I feel exhausted but I can't sleep

November 12, 2014

If you feel exhausted but can't sleep, you may be feeling very frustrated. Here are a few tips to help you get some much-needed rest.

The feeling of being exhausted

Thousands of Canadians have reported feeling this way, and complain about the negative impacts it has had on their life. A poorly rested body is more susceptible to germs and illness, and a poorly rested mind can make it harder to concentrate, and can also spur headaches, vision problems, and change in appetite.

Further to this, those who are exhausted can experience mood swings, depression, and anxiety, which only make it that much harder to achieve the sleep that their body so desperately needs.

If you are feeling exhausted but can't sleep, there are a few sleeping tips aimed at helping to improve your overall sleep routine. These tips can make it easier to get the rest you need.

1. Be regimented

Just like when you were a child, and “bedtime” was strictly set by your caregivers (no matter how much you begged for just 10 more minutes…) set yourself a bedtime, and stick to it. If every night you go to sleep at the same time, your internal clock can regulate, making it easier to fall asleep, as well as wake up in the morning.

2. Power down

When in bed, make sure the TV is off, the cell phone is on silent, and the windows are adequately covered. Light, no matter how dim, and sound, no matter how soft, are both very distracting to the active mind. Your bed should be a space for sleeping; not texting, e-mailing, listening to music, and watching movies. If your body becomes used to this designation, it will know that once it’s all tucked in, and everything is shut off, it’s time to actually get some rest.

3. Consider your diet

It’s harder for your body to sleep when it’s also busy digesting. Try not to eat heavy foods or drink too many fluids for at least two hours before bed. And although a cup of coffee or tea in the morning is perfectly normal and enjoyed by many, try to keep it at that. Just one. People who report drinking two or more caffeinated drinks per day also report difficulty sleeping later on at night.

4. Breathing

This sleeping tip may sound absurd, as we are always breathing, but cultivating a practice of deep, calming breath is actually a great way to fall asleep faster. Similar to “counting sheep”, counting breath can be very soothing. Focus on a deep, four second inhale, followed by a deep, five second exhale. If possible, breathe only through the nose.

Sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being. Exhaustion due to lack of sleep can be a very frustrating problem. But by making small changes to your routines, you'll be able to sleep better.

I feel exhausted but I can't sleep
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