Stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties, according to sleep experts. Common triggers include school- or job-related pressures, a family or marriage problem and a serious illness or death in the family. Usually the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes. However, if short-term sleep problems such as insomnia aren’t managed properly from the beginning, they can persist long after the original stress has passed.
Drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening, exercising close to bedtime, following an irregular morning and nighttime schedule, and working or doing other mentally intense activities right before or after getting into bed can disrupt sleep. Traveling also disrupts sleep, especially jet lag and traveling across several time zones. This can upset your biological or “circadian” rhythms.
Environmental factors such as a room that’s too hot or cold, too noisy or too brightly lit can be a barrier to sound sleep. Interruptions from children or other family members can also disrupt sleep. Other influences to pay attention to are the comfort and size of your bed and the habits of your sleep partner. If you have to lie beside someone who has different sleep preferences, snores, can’t fall or stay asleep, or has other sleep difficulties, it often becomes your problem too!
Noise pollution has been shown to have a dramatic effect on a person’s optimal sleep. Aircraft noise endured by those living in homes near airports can reach a level of 55 to 75 decibels inside the homes. Significant noise such as this has been observed to raise the adrenaline and noradrenaline levels of all those sampled during sleep, an effect which is detrimental to achieving normal, healthy, recuperative sleep.
In addition, exposure to high levels of noise during the day can also interfere with getting a sound night’s sleep. Daytime noise pollution of 80 decibels or more tends to elevate both heart and respiration rates, which may further disrupt full-stage, recuperative sleep.
Now that you know more things that could interfere with your sleep, it’ll be a good idea to avoid them.