15 reasons you're not getting a full night's sleep

Doctors recommend an adult get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, but not everyone can manage that. From not being able to fall asleep to waking up numerous times during the night, it can be hard for people to get a full night's sleep.
There are many reasons for insomnia and sleep deprivation, including a poor mattress, allergies, stress, and side effects from medication. It seems like there are more ways not to rest than there are to get solid sleep, but many of these ways are correctable.
1. Stress
Stress activates and increases adrenaline and the hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects blood glucose, and adrenaline speeds up the heart rate. Long-term exposure to these plus other stress hormones can result in sleep problems.
2. Shift change
If you go to bed and wake up at the same time for months, the body will adjust to the routine. Working a night shift for a while then switching to a day shift, and vice versa, wreaks havoc on the body's internal clock. Even worse is a job with variable shifts every week.
3. New baby
It's likely a new baby is not sleeping seven hours straight, but how many times a parent checks on the baby even when the infant is sleeping eats into the time a mother or father needs to rest. Worrying about the baby at night also prevents restful hours for a parent.
4. Time change and jet lag
Internal clocks don't like Daylight Savings Time. Originally created to allow farmers more time in the fields, DST creates a mini shift change, to which the body needs to become accustomed. Jet lag also is like a shift change as time zones throw off the body's clock.
5. Too much light
Any light coming into the bedroom can affect sleep, including nightlights, bright alarm clocks and windows without room-darkening shades, which let in streetlight and moonlight. Light tells the brain that it's time to be active, even if it's a normal bedtime.
6. Bad mattress
Comfort is essential to a good night's rest. A mattress should support the body. A lumpy or too-soft bed, or a bed with mattress springs starting to poke out cause a sleeper to toss and turn. This prevents a deep sleep and often brings aches and pains in the morning.
7. Allergies
Snuggling with the cat or dog may be relaxing, but if you're allergic, it will interfere with breathing. Clogged nasal passages or dripping noses prevent a restful sleep.
8. Bad pillow
Like a good mattress, a good pillow should be supportive. Whether soft, hard or in between, the neck requires support for comfort's sake. If the head is tilted awkwardly, the position can affect breathing, causing a sleeper to wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
9. Wrong room temperature and humidity level
A dry room can dry out the throat, making it painful to swallow and hard to stay asleep. A room that is too hot or cold causes discomfort, which makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
10. Medications
Some medications have side affects such as insomnia. Not everyone on the same medication will have the same side effects or severity of side effects, but if you started a new medication and suddenly have difficulty resting through the night, that may be the cause. Check with the doctor before making any medicine adjustments.
11. Distractions
Distractions such as using electronics before bed stimulate the brain, making the brain think it's still time to work and be active. Bright computer screens in a dark room also stimulate the mind.
12. Poor nutrition
A lack of sufficient vitamins and minerals can cause the body to run down, which doesn't help with sleep, and some studies show that a lack of vitamin D results in a poor night's sleep. Check with a doctor before taking supplements.
13. Eating before bed
A light, healthy snack an hour or so before bed is fine, but a large meal will make it uncomfortable to sleep. Lying down with a full stomach can result in acid reflux or indigestion. Heavy or fatty foods such as cupcakes and hamburgers don't provide the adequate nutrition bodies absorb while sleeping.
14. Caffeine
Even a small bit of caffeine right before bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep. Large amounts of caffeine consumed over a period of time during the day still can make it difficult to drift off when it's finally time for bed.
15. Melatonin imbalance
Melatonin is a hormone humans produce in response to darkness. Melatonin aids in sleeping, so anyone not getting enough of it is going to have trouble falling and staying asleep. Consult a doctor before taking melatonin supplements.
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