Many people, especially in urban environments, are usually prone to having sleeping problems. Sleeping problems can range from being very extreme to be minor and can be easily overcome. Nevertheless, it can cause significant annoyance. Therefore, it can have a huge impact on your health and lifestyle.
According to sleephealth.org, they have reported that in America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night.
They estimate that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. More than 50 million Americans already suffer from over 80 different sleep disorders and another 20 to 30 million suffer intermittent sleep problems every year. A minimum of 25 million Americans (1 in 5 adults) suffer from sleep apnea, a serious sleep, and breathing condition linked to hypertension, cognitive impairment, heart condition, and stroke. Chronic insomnia affects a minimum of 10 per cent of American citizens. Restless legs syndrome, a disorder, affects about 5 per cent of the population over age 65.
Everyone also wants to know sleeping problems solutions so they can help themselves.
Frequent sleeping problems and causes
TriHealth has identified and explained 3 of the most common and frequent sleeping problems.
Problem #1: Cannot Fall Asleep – Cannot Stay Asleep
Most people experience short term insomnia at some time. Insomnia includes having trouble falling asleep, having trouble getting back to sleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia is more common in females, people with a history of depression, and in people older than 60. Temporary insomnia can be caused by:
- Hearing a noise
- A stressful event like the loss of a job or a death in the family or even catastrophic world events
- Certain medications could keep you awake, particularly those that treat colds and allergies, heart disease, high blood pressure, and pain
- Bad habits that sabotage our sleep, including drinking alcohol and eating too close to bedtime
Short-term insomnia lasts only a few days and is usually not a cause for concern. For example, with jet lag or even seasonal time changes, your internal body clock will readjust itself within several days. Insomnia is considered chronic when it lasts most nights for a few weeks or more. This longer-term condition deserves professional attention. If you are unsure whether you have chronic insomnia, experts suggest looking at it like you would a headache. If it goes on day after day, and nothing you do seems to help, you should see a health care professional, particularly if you cannot find a cause.
Sometimes insomnia is caused by an underlying illness that needs treatment, such as:
- Thyroid disorders
- Restless leg syndrome
Problem #2: Sleepy During the Day
Feeling tired every now and then during the day is normal. But it is not normal for sleepiness to interfere with your routine activities. For example, you shouldn’t be dozing off while reading the newspaper, during business meetings, or while sitting at a red light. Slowed thinking, trouble paying attention, heavy eyelids, and feeling irritable are other warning signs.
If you’re feeling sleepy frequently during the day, you might simply need to make more time to sleep. Experts say that most adults need at least eight hours of sleep every night to be well-rested, but this varies from person to person. The bottom line is that you should sleep for the number of hours it takes for you to feel rested, refreshed, and fully alert the next day. If you’ve had a good sleep, you shouldn’t feel drowsy during the day. Naps can be good, but the American
Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends napping before 3 p.m. and for no longer than an hour so that it doesn’t interfere with falling asleep at night.
If you are sleeping an adequate amount and you still feel drowsy going about your day to day routine, or if adjusting your sleeping habits hasn’t helped, then you should talk with your health care provider. Overwhelming daytime sleepiness could be due to a number of sleep disorders. For example, people with narcolepsy experience excessive sleepiness even after a full night’s sleep.
Problem #3: Snoring
Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep that occurs when relaxed structures in the throat vibrate and make noise. Most snoring is harmless, though it can be a nuisance that interferes with the sleep of others. Some snoring can be stopped with lifestyle changes such as:
- Losing weight
- Cutting down on smoking and alcohol
- Changing sleeping positions. This generally means keeping snorers off their backs and on their sides as a way to keep the airway more open during sleep.
There are over the counter nasal strips that are placed over the nose to widen the space in the nose and make breathing easier. Read labels carefully because these strips are only intended to treat snoring. The labels point out certain symptoms that require a doctor’s care.
The trick is figuring out the cause of snoring. It could be related to allergies or structural abnormalities such as nasal polyps or enlarged adenoids, which are lymphoid tissue behind the nose. If your snoring is loud and frequent and you also have excessive daytime sleepiness, you could have sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea tend to also be overweight, and it’s more common among men than women.
When a person with sleep apnea tries to breathe in air, it creates suction that collapses the windpipe and blocks the flow of air. Blood oxygen levels fall and the brain awakens the person, who then snorts or gasps for air and then resumes snoring. This cycle is typically repeated many times during the night. It results in frequent awakenings that prevent people from reaching the deepest stages of sleep, which leaves them sleepy during the day.
However, you do not need to worry as below are some solutions for you to follow.
Solutions for sleeping problems
Thanks to WebMD, they have given very valuable solutions for sleeping problems for people to follow. All of these tips are very effective in minimizing and can even prevent any sleeping problems from reoccurring in the future.
- Wake up at the same time each day. It is tempting to sleep late on weekends, especially if you have had poor sleep during the week. However, if you suffer from insomnia, you should get up at the same time every day in order to train your body to wake at a consistent time.
- Eliminate alcohol and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last for several hours, perhaps up to 24 hours, so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Caffeine may not only cause difficulty initiating sleep, but may also cause frequent awakenings. Alcohol may have a sedative effect for the first few hours following consumption, but it can then lead to frequent arousals and a non-restful night’s sleep. If you are on medications that act as stimulants, such as decongestants or asthma inhalers, ask your doctor when they should best be taken to help minimize any effect on sleep.
- Limit naps. While napping seems like a proper way to catch up on missed sleep, it is not always so. It is important to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern and train oneself to associate sleep with cues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can improve sleep quality and duration. However, exercising immediately before bedtime can have a stimulant effect on the body and should be avoided. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before you plan to retire for the night.
- Make your sleeping environment comfortable. You should control temperature, lighting, and noise to make the bedroom conducive to falling (and staying) asleep. Your bed should feel comfortable and if you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider having the pet sleep somewhere else if it tends to make noise in the night.
With many solutions listed above, it should be much easier for you to identify and treat any sleeping problems you may be facing in your life. Good night and sleep tight!
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