Why Can't I Sleep?


| 5 Comments

So it's Saturday afternoon. The Saturday of the first PSU home football game, the afternoon after the tailgate and after the game. During those three precious hours that everyone uses to nap before going out for a victory party. Well, I am spending those three hours extremely frustrated because unlike my boyfriend, who is sleeping in my bed (where I should be sleeping) and my roommate, who is sleeping in her bed, I cannot sleep. I woke up this morning at 7:30 am and am literally exhausted; however I can't fall asleep. Instead of staring at the ceiling or counting sheep like I did for the last two hours, I am going to use this final hour to figure out why I'm not sleeping. 

Was it something I ate? According to health24.com, the nine foodstuffs that are often associated with insomnia include bacon, cheese, sugar and sweet foods, ham, tomatoes, caffeinated drinks, large amounts of any liquids, spicy foods, and last but not least greasy foods. Of course, greasy food is on the menu. Aside from the Apples and Cinnamon Oatmeal that I had at 9:00 am, I ate a Chicken Basket at the game, which included four chicken tenders and a ton of fries. (Yum.)

 Could it be the light? My dorm isn't exactly the darkest room on campus. Even though we have blinds, they are basically translucent to light. Light (like sunlight) can make it difficult for people to fall asleep during the day. Light can influence our internal clock through the cells in the retina of our eyes. These cells are "light sensitive" and tell the brain whether it's daytime or nighttime. Our sleep patterns are then set accordingly. You're awake during the day, and asleep at night. Because I'm trying to fall asleep during the day (3-6pm), it's more difficult for me. (I need new blinds.)

Why isn't counting sheep helping? I thought maybe counting sheep could help me fall asleep. After imagining 67 sheep hop over a fence, I decided counting sheep didn't work for me. Does it even work at all? Apparently, I wasn't the only one curious. Oxford University put it to the test. Researches recruited insomniacs, split them into two different groups, and then monitored them as they used different techniques for falling asleep on multiple nights. They found that it took individuals much longer to fall asleep on nights they were instructed to count sleep. Wonderful. Counting sheep was just a good way to waste more time for me.

In a nutshell, all of the research I did gave me some good insight on why I can't fall asleep, however, it didn't put me to sleep. In conclusion, I am still tired and am going to try again to fall asleep. Wish me luck.


insomnia_cartoon2.jpg

5 Comments

Like you, I often find myself asking 'why can't I go to sleep right now?' during times when I am extremely exhausted, like after a football game. I'm always so annoyed when I feel super tired, my eye lids are heavy, but my body and mind will simply not rest. It has to be one of the most frustrating things and seems like kind of a cruel joke. However, my mom saw a sleep doctor years ago and she shared with me one of the tips the doctor gave to her. Never look at the clock when you are trying to fall asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night. Ever since she told me, I haven't done it and I feel like I sleep better! Forbes came up "10 Reasons Why You Can't Sleep." Take a look at number 6!

Your post was very relevant to my life ! After being up since 6 am on game day I couldn't fall asleep until 4 am 1! Im so happy that you researched if counting sheep really works because when I run out of ideas I too start to count sheep but I find that it doesn't really help. The only advice I can add is don't take NyQuil...my room mate uses that when she can't fall asleep and last year it was so bad she almost couldn't sleep without it ! I hope you get a better nights sleep soon ! Here is a pretty good article with some tips! http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm

I totally have this problem all the time. I will legit be tired all day long and cannot wait until bed time. Although it seems the second I lay down I'm wide awake. I am a very light sleeper and if there is any light at all it is hard for me to sleep. So one thing that helps me is wearing an eye mask. I know it sounds crazy and my roommate is always making fun of me, but it really does help! I literally cannot fall asleep without wearing it now! Maybe give it a try! A good night sleep really is the best thing in the world.

I am one of the worlds biggest insomniacs but I have been able to fix that this year (for now). I usually have difficulty falling asleep by a specified time (especially when it's at an early time). As horrible as this may sound, I find sleeping to be a waste of time and that I could get so much done within those extra hours. I am most defiantly a night person so staying up at night is sort of programmed in me. At night, I tend to think a lot about anything and everything and when you are thinking too much, which is usually the case in most people that cannot fall asleep, your brain is still working and you are not allowing yourself to be relaxed. At one point during my senior year of high school, my body would be too exhausted to properly function in school because I would be running on about 2-3 hours of sleep a day and rarely napped. I decided to download an app called Sleepmaker and set the noise it produced to rainfall. Rain normally soothes me and sends me to sleep within 5-10 minutes so being able to replicate that noise at anytime allows me to sleep when needed. Also, I made sure that I completely relaxed my body by making my limbs lifeless and as strange as this may sound think of starry night. The dark sky and very little detail does not allow my brain to work too hard so it helps with the relaxing. Hopefully these tips help out with your sleeping issue!

I too found myself unable to sleep after the game on Saturday. I have never been the type of person to nap so that may have had something to do with it, however, considering I went to bed a 8:30 and failed to make it out to the so called "victory party" it may have been a good idea to nap. I often times have wondered why I choose not to nap but it seems to just be a trait that I carry. Even in preschool I would fail to take advantage of nap time. I will most likely continue to not nap during the day but if you're interested in good napping habits http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/napping is a good site to do so.

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