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It’s 2 am, you’re lying awake with bloodshot eyes, and try as you might, you just can’t get off to sleep. Sound familiar? Many of us struggle to get the requisite amount of sleep a night, and there are often very good reasons why.

Here are a few common examples.

#1: A late night cup of coffee

You’re unwinding in front of Game of Thrones, your hand deep in a bowl of popcorn on one side of the sofa, your other hand clutched around your coffee cup in the other. This isn’t an issue unless it’s just before you head off to bed. Not only will staring at your TV screen before beddy-byes disrupt your sleep – see here – but that extra dose of caffeine will scupper your chances of sleep as well. You already know caffeine is a stimulant, so you should realize that cup of java is going to give you a burst of energy rather than relax your senses, but did you know it also blocks your body’s capacity to sleep soundly? Well, it does, so even if you do fall asleep when you go to bed, you will probably wake up continually throughout the night. Experts suggest you should have one last cup of coffee at least 4 hours before bedtime, so switch to a glass of warm milk or at the very least, a decaf coffee before hitting the pillow.

#2: Ringing in your ear

What’s that ringing in your ear? On the one hand, it might be a late night phone call disturbing you as you’re trying to get to sleep (remember to mute your phone), but on the other hand, it might be tinnitus, a common cause of sleeplessness. You might not hear tinnitus noises in the day, especially when you’re working and living in noisy environments, but in the quiet, that ringing will become more pronounced. If you are suffering from the problem, it’s worth seeing your doctor or audiologist for advice on tinnitus relief. You see, as well as being an irritant to your sleep cycle, it might also be a sign of a long-term hearing problem, so you should never ignore the issue.

#3: Bed bugs

Have you ever felt something crawling across your skin when you’re in bed? Chances are, it’s nothing, as many of us think we have bed bugs when really it’s our imagination playing tricks on us. But if you genuinely do feel something, it might not be the bugs themselves (they are microscopically small), but it could be the itchy welts that are caused by bug bites. If you are constantly scratching, and notice little red marks on your skin, then you may have well have been bitten. Check out our advice on getting rid of bed bugs, and then for added protection, resist the tendency to sleep in the nude, as the less exposed skin on display, the less risk of suffering any nasty bug bites!

#4: A snoring spouse

Your tinnitus problem is nothing compared to those awful guttural sounds coming from your partner. Short of sending them to the guest room to sleep, or sellotaping a pillow to their head (not recommended), you should do two things. First, purchase some earplugs to protect your hearing from their incessant snoring, and secondly, follow these tips to aid both you and your partner, as you might then get the opportunity to get a restful night’s sleep (as will they when they stop getting kicked out of bed every few minutes).

Thanks for reading!

Contributing Author