Secrets of restful sleep
Sometimes the pace of modern life barely leaves you time to stop and rest. It can make getting a good night's sleep regularly look like a dream. But sleep is as important to good health as diet and exercise. Good sleep improves your brain performance, your mood and your health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly increases the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. In this article, we will discuss the reasons that cause sleep disorders, like insomnia, night terrors, etc. , and how to get the best quality sleep possible. Stick with us until the end of this article to find out how to sleep better, starting tonight.
What causes trouble sleeping?
Sleep problems can be caused by a variety of factors. Although the causes may differ, the end result of all sleep disorders is that the body's natural cycle of daytime sleep and wakefulness is disrupted or exaggerated.
Factors that can cause sleep problems include:
- Physical disorders (for example, chronic pain due to arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia)
- Medical problems (for example, sleep apnea)
- Psychiatric disorders (for example, depression and anxiety disorders)
- Environmental issues (e.g. it's too bright, your partner snores)
Short-term or acute insomnia can be caused by life stresses (such as job loss or change, death of a loved one, or moving house), illness, or environmental factors , such as light, noise or extreme temperatures.
Long-term or chronic insomnia (insomnia that occurs at least three nights a week for at least three months) can be caused by factors such as depression, chronic stress, and nighttime pain or discomfort .
Other factors that can interfere with sleep include:
Genetics: Researchers have found a genetic basis for narcolepsy, a neurological sleep regulation disorder that affects control of sleep and wakefulness.
Night work: People who work at night often suffer from sleep disturbances because they cannot sleep when they start to feel drowsy. Their activities go against their biological clocks.
Medications: Many medications can interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and over-the-counter cold medications.
Aging: About half of all adults over the age of 65 suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. It's unclear whether this is a normal part of aging or the result of medications older people commonly use.
How to get rid of sleep disorders?
For most people, changing a few things in their routine will be enough to improve their quality of sleep. For others, however, medical treatment may be necessary. Let's take a look at our options.
● Medical treatment
Changing your sleep habits and addressing any issues that may be associated with insomnia, such as stress, medical conditions, or medications, can restore restful sleep for many people. If these measures don't work, your doctor may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or both, to help improve relaxation and sleep.
● Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for sleep disorders can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake and is generally recommended as first-line treatment for people with insomnia. Generally, CBT is as effective or more effective than sleeping pills.
The cognitive part of CBT teaches you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to sleep. It can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake. It may also involve eliminating the cycle that can develop when you worry so much about falling asleep that you can't fall asleep.
The behavioral part of CBT helps you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that keep you from sleeping well.
● Prescription drugs
Prescription sleeping pills can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. Doctors generally don't recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, but several medications are approved for long-term use.
Prescription sleeping pills can have side effects, such as making you dizzy during the day and increasing your risk of falling, or they can be habit-forming, so talk to your doctor about these medications and other possible side effects.
● Over-the-counter sleeping pills
Over-the-counter sleeping pills contain antihistamines that can make you drowsy, but they're not meant for regular use. Talk to your doctor before taking them, as antihistamines can cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, cognitive decline, and difficulty urinating, which may be worse in older people.
● Lifestyle & Home Remedies
No matter what your age, sleep disturbances are usually treatable. The key is often changes to your routine during the day and at bedtime. These tips can help you.
Here are some basic tips:
Keep a sleep schedule:Keep your bedtime and wakeup times consistent from day to day, including weekends.
Stay active: Regular activity helps promote a good night's sleep. Schedule exercise at least a few hours before bedtime and avoid stimulating activities before bedtime.
Check your medications: If you take medications regularly, check with your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your insomnia. Also check the labels of over-the-counter products to see if they contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine.
Avoid or limit naps: Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can't live without it, try to limit the nap to no more than 30 minutes and don't nap after 3 p.m.
Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol, and don't use nicotine: All of these can make it harder to sleep, and their effects can last for several hours.
Avoid large meals and drinks before bed: A light snack is acceptable and may help prevent heartburn. Drink less fluid before bedtime so you don't have to urinate as often.
Make your bedroom comfortable for sleeping:Only use your bedroom for sleeping. Keep it dark and quiet, at a comfortable temperature. Hide all the clocks in your room, including your wristwatch and cell phone, so you don't have to worry about what time it is.
Remove sources of light from your sleeping area:Light of any kind sends a message to your brain that your body needs to be awake. It is therefore important to keep your sleeping area as dark as possible. Turn on your alarm clock, put up room darkening curtains, and by all means keep cell phones, televisions, and laptops out of the bedroom. Light from screens at bedtime is by far one of the main causes of sleep disturbances. If you can't eliminate light sources, try a sleep mask.
Use natural herbs: Natural herbs such as valerian root, chamomile, lavender, and lma passionflower have been shown to reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality. Drinking a tea that contains these herbs may help.
Find ways to relax: Try to put your worries and planning aside when you go to bed. A warm bath or massage before bed can help prepare you for sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as taking a warm bath, reading, listening to soft music, doing breathing exercises, doing yoga, or praying.
Avoid trying too hard to sleep:The harder you try, the more awake you will become. Read in another room until you become very drowsy, then go to bed to sleep. Don't go to bed too early, before you feel sleepy.
Get out of bed when not sleeping:Sleep as much as you need to feel rested, then get out of bed. Do not stay in bed if you are not sleeping.
Good quality sleep is necessary to be healthy, productive and social. However, we can understand that there are many factors, environmental, medical and psychological, that can cause sleep disturbances. We hope this article has helped you better understand the causes of sleep disorders and how to treat them.