An estimated 40 million people suffer from regular sleep problems, and another 20 million experience occasional sleep troubles. If you’re amongst those people, sleep deprivation is likely affecting your quality of life, and you’re ready to learn what you can do to get back the sleep that you’re missing.
The Top 10 Most Common Sleep Problems
Typical sleep problems affect the majority of those afflicted with a sleep problem. 10 of the most common of those sleep problems, as well as solutions, are listed below. Use the knowledge below to your advantage and it’s easy to wake up feeling refreshed, revived, and renewed after a good night of sleep.
Sleep Problem One: Can’t Fall Asleep
Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Those affected with insomnia may also wake up early and be unable to fall back asleep. Insomnia suffers oftentimes wake up feeling tired and unrested as if they haven’t slept a wink. Although insomnia affects us all at some point, when the issue becomes persistent, occurring three or more times per week, there’s a cause for concern.
We need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed and re-energized. Insomnia impacts the ability to get that much-needed rest. Insomnia suffers oftentimes make poorer decisions than their counterparts, lack energy, and otherwise do not feel like themselves due to a loss of sleep.
How to Beat Insomnia
Insomnia affects more women than men, and it seems to affect those who’ve suffered from depression at a higher rate than others. The cause of insomnia can be one of the dozens of problems from stressors at home or work, medications that you use, medical conditions, bad habits like alcohol consumption, and underlying medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid problems.
Making an appointment with your doctor to rule out any serious health conditions is ideal if insomnia is affecting your life. If you get the thumbs up of good health, many over-the-counter insomnia remedies are available that may offer a solution to the problem. Additionally, lifestyle changes can considerably impact your ability to sleep well at night. To potentially minimize or eliminate insomnia:
- Limit caffeine intake four hours prior to bedtime
- Eat a sugary snack 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Sugary snacks have sedatives inside them
- Melatonin is a great vitamin that aids in good sleep
Sleep Problem Two: A Day Sleeper
If sleepiness interferes with normal daytime activities, it is time to take charge. Although it is normal to get sleepy during the day now and again, it definitely should not impact your daily life in any way. When reading the paper causes you to nod, perhaps it is time to look for solutions.
Getting Through Your Day Without Napping
Are you getting enough sleep at night? This is the most common cause of daytime sleepiness. It is recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. The body endures a sleep process when we drift off.
This process is completed in this time slot, ensuring that we wake up feeling brand new. When the process isn’t completed, the body’s internal clock is thrown for a loop. A normal sleep process includes:
- Stage 1 - Light sleep, a time we are easily awakened and our musical activity slows
- Stage 2 - Eye movement stop and brain waves slow down
- Stage 3 - Deep sleep stage. Only slow brain waves appear
- Stage 4 - Deep sleep producing delta waves. There is no muscle activity in this state.
- Stage 5 - REM sleep. This sleep produces shallow breathing, limb muscles, dreams, and sometimes, rapid eye movement.
Each Cycle lasts approximately 2 hours.
Energy drinks can pep you up on those days when you feel like you just cannot keep your eyes open. Over-the-counter energy supplements are also available.
Sleep Problem Three: Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common causes of pain amongst men and women in the U.K. An aching back causes trouble doing many of the tasks you normally would, including sleep. It is hard to forget how bad your back is hurting in order to drift off to sleep and getting comfortable doesn’t come easily either. If you are up all night due to an aching back, it is time to get serious about relief.
Getting to the Bottom of Back Pain
Many causes of back pain can quickly take their toll on your quality of sleep if you do not take quick action. Although a visit to a doctor can help diagnose problems like slipped discs and strained muscles, most people find it easy to alleviate their back pain without the need for doctor intervention.
Do not include the notion that your mattress is the culprit of the pain, particularly if it worsens at night or when you wake up. It is easier to treat back pain once the cause is identified. In the meantime, some of the ways to ease back pain so sleeping occurs a little easier:
- Add a pillow underneath your legs if you sleep on your back or under your thighs if you sleep on your stomach
- How old is the mattress that you sleep on? Mattresses 7+ years old need replacing. Damaged and worn mattresses are oftentimes a cause of poor sleep, so do throw them out and start new at this point.
- Use a soft back brace to sleep
Sleep Problem Four: Leg Cramps
Walking too much, sleeping in the wrong position, and overworking the muscles are among the causes of leg cramps. Both men and women can experience leg cramps of varying degree, but all of which are painful and interfere with normal daily activities. There’s an array of causes of leg cramps. It is imperative to learn the causes and resolve your issues if you ever want to stop the problem in its tracks.
Overcoming Leg Cramps
Leg massage is one way to stop leg cramps from impeding on your sleep habits. You can do this yourself or have a spouse or friend provide the quick massage. Focus pressure on the specific area of the pain for best results. Stretch before you do exercise.
Better yet, why not stress every single day when you get out of bed? What better way to start the day? Ensure that you apply alternating heat and ice packs to minimize the aches and pains that you feel. These ice packs are inexpensive, reusable, and provide substantial relief, even when you are on the go.
Compression stockings are worn by many people. The use of these stockings or socks is ideal for anyone experiencing leg cramps severely enough they impact their sleep patterns.
Costs of the stockings vary, though many brands of socks are out there in assorted price ranges. The Mojo Thigh High Compression Stocking is a crowd favorite.
Sleep Problem Five: Irregular Sleep Routine
An erratic sleep pattern may leave you waking up at odd hours, facing difficulty falling asleep, and otherwise unlike yourself during the day. If you aren't getting a full 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night, the sleep pattern you follow may be the culprit.
Setting a sleep schedule is an easy solution to the problem. Although falling asleep or waking at the same exact time every day is impossible, a routine does develop a pattern of falling asleep/waking up that decreases the stress accompanied by irregular sleep schedules.
Set a Sleep Routine
Setting a sleep routine is simple. Choose a time to go to sleep and to wake, and stick to that schedule. Be consistent, even on Saturday and Sunday. It’s okay to sleep in but stick to an hour of the normal schedule.
Normalcy helps the body's internal clock adjust, helping you fall asleep easier and wake up feeling refreshed. It’s okay to make gradual adjustments to your new sleep routine. Many people find gradual changes are easier to maneuver than those made at one time.
A few additional ways to set a sleep schedule that your body easily adjusts to:
- Avoid eating a full meal before bedtime, but do not go to bed on an empty stomach
- Open the blinds to allow natural lighting inside as soon as you wake in the mornings
- Don't use the snooze button under any circumstances
Sleep Problem Six: Snoring
Approximately 45% of all adults snore. Although snoring is oftentimes a focal point of jokes, it isn’t a laughing matter for the individual suffering. The individual's spouse may also be considerably affected by the snoring, each person losing valuable hours of sleep every night.
How to Overcome Snoring
If snoring is bothersome enough to keep you or your spouse up at night, it’s best to visit a doctor to rule out a more serious health condition like sleep apnea.
If health conditions are ruled out, try changing your sleep position. Side sleepers snore less than back sleepers, and a full-body pillow provides quite the cuddle-buddle and helps you sleep better, more soundly on your side.
Avoiding alcohol may also reduce the frequency of snoring. Alcohol reduces the resting tone of your throat muscles, increasing the likelihood that you’ll snore.
Threaded Snore Vents are also useful to those bothered by snoring. Made of silicone materials, the soft vents open the nasal passageways to prevent snoring and improve sleep.
Sleep Problem Seven: Can’t Stay Asleep
Sometimes, falling asleep isn’t the problem, but rather staying asleep brings concern. This problem is oftentimes associated with insomnia, so the same techniques that alleviate this problem can help you stay asleep at night.
Sleeping Through the Night
Some of the solutions to try to help stay asleep once you lay down include:
- Put your phone away! Many people are unable to sleep due to social media, text messaging, playing games, etc. which is available to them on their mobile device.
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime
- Eat before you go to bed if your stomach is empty, but keep it down to a small snack
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Ensure that your home is at a comfortable temperature
- Melatonin is one of the most widely recognized supplements designed to aid in relaxation and sleep
Sleep Problem Eight: Stress
Everyone experiences stress to some degree, however, when stress interferes with your normal daily life, including your ability to sleep, it is time to take action.
Stress is known as ‘the silent killer’ in women, as it usually has no direct symptoms, though causes issues with the cardiovascular health, sleep patterns, mental health, and elsewhere.
Finding Out What Causes You Stress
To minimize stress, it is imperative that you first identify your stressors. Once your stressors are identified, it is time to develop a plan to step back from the stressors.
Sleep Problem Nine: Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain has many causes, but they all cause the same consequences. Inability to sleep is one of those consequences, as is waking up in pain that negatively affects the entire day.
Addressing the underlying cause of the pain is the best solution, but what if the cause is your sleep patterns? If you sleep on your side, it is time to switch positions and lay on your back at night.
Aids for Shoulder Pain
Although you might think that sleeping on the stomach will alleviate the pain, this sleep position may actually increase the pain. To alleviate pain in the body, the neck and spine must properly align.
This sleep position doesn’t provide the adequate alignment to stop the pain but can worsen the pain due to the neck being extended in an incorrect position.
In addition to changing your sleep position, using a product such as a bed wedge system can help you sleep better on your back and wake up feeling your best. This sleep system supports the back, legs, and knees, and may reduce the pain, too!
Sleep Problem Ten: Medical Conditions
Acid Reflux Disease and Sleep Apnea are two potential health conditions that interfere with your sleeping habits. Millions of people across the U.K. are affected by either condition. If you suspect either of these conditions or others, are interfering with your sleep, the best solution is to speak to your doctor.
Treat Your Medical Conditions
Acid Reflux sufferers can try sleeping on their sides and using a saline solution before bedtime to ease some of their woes. Many people find this helpful in a better night’s rest. Use these solutions in addition to those provided by your medical doctor.
Individuals with sleep apnea need a proper diagnosis from their doctor but will find any number of solutions to the problem. Use of a mouthguard is oftentimes a recommended treatment method for sleep apnea. ThreeScope provides different types of products, that can help you get the sleep that you need.