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9 reasons why you can't sleep and what to do about it

Do any of these sleep-disrupting habits sound familiar? A good night’s rest in midlife can be elusive for lots of reasons, but we can suggest a few healthy fixes.

Common reasons why you can't sleep

Did you really need that extra glass of red wine?

Now, we are a House of No Judgement but your acid reflux may be a little less forgiving. We’re not saying don’t drink, but maybe cut back and do the ‘one
wine, one water’ technique. Or choose wine that contains less of the tummy-irritating acids and tannins.

You snapped at a colleague and can’t sleep because you’re wording tomorrow’s WhatsApp apology…

Breathe. They’re not thinking about what you said. Breathe. You’re just anxious and catastrophising. Breathe. Seriously, breathe: breathing exercises increase oxygen exchange, reduce blood pressure, slow the heart, and calm your overworked mind.

‘All I can hear is the teens bickering. Or, worse, saying nothing at all…’

Sometimes silence isn’t golden — but sound certainly can be. Sleep expert James Wilson, AKA The Sleep Geek, explains: “Music can help calm the mind by creating a state of relaxation. It is also something that many people have a strong emotional connection to, and this adds to that feeling of safety that can help us fall asleep.”

Those damn night sweats…

Low-tog. No tog. And buy a fan.

“How can I run a fan? There’s a cost-of-living crisis, you know!”

We know. You can’t control this; but you can control your reaction. Try a sleep meditation app like Calm for science- and evidence-based sleep and mindfulness resources.

Your mind is racing at 3am…

Ageing parents, turbulent teenagers, office dramas… There’s a lot going on in midlife. Have you ever thought of taking CBD to help? Our Sleep Drops are our best-selling product. Sleep Geek James Wilson explains why: “CBD helps the body effectively process stress and anxiety, in turn re-balancing hormone levels and improving sleep patterns.”

Sleep Drops work for author and How To Fail podcast host Elizabeth Day. “I took OTO’s Sleep Drops half an hour before bed and I honestly had one of the most deeply restorative night’s sleep I have had in a very, very long time.”

“I have THREE reports to deliver and my 25-YEAR-OLD colleague is sending me passive-aggressive PATRONISING emails. Give. Me. Strength.”

We’ll give you advice, instead. Exercise. Knock yourself out. Collapse in bed. Get the sleep. Live to fight another work day.

Been binge-watching Borgen until 11pm and now your brain won’t switch off?

No electronic devices or stimulation before bed! As this piece on Sleep Foundation says, “…studies have shown these devices can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin: a natural hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for sleep.”

Sometimes you aren’t the ‘problem’: I see your snoring partner and raise you a duvet-hogger…

The Sleep Geek recommends having separate duvets and a big as bed as possible.

We love genius James.

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