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Sleeper Types: Restless Sleepers

by BetterSleep
Jun 17 • 5 min read

Do you find yourself tossing and turning in your bed while you sleep? If so, you may be a restless sleeper. Keep reading to learn about restless sleep and what you can do to improve your sleep quality if you’re a restless sleeper.

What Is Restless Sleep?

Everyone moves around a bit while they sleep. As babies, we all moved around much more than we do as adults! Your body is paralyzed during REM sleep.

But some people move more than others, to the point that may disturb their sleep quality. Some people only struggle with restless leg syndrome, while others will toss and turn until they are in strange sleeping positions.

There’s no specific definition for restless sleep. It’s also not defined as a sleeping disorder. But if you feel like you’re a restless sleeper, you may experience the following:

  • Inability to sleep soundly and deeply
  • Tossing and turning
  • Struggling to find a comfortable position
  • Difficulty getting back to sleep when you wake up throughout the night
  • Feeling like you’re constantly half-asleep
  • A racing mind that causes you to stir in your bed
  • Waking up tired

Restless sleeping may leave you feeling sluggish throughout the day, especially if your movements wake you up often.

Causes of Restless Sleep

Restless sleep can have many causes, including but not limited to:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • A lack of exercise
  • A hectic work schedule that requires you to change shifts frequently
  • Overeating before bedtime
  • Consuming caffeine or excessive sugar too close to bedtime
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • A less-than-ideal sleeping environment (for example, too much light or heat)
  • A non-consistent bedtime routine
  • Hormones

It’s best to consult with your primary healthcare provider if you feel like restless sleep affects your health and quality of life.

How to Stop Restless Sleep

Want to conquer restless sleep once and for all? While it’s best to consult your health practitioner in some instances, there are some elements within your control! Here are some ways to sleep more soundly and reduce the tossing and turning.

  • Implement a consistent bedtime routine: Going to bed and following the same routine every evening can help your body get used to your routine and fall into a deeper sleep faster.
  • Avoid caffeine after 2 pm: Even if consuming caffeine doesn’t give you the jitters, it could still cause your body to be restless while you sleep. Avoid caffeine several hours before bedtime to make sure it’s out of your system when you settle down for the night.
  • Start an exercise routine: Exercise can help you release your body’s pent-up energy and help you wear yourself out to fall deep into sleep.
  • Choose your late-night snacks carefully: Snacks high in sugar may make your body more agitated when eating them too close to bedtime. Check out these 9 foods that can help you sleep better.
  • Set up your bedroom for optimal sleep: Get blackout curtains if lights from outside are bothering your sleep — and do your best to keep your bedroom at a cool temperature. The ideal temperature for sleep in adults is between 60-67 degrees F (15.5 to 19.5 degrees Celcius).
  • Try meditation: If you’re struggling with trauma, PTSD, anxiety, or other concerns, try meditating before bed to relax your body and mind.

Did you know that you can find several meditations, soothing sounds, bedtime stories, breathing exercises, and more on the BetterSleep app? Try it for free to start conquering restless sleep tonight.

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