeling of sleepiness. Ditch the screens and curl up in bed with a book instead – your brain will thank you later.


#2 Consuming caffeine

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our coffee here at Koala HQ, but we also know the impact it can have on your sleeping pattern. That extra cup of coffee at 3pm could make the difference between you falling asleep in 5 minutes versus an hour. Caffeine is a stimulant, and even a small dose can block the release of neurotransmitters that are responsible for inducing sleep. Try to avoid caffeine after 3pm, and switch to foods that will give you a natural boost like yoghurt or bananas.


#3 The lighting is all wrong

One of the easiest ways to disrupt your sleep is to have light peeking into your room. It could be via a broken blind that is allowing street light to stream in, or your phone charger that turns red intermittently. Light can influence our internal clock through special “light sensitive” cells in our eyes. These cells tell our brains whether it is day or night, and then sets our sleep patterns accordingly. Exposure to any light when you’re trying to sleep can really mess with our internal clocks, so it is super important to make sure your room is dark – maybe time to invest in some black out curtains!


#4 ALLL the thoughts

You can’t stop running through worst case scenarios in your head, and your brain is way too active to even consider sleep. Whether you’ve just had a particularly stressful day at work or you’ve got GAD, at some stage in life just about everyone will go through this. A great way to try and rid yourself of negative thoughts and worries is to journal. It may be old school, but it really does work! Invest in a notebook or journal, and make the time before bed each night to write out any worries you’ve got. That way, you’ve got them out on paper (so you can’t be paranoid about forgetting anything) and you won’t need to focus on them as you’re going to sleep.


#5 Drinking a nightcap

While you may feel that having a cheeky drink before bed makes you feel relaxed or sleep, it can actually really disturb your slumber later during the night. Breaking down alcohol can make it difficult for our liver to balance blood sugar, causing us to be wide awake when we should be dreaming. Alcohol can cause you to sleep longer as well, throwing your normal sleep routine out the window. If you’re going to have a drink before bed, make sure you drink plenty of water and leave at least an hour before you attempt to go to sleep. Set an alarm and try to not ruin your sleep schedule!

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