Every so often, we all have a night that we spend tossing and turning. That’s normal! Sleep quality ebbs and flows and sometimes, we just have an “off” night or two.
But if you spend night after night adjusting and readjusting — never feeling quite comfortable enough to fall into deep, lasting sleep — then it’s time to put all those hours watching detective TV shows to work. It’s time to start investigating the reasons for your nighttime struggles, which could be any of the following:
1. Too much blue light before bed
Our bodies follow a delicate sleep-wake cycle each day, and this cycle is mediated by light exposure. Darkness signals to your body that it’s time for bed which induces sleep. Light, as you might expect, signals to your body that it’s daytime and you should be awake and alert. This is why when you stare at an electronic screen — which emits blue light — before bed, it can cause tossing and turning. If you’re ever been lying in bed at night wide-eyed, wondering why it feels like 2 p.m., you’ve experienced this in action.
What to do about it: Limit your exposure to blue light for at least an hour before bed. That means no more doom scrolling or checking your emails. Replace those mindless habits with reading, listening to a podcast, or journaling.
2. An old mattress
If your mattress is old, it may be interfering with your ZZZs. As mattresses age they become lumpy and saggy causing back pain and stiffness. Nothing keeps you from getting comfortable at night like an uncomfortable mattress! Not to mention older mattresses can harbor dust mites and other allergens that can cause congestion, coughing, and itchiness when you’re trying to get to sleep. Ugh!
What to do about it: If you’re ready to upgrade, try The Idle from Idle Sleep. It’s a classic memory foam mattress and is guaranteed to have no sinkholes and an extra gentle texture covering that feels great on the skin.
3. Too many liquids in the evening
Tossing and turning at night is often accompanied by trips to the bathroom, which is usually caused by drinking too many liquids in the evening. And it’s not just water, either. Even liquids that are meant to promote a state of relaxation to help you sleep — like magnesium or chamomile tea — can leave you groaning, getting up, and walking to the bathroom for the third time in an hour.
What to do about it: Refrain from drinking any liquids, beyond a few sips of water here and there, for two hours before bed.
4. The wrong sleep temperature
Research suggests that the best temperature for sleep is between 60ºF and 67ºF. In other words, being too hot at night is a “no-no” for great sleep. Achieving an optimal sleep environment isn’t as simple as setting the temperature on the thermostat, either. Your mattress can also make the difference between getting too hot at night.
What to do about it: If you’re looking to stay cool all night, try The Idle Plush. This is the king of gel foam mattresses; with 14 inches of cooling technology, it keeps you cool and refreshed all night long.
5. General stress
Stress is something we all deal with on a daily basis and yet, as a society, we haven’t quite figured out how to keep it from sabotaging our sleep. Creating a restful environment to invite good sleep means finding the optimal temperature and developing the right habits, but it also means knowing the place you rest is good for you. If you’re looking for peace of mind when you lay your head on the pillow, try The Idle Latex. This eco-friendly latex mattress is handmade with 100% organic cotton and latex and without glues or toxins. It’s hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, and dust-mite resistant so you can rest easy knowing that you’re making the best choice for your health and the health of the planet.
What to do about it: Take action by making the place you sleep inviting, dark, cool, and supportive of your total health. Even upgrading your sheets helps. Consider investing in eco-friendly bedsheets — like these Idle Sateen Bed Sheets, which are made from 100% organic cotton and zero pesticides or synthetics.
Tossing and turning at night is the worst. The good news is that by correcting the five underlying causes of restlessness above — including creating the right sleep environment and investing in the right mattress — you can finally lay down and peacefully drift off to sleep.