Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to maintaining good health and yet millions of Americans suffer from an inability to get good, deep, restorative sleep. Even when people carefully manage their time to allow for plenty of time to rest, they often have a hard time falling asleep or even staying asleep. While budgeting enough time for sleep is important, there are still a number of reasons why you may not be able to sleep. Here are 5 common sleep problems and how to solve them.
According to a 2007 Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey, approximately 70% of adults in the US admit to experiencing a level of stress and anxiety that interferes at least moderately with their lives on a daily basis. Approximately a third of those report persistent stress, daily excessive anxiety or even panic attacks. 70% of those adults also admit to having trouble sleeping. While you may not be able to relieve or alleviate the cause of your stress overnight, there are a number of ways in which you can lower your stress levels in preparation for sleep. Here are 5 ways to help reduce your stress in the evening to get a good night’s sleep.
- Lavender essential oil is well known for both lowering stress levels and helping promote better sleep.
- Take a warm bath before bed.
- Turn off the TV and lower the lights an hour before you want to sleep. This will help prepare you for sleep
- Keep a pad and pen or your phone by your bed. If you have trouble sleeping because of things that worry you or that you are concerned you will forget, write them down or simply dictate them into your phone. Sometimes, this help literally get them out of your head and can give you peace of mind enough to sleep
- Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition in which individuals actually stop breathing during the night or are unable to breathe, which can cause a lack of oxygenation to the brain. Loud snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea. Treatments for sleep apnea range from simple nasal strips to more complicated medical devices. If you snore loudly or are having trouble sleeping, your doctor can prescribe a sleep apnea test to see if this might be the cause.
- Room temperature
Room temperature can have a profound impact on sleep. While studies show that you will get your best sleep in a slightly cooler room, if the room is too cool or too warm, it will interfere with your body’s ability to “shut down” certain critical functions in order to focus on the maintenance and repair work it does when you sleep. If you find you are often too cold or too warm at night and are having trouble sleeping, finding a way to adjust the room temperature or even just the temperature of your bed can have a profound impact on your sleep.
What you sleep on can also have a profound effect on your sleep. Some people sleep best on a firm mattress, while other’s prefer a softer mattress. Older mattresses can sometimes develop lumps or dips which don’t offer the support you need. Some people need a special mattress for back pain, while others sleep best at a slight incline.
In addition to finding the right level of support in a mattress that helps you sleep in the right position, getting the right pillow is also a key component in getting a good night’s sleep. The right pillow for you will depend on if you are a stomach, back or side sleeper. In addition, some people prefer a more firm pillow while others prefer a softer one. Whatever your preference, getting the right pillow can make a world of difference in your sleep.
There are, of course, any number of other factors that may keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. In some cases, certain foods or dietary issues might be the cause while in others it might be loud or persistent noises. Whatever the cause, getting to the root of what is keeping you from sleeping is critical for good health.