Do you have trouble falling asleep, or do you wake up several times a night and struggle to fall back to sleep? Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. If you don’t sleep enough, you may experience negative effects the next day, such as headaches, fatigue and irritability.
Some adults can function well with six to seven hours a night, but most people need at least eight hours of sleep. A lack of sleep can cause some serious health issues in the long term. You’re at risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and it could even lead to premature death.
It’s essential to find out why you’re not sleeping well. Vist sleep apnea therapy to discover if you need treatment for a condition that might be affecting your quality of sleep.
A lack of sleep can cause serious health issues. Source
Why Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?
There are many reasons that could be causing your sleep issues, including medical conditions and certain lifestyle choices.
1. Chronic Illness
Your trouble sleeping may be caused by a sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea, or other health conditions that must be diagnosed and treated. A chronic pain condition such as Interstitial Cystitis or painful bladder syndrome can keep you up at night, and needs to be treated if you want the quality of your sleep to improve.
Acid reflux, bile reflux, restless leg syndrome, and hormonal changes are other health-related issues that might be keeping you awake. It’s advisable to write down any symptoms you are experiencing so that your physician can give you a physical examination. If your doctor suspects you suffer from sleep apnea, you might be referred for a comprehensive sleep study.
2. Your Medication
You also need to be aware that prescription medicine and even herbal medicine can disrupt your sleep, especially if you take them late at night. Medications such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and corticosteroids could also be affecting your sleep. You could ask your doctor for another drug that will hopefully not affect your sleep, or if you could take your medicine at another time of the day.
Taking stressful thoughts to bed with you will also prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. You need to destress before going to bed. It’s vital to develop some healthy pre-sleep habits and to remove negative associations from your sleeping space.
- Plan the next day well in advance before you go to bed, to make sure your mind is quiet and not cluttered with thoughts.
- If you’re not asleep in about 30 minutes, get up and write down what’s on your mind. Tell yourself that you will revisit these thoughts or problems in the morning.
- Develop a ritual before you go to bed, such as taking a bath or drinking milk or herbal tea.
4. Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle could also be disrupting your sleep patterns. Some habits that could be problematic include:
- The idea of having a nightcap to help you sleep is still a popular one, but the truth is it could interrupt your sleep during the night, or force you awake if you have to go to the bathroom. You should not drink alcohol for several hours before going to bed.
- Don’t eat before going to bed, as your full stomach might give you heartburn, which can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Stop having coffee or foods that contain caffeine after the late afternoon. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical in the brain that makes you fall asleep.
5. Circadian Rhythm disorder
Your circadian rhythm tells you when to feel sleepy, and when to wake up. Evolution has programmed us to be productive when it’s light outside and to go to sleep when it’s dark. Many people have developed disordered circadian rhythms, as a result of working long hours and spending time in artificial lighting.
We spend a lot of time in front of screens such as our TVs, laptops and cellphones. If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you should cut screen time at least an hour before you go to bed.
Sleep has almost become a luxury in modern life, and we tend to cut down on our sleeping hours, as our lives become even busier. You might feel you need to sleep less so that you can be more successful at work or your studies, but you will ultimately end up paying with health problems, and the quality of your work will also deteriorate if you are chronically sleep deprived.
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