Why are we having so much trouble falling asleep right now?

Why are we having so much trouble falling asleep right

Are you constantly tossing and turning in your bed? Do you see the hours passing? Can’t get to sleep?

You, your work colleagues, your friends… At the moment, many of us are experiencing difficulty falling asleep at a time when evenings are normally one of lightness and relaxation. So what explains why we have so much trouble falling asleep at night and why we get up every morning with so much difficulty, in the middle of June?

Difficulty falling asleep can have many causes, ranging from psychological factors to poor lifestyle habits. “Sleep is above all linked to the psychic and psychological state of the person, recalls Dr Guillaume Colin, specialized in sleep medicine at the Polyclinique Pau Pyrénées. Worries and anxious thoughts can prevent the mind from relaxing, delaying falling asleep. We saw this clearly during Covid when many people, in a state of stress, depression or burn-out, had sleep problems.”

At the end of the school year, students may have problems falling asleep as exams approach and adults find themselves stressed by a mental load important before the summer holidays. For them, it is often the season:

  • school and children’s association parties (which fill up every weekend)
  • mid-year reviews at work (with the famous “Team building” and business seminars during the week)
  • family celebrations: baptisms, communions, weddings (which take time and money whether you are the organizer or the guest)
  • of the tax return (which can turn into an administrative headache)
  • moving (summer is the season when we move the most)
  • holiday screening (for procrastinators)

Some people are also more sensitive to light than others. As the days get longer in June and the nights become shorter, it is important to block the light by using blackout curtains or wearing a night mask over the eyes, for example. “Darkness is synonymous with night and therefore sleep. You shouldn’t make the brain think it’s daytime, as this can inhibit the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.”

Also pay attention as summer approaches to changes in lifestyle which can have consequences on falling asleep. For example, the resumption of sport. “Engaging in vigorous physical activity, such as jogging, right before bed can increase adrenaline and body temperature, making it difficult to fall asleep.” It is also advisable to avoid stimulants before going to bed, or aperitifs on the terrace and late dinners in the garden around a barbecue are sometimes an opportunity to consume certain drinks too late which then prevent you from falling asleep. For example sodas and alcohol (it disrupts deep sleep).

On the solution side, the brain likes routine. “Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, to regulate your body clock” suggests Dr. Colin. Reading a book (not on a screen) can help you relax. “Preparing a favorable sleep environment – ​​a dark, quiet, screen-free room – can help you enjoy restful sleep.” Also think about natural aids. “Many phytotherapy products – plant-based – can promote relaxation and sleep”, recognizes our interlocutor. Likewise, certain essential oils like lavender can help with relaxation. Other people may find an answer to their stress problem in relaxation techniques such as meditation, sophrology, acupuncture, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.