Hands up if you wake up from a night’s sleep feeling like you, well, need another night’s sleep?
You’re not alone in your sleep problems – according to a YouGov poll, six in 10 of us aren’t getting enough shut eye, a stat that experts are referring to as an ‘epidemic of sleeplessness’.
And even if you know how much sleep you need and are getting the recommended seven to nine hours, you may find yourself feeling sluggish and drowsy throughout the day, regardless of how many times you boil the kettle.
Most of us blame our sleepiness on our diet and lifestyle, but it turns out that there are actually factors in your home that could be responsible for your tiredness.
So if you can’t stop asking yourself ‘why am I so tired?!‘, here are 10 potential home hazards that could be tiring you out without you realising…
Recent research conducted by New York’s St. Lawrence University has revealed that a messy bedroom can lead to a poor night’s sleep and increased anxiety – not exactly conducive to feeling well-rested. Psychologist Dr Pamela Thacher told the Metro, ‘Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function; poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally.’
Previously, Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that large amounts of mess in a room prevent you from focusing, overwhelming your brain and leaving you feeling fatigued. Even if you just clear the rubbish out of the room you’ll be working or concentrating in, you should find your mental faculties feel sharpened post-tidy.
Your blue walls
A study from Travelodge showed that blue is the most calming colour, reducing your heart rate and even lowering blood pressure to make you feel cosy and more to the point, sleepy. This might not seem like a bad things, but if you’ve got the shade in your office, living room or kitchen, it might be worth reconsidering for a brighter, more energising shade.
Blue-screen gadgets are actually said to reduce drowsiness, but therein lies the problem. If you’re using your tablet, watching TV or scrolling through your phone til the wee hours, you’re delaying your natural sleep patterns. Couple this with the fact that 20% of 19-29 year olds say that they often get disturbed by calls, texts or other alerts throughout the night, and you’ve got one groggy morning ahead.
Your scented candle
Psychologists at the University of Southampton have found that the scent of lavender can be helpful if you’re battling insomnia and increases sleep quality – it’s just when you’re trying to avoid sleep that it becomes an issue. Consider switching your scented candles or reed diffusers from lavender based fragrances to fresher options like citrus or mint.
Your workout equipment
Home gyms are fab for your health, until it comes to your sleep patterns. Overexerting yourself can make you feel knackered and unproductive for the rest of the day. Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend that you exert yourself to a six or seven on a scale out of 10 – any more and you’ll risk exhaustion that’s difficult to recover from.
Your closed curtains
In a study of more than 600 adults, researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that feelings of depression, hostility, anger, irritability and anxiety were highest in the winter and lowest in the summer, because of the lack of exposure to natural light – and that’s not all. ‘If there’s not enough natural light, the body goes into sleep mode,’ Ken Goodrick, Ph.D., a psychologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told Redbook. Open up the curtains to let light stream in, and go for a 10 minute walk if possible. You’ll feel brighter and more awake almost instantly.
Your coffee granules
Tea and coffee give you a quick boost, but can actually leave you feeling more tired long-term. Caffiene is a stimulant, meaning that it offers an instant high, but also an inevitable crash. Switch to water (dehydration is another big cause of fatigue) and you might actually find your eyelids staying open for longer without your java.
Your drinks cupboard
A night cap has long been renowned as a good way to help you drop off, and with good reason – it’s undisputed that alcohol makes you sleepy. If you’re drinking often, you might have no trouble falling alseep, but a boozy snooze is usually a restless one, meaning you’ll feel even more tired the next day.
Cranking the heating up might make you feel warm and cosy, but according to sports sleep expert Nick Littlehales, the optimum temperature for sleep is between 16 and 18 degress celcius, so it’s cooler temperatures that may make you more succesptible to nodding off. Anyone else off to turn up the thermostat?
The people you live with
If you’re thinking ‘I know that, I’ve got kids!’ you may be surprised to hear that the little ones aren’t actually who we’re referring to. If you’re living with someone who is naturally very negative, it can have an impact on your mood and levels of energy too. ‘People you allow into your life not only have the power to affect you emotionally, but can also take a toll on you physically,’ Vicky Vlachonis, osteopath and author of The Body Doesn’t Lie, tells Good Housekeeping. ‘If people that are cynical and tend to complain surround you, they can be draining your energy.’ The solution? Create a more positive atmosphere – with or without them!