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What to Look For: Sleep Trouble

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Sleeping Problems add

Everyone has trouble sleeping sometimes. Common sleep problems include:

  • having a hard time falling asleep
  • waking up a lot throughout the night
  • waking up in the night and not being able to get back to sleep
  • not getting enough sleep
  • not sleeping soundly
  • sleeping a lot but never feeling rested
  • waking up too early (before you need to get up) and not being able to get back to sleep
  • feeling extremely tired, fatigued, or lack energy
  • snoring
  • grinding your teeth
  • breathing problems
  • sleepwalking

There are many reasons why people have problems sleeping. Here are some things that can get in the way of your sleep:

  • stress
  • school or work
  • major life changes
  • being on a phone, tablet or computer too close to bedtime
  • a busy schedule
  • mental or physical health challenges
  • drinking alcohol, taking drugs or other substances
  • problems with friends or family
  • having caffeine (coffee, pop, energy drinks) too close to bedtime
  • nightmares
  • pain
  • some medications
  • worry about oversleeping or sleeping through your alarm
  • not going to bed at the same time most nights

It’s ok if you don’t always sleep well, but if you are regularly having a hard time sleeping well, there are things you can do to improve your sleep.

If you are going through a hard time or think there is something bigger going on that’s getting in the way of your sleep, talk to someone you trust. Let them know how you’re feeling. Check out Tips for Talking to Someone for help getting started. And if you’re having a really hard time, visit our Get Support section for people you can connect with for help.

Screen Time and Sleep add

82% of youth in BC were online or on their phones after they were supposed to be asleep (McCreary Centre Society).

Before they go to bed, people often use their phones, tablets, laptops or TVs. They may be reading, watching TV shows, on social media or chatting with friends. That can make it difficult to fall asleep. The blue light from these devices can trick your body into thinking it’s earlier in the day and make it harder to fall asleep. If you use electronic devices in the evening, it can be harder to fall asleep and also affect how well you sleep.

If you are having trouble sleeping, try turning your electric devices off an hour or two before bedtime. This gives your body a chance to start to release melatonin, a natural hormone the body releases to encourage sleep. Turning off electric devices will help you feel more tired when you are ready to go to bed. If it’s unrealistic to avoid screen time before bed, try turning down the brightness or using the device’s night mode (if it has it).

Quick tip: If you decide to read a book or use an e-reader, don’t use a bright, blue energy-efficient lightbulb. These kinds of lightbulbs can also make you feel more alert (e-readers don’t produce blue light)!


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