Every human, starting from a newborn baby to an octogenarian, needs to sleep soundly at night in order to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Newborns, adolescents, teenagers, and young adults need to sleep soundly for 8-9 hours whereas middle-aged persons and oldsters can make do with 7-8 hours. Apart from the number of hours of sleep you’re getting every day, it is more important that you sleep peacefully and soundly.
Sleeping calmly and deeply all through the night is crucial if you wish to get up from bed the next day feeling fully refreshed and rejuvenated. When you sleep, your entire self, including the mind and body, relaxes and gets revitalized. So, when you lose sleep, pump your fists into pillows, toss from one side to the other the whole night, you tend to wake up feeling spent and intensely irritated, and the entire day is laid to waste.
If you tend to lose sleep for many days at a stretch, you could find yourself facing a host of physical and mental issues. The worst possible case scenarios where you do not get a wink of sleep for weeks on end, might lead to unemployment, loss of income, straining of relationships with near and dear ones, and crippling insanity. About 25-30% of the adult US population has insomnia and 10% of this populace happens to be chronic insomniacs.
Telling an insomniac to sleep is always easier said than done because only the sufferer knows what he or she has to put up with in order to fall asleep. A host of intrinsic and external factors are at play, having an impact on both the quality and quantity of sleep we get every night. The structure of a person’s brain during birth and the manner in which the organ develops gradually can profoundly influence that individual’s sleep patterns.
Additionally, as we age, the total number of hours we sleep on average reduces and also tends to become fragmented. We could also be plagued by sleep loss because of a medical condition or health issue that keeps us in discomfort and causes pain. However, two prime causes that keep millions around the world awake in the present times, are an undisciplined or erratic lifestyle, and stress. By and large, a host of genetic, environmental, physical and mental health issues, and other interconnected factors contribute towards influencing an individual’s sleep or lack of it.
You may or may not be aware of it but bruxism could be behind your getting up with an inflamed jaw or nagging headache. You could develop the problem of teeth biting or gnawing from the nasty habit of constantly munching chewing gum sticks. Taking alcohol before going to bed could also cause you to bite teeth. Visit a dentist who may recommend you to put on a splint or dental guard. Botox injections in the jaw muscle also help contain bruxism.
Waking up frequently at night could hijack your sleep. Postmenopausal women are usually the worst victims of this problem. If you suffer from a similar problem, then there are specific steps you can take to arrest the cycle of getting up occasionally while sleeping. Do not work on the computer or watch TV. Turn off the light in your bedroom and keep the area dark when you wake up in the morning.
Meditate for 15-20 minutes before lying down and do not eat if you’re not hungry.
Our body has a circadian clock that regulates our hours of waking and sleeping. This circadian clock can go awry if there are frequent changes in our sleep and wake timings. The total number of hours we spend in daylight and remain in darkness also has a bearing on the normal functioning of the circadian clock. Jet lag is another factor that can upset the natural circadian pattern.
The solution lies in working out a bedtime and wakeup time in accordance with your daily work schedule and sticking to it stringently. In other words, you should go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and morning after respectively. Additionally, try to spend some hours in bright sunshine everyday and exercise regularly.
If you snore during your sleep it implies that you’re not sleeping soundly. Snoring which is known as sleep apnea in medical parlance is indicative of some underlying health problem or could result from allergies, sinusitis or nasal decongestion. Whatever the root causes behind your obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea, it come prevent you from getting peaceful sleep. Putting on a CPAP device can prove to be effective.
However, if CPAP does not work you can opt for a surgical procedure or go in for minimally invasive surgical process which is usually done on an outpatient basis. Trying to lose if you’re obese, refraining from using sleeping aids and medications, and avoiding alcohol are other ways for containing sleep apnea.
Restless leg syndrome is a nocturnal disorder that is typified by involuntary shifting or movement of legs because the individual has feels itchiness, prickling or tingling in his or her lower limbs. Since the leg movement happens automatically or instinctively, you may have no idea of the same but the syndrome could prevent you from sleeping soundly. Restless leg syndrome could be symptomatic of a health issue like diabetes, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney or thyroid disease. Opting for treatment for the disease and/or changing medication might alleviate the symptom.
Insomnia or sleeplessness is the omnibus medical term for the loss of the natural ability to fall asleep and/or remain somnolent. A significant proportion of the US population suffers from insomnia which can take a huge toll on the insomniac’s wellbeing. There could be a host of issues, mental or physical or both that could be behind someone’s insomnia.
Consulting a psychiatrist, sleep specialist or a cognitive behavioral therapist might prove helpful as the professional will guide you on how to follow a scientific ‘sleep hygiene’.
If you are bored of the same old advice for treating your sleep problems, here is a quick guide on using some weird but interesting ways to fix your sleep.
Many individuals experiencing problems with sleeping tend to generalize the issue with ageing which surprisingly is not true in most of the cases. All, normal and healthy persons need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep on an average. So, regardless of whether you’re in your forties or sixties, you should not have a problem falling asleep unless you’re suffering from a disease or disorder which could be causing you some level of discomfort.
Your normal sleep could also be affected if you’re on some strong medication or do a stressful activity like exercises or computer work a couple of hours before going to bed. Following are some habits or practices that could come in the way of your getting sound sleep.
Strenuous workouts 2-3 hours before bedtime make you vulnerable to losing sleep when you’d need it the most. Exercising vigorously stresses out your body and raises your body temperature which could make you feel restless and fatigued. Your body needs to go into sleep mode before you start yawning which is a palpable indicator that you should make preparations for lying in bed.
However, your body will stay agitated and not be able to relax if you indulge in heavy workout before going to sleep. The bottomline: no exhausting exercises at least a couple of hours before bedtime.
Contrary to what you’d like to believe, going to bed with your pet could rob you of precious sleep. Circadian rhythms of pets and humans vary greatly as the former toss and turn during sleep which could pose difficulties for the latter if they share the bed. Bottomline: make your beagle or Tommy get into the habit of sleeping in a separate bed, a crate for instance. Keep the crate in your bedroom if your pet is unable to relax on his or her own.
Regardless of the program you’re watching on TV or the kind of work you’re doing on your laptop, the bright blue light impedes melatonin production, a hormone that stimulates sleep. The only and best solution is to refrain from watching TV or working on the laptop a few hours before bed.
The more fluids you take, the greater will be the tendency to get up from your sleep and pee. Keep away from consuming too much coffee, tea, cola, fruit juice or any other type of caffeinated, non-caffeinated, or carbonated beverage some hours before stepping into the bedroom.
Taking a heavy dinner, especially a meal comprising fatty foods will cause bloating and heartburn adversely affecting your sleep. The bottomline: eat a light meal that is rich in carbohydrates 3 hours before bedtime.
If you’re having trouble catching up with sleep, then make sure whether you’re indulging in the following activities that are seemingly insignificant but have the potential of keeping you wide awake at night.
Following extraneous factors could have an undesirable influence on your sleep and sleep patterns.
If your sleep gets frequently interrupted at night and you wake up feeling groggy, irritated and lethargic the morning after on a chronic basis, then you could be suffering from insomnia. Before rushing to seek medical intervention, trying to figure out the probable cause or causes behind your sleeplessness will save you a lot of trouble and also go a long way in helping you get back to sleeping ways. Try seeking answers to the following questions.
If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed while trying to fall asleep, try taking stock of the factors that could be behind your sleeplessness starting from hormonal changes to stress caused by overwork. About 30% of the adult populace in America has insomnia and a good proportion of the insomniacs happen to be men and women in their sixties and beyond. Following are some top reasons that could be preventing you landing in dreamland.
Sleep problems can affect that way you function all day and even affect your mental health if the problems are persistent. The good news is, you can enjoy a healthy sleep by making some lifestyle changes.
The first thing to remember is the basic cues our body uses for fixing our body clock or circadian rhythm. Light, timing of food and temperature are the biggest cues our body uses for adjusting our sleep cycle. So we must use these to our advantage.
Then, we must remember the basic rules of healthy sleep – no electronics a couple hours before bed, sleeping at the same time every day, exercising for healthy sleep, eating light meal at night and seeking professional help for physical or mental health issues.
For some, a healthy sleep comes just after making a lifestyle change. And for others with insomnia, it takes time, patience, and may be some professional help. But in the end, making lifestyle changes is the key to healthy sleep.