Common Problems Affecting Your Sleep

It’s not always simple to get a good night’s sleep. There are many reasons you might be suffering from inadequate rest.

Think you might have a sleeping problem? Here, we’ll explore a range of typical sleep-related issues and what you can do to counteract them.

Diet

Source: American Heart Association

Your food and fluid intake can have a significant effect on how well you rest and trigger several problems with your pattern.

Overeating sugar and processed foods can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Unfortunately, inconsistent sugar levels throughout the day can mean that these also rise and fall during siesta, waking you up. One study proved that a diet containing little fiber and a lot of sugar causes poorer, less restorative siesta with more disruptions. It is best to consume a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

Essentially, a poor diet is a common problem when it comes to nap. If you think this might be negatively affecting your rest, try to avoid caffeine at least four hours before bedtime and do not eat large meals within two hours before nap. Also, vitamins B and D help aid quality rest, so incorporate these nutrients into your diet.

Environment

Source: Futon Company

Every feature of your bedroom can impact how well you rest, from the decor to the type of bedclothes. If you’re having trouble napping, you might consider adjusting your environment.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who sleep in rooms painted blue tend to rest the longest. This deep restis because blue is associated with relaxation, so when we see this shade, our body naturally reduces blood pressure and heart rate to aid rest. Gray, silver, and neutral hues also have similar effects.

It’s also essential that you use a mattress that supports your body throughout the night. “If you wake up often, you might not be resting on the most comfortable mattress for your body type and position,” says Andrea Strand, Sleep Expert at Savvy Sleeper. Different positions put pressure on different parts of our bodies, so what might be a perfect mattress for someone who rest on their side, might not be ideal for someone who usually rest on their back.

Sleep Apnea

Source: Purple

A severe disorder reported to be an issue for about 22 million Americans; sleep apnea can affect both your quality of nap and put you at risk of developing other medical problems.

Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing momentarily during siesta, causing them to wake up and reducing the chance of getting long, quality rest. It’s not always easy to find out if you suffer from sleep apnea. However, if you snore loudly, wake up with a dry mouth and feel tired the next day despite thinking you have slept soundly, you may be a sufferer. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive: the most common form, which happens when throat muscles relax.
  • Central: this occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signal to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex: a combination of both the above.

Sleep apnea not only causes fatigue, but it can also lead to high blood pressure (due to sudden drops in blood oxygen levels), type 2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Source: nigms – NIH

Circadian rhythm is essentially the body’s biological clock, which regulates our sleep and wake cycles. Unfortunately, this can become disrupted by issues such as irregular habits and exposure to blue light (the name given to the glow given out by electronic devices like phones, laptops, televisions, and tablets).

Someone suffering from a circadian rhythm disorder does not follow optimal times. There are several types of this disorder, including:

  • Delayed sleep-wake phase. Someone who rests very late at night/early hours of the morning and doesn’t rise until very late the next day.
  • Advanced sleep-wake phase. Someone who falls asleep many hours before a regular bedtime and wakes up exceptionally early the next day.
  • Non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm. Someone whose pattern moves a little later every day.
  • Irregular sleep-wake rhythm. Someone with no clear pattern which naps throughout the day and night.

The best way to counteract circadian rhythm disorders is to try and get as much natural sunlight as possible during the daytime. Then, limit your mobile device usage. Another useful tip is to make a naplog and try to stick to the same bedtime and wake time every day. Eventually, your body should fall into this routine.

Stress

Source: Discover Hypnotherapy Dundee

Feeling anxious or stressed is also a common problem. If you aren’t dealing with emotional issues by day, this can place your body into a state of chronic stress that doesn’t go away at night.

To help, you can adopt simple breathing techniques before bed to aid your rest. These exercises include breathing in through your nose for five seconds, holding it for five seconds, exhaling for five seconds, and keeping it for five seconds. Repeat three times to help you unwind and nap.

If you have serious concerns over this problem, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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