Have ever wondered why Mondays kill your vibe? Chances are, it’s not your job or pressures from work that put you in a funk. Rather, it’s a lack of sleep from the night before.
Insomnia, which is experienced by 1 in 3 people, can lead to irritability, anxiety, and long term health concerns including weight gain, high blood pressure, and a diminished immune system.
Sleeplessness on a Sunday
While there are many causes of sleeplessness, the weekends offer a great opportunity to curb a few lifestyle habits that may be starting your week off with a slump. Here are a few of our favorite (easy) things to work on over the weekend to ensure your Monday shines as much as you do:
1. Watch out for social jet lag.
Over the weekend, you may have a much different schedule than on weekdays. People who suffer from “social jet lag” typically go to bed and wake up later on the weekend. Your body craves consistency. So trying to fall asleep at your normal weekday hour, after two days of altering your schedule is like putting your body in a new time zone and then trying to force it back.
2. Reconsider the cafe stay.
Who doesn’t love melting into a cozy cafe on a weekend afternoon? Experts say to be mindful of how much caffeine you consume and when. Caffeine has a “half-life” eight to ten hours. This means that after eight hours, half of the caffeine you consumed can still be in your body. The eight hour rule is a good measure to stick to: stop drinking caffeine at the latest of eight hours before you want to go to sleep.
3. Eat to sleep.
For some, Sundays may be include a larger than normal meal. Eating heavy meals before bed can lead to unpleasant side effects and a vicious cycle of fatigue and hunger the next day. After you eat, your metabolism fires up, which can make sleeping difficult. The next day, as you are fatigued, your lack of sleep can lead to increased appetite. Try to avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime.
4. Stress less.
The “Sunday Night Blues” are actually a thing. With the realization that the weekend is coming to an end and that 5 days of pressure lie ahead, it’s normal to experience a higher degree of anxiety or stress on Sunday evenings. Try writing it out in a journal at least a couple hours before you are going to go to bed. This can help “get it out of your system” with plenty of space before bedtime and may also help you reflect on solutions or even why your stress may not be as bad as you think.
5. Bust the stimulation myth.
While you may have heard that the weekend is the best time to unplug, sometimes certain activities – like watching some TV before sleep – can help us unwind. However, digital activities that are more interactive like answering emails or posting to Facebook can keep your brain wired. Be selective.
Getting Help for Sleeplessness
While it always seems it’s easier said than done, lifestyle changes can offer the first steps in getting your normal sleep routine back.
With the rise in natural health care, there are several natural treatments that can accompany your sleep strategy.
At Aligned Modern Health, we offer a range of services that help regulate sleep and improve energy.
Our Chiropractic and Physical Medicine team help patients sleep more soundly with less pain, while our Functional Medicine experts are able to address underlying issues and hormonal imbalances that can lead to sleep disturbances in the body.
Acupuncture for Insomnia
Most recently, our director of acupuncture, Dr Lamya Kamel, was featured on WTTW’s “Step it Up with Steph,” offering help for insomnia with acupuncture. Often our patients seeking help with energy and sleep disorders find natural relief with acupuncture. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, sleeplessness or insomnia is seen as a symptom, not a disease. This means that while you can use acupuncture to directly treat insomnia, it can also be used to treat other factors that may be causing sleep disturbance. This is why improved sleep is consider one of the pleasant side effects of acupuncture.
If you are looking for ways to cure insomnia or have questions about getting a better night’s sleep, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Visit us online here to request an appointment at one of our convenient Chicago-area locations.