Introduction: What Causes Sleep Problems?
Sleep is one of the most important parts of our day. Like the saying, “sleep better, live better”, no matter what we do in life, getting enough sleep every day keeps our bodies healthy and functioning properly. However, many people have trouble sleeping at night, and this can lead to a number of health problems, including depression, weight gain, and even an increased risk of death.
There are plenty of reasons for sleep deprivation. Some might be experiencing insomnia, and need medication to help them fall and stay asleep. Others may not have the time, money or energy to sleep well and their bodies might be giving them feedback that they’re not getting enough rest. Whatever the reason may be, sleep deprivation is a serious issue that can have a big impact on one’s quality of life.
If you’re having trouble sleeping or constantly feel tired during the day, here are some possible causes for your insomnia and a few hacks that you can do to help you sleep better!
Here are some of the most popular causes of sleep deprivation you probably didn’t know about:
1. Stress and Anxiety
Nowadays, it’s so easy to feel stressed and anxious, even about the smallest of things. The world is evolving fast and the need to keep up with the progression can be very overwhelming.
Too much stress and anxiety are both physically and mentally draining on your body. They can keep you up at night and make you lose lots of precious sleep. Although unintentional, many tend to bring these stressful and anxious thoughts to bed, which results in sleep deprivation.
2. Noise Pollution
When it comes to noise pollution, it’s not just the sound of the traffic or the construction across the street – it could also be the ear-splitting snoring of the person sleeping next to you. Many people snore, but it becomes a big problem when their snoring causes someone to lose their sleep (or hearing!).
Noise-induced sleep disorders also vary in severity. For example, a person may have trouble falling asleep because of the sound of ongoing construction, and they might get up to find that they can’t go back to sleep for several hours after being interrupted. In more severe cases, a person may even be forced to leave their home just to get some sleep.
3. Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol in moderation is fine, but once you make a habit out of it, it can have many bad effects on your health, including your sleep. Alcohol is a depressant that has sedative qualities to help you feel drowsy, and this may make it sound like a good remedy for falling asleep, but several studies actually suggest that falling asleep with alcohol in your bloodstream will take much, much longer than normal. And as your enzymes work to break it down in your body, you’ll likely wake up more frequently during the night, reducing your sleep quality even more.
4. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a medical condition where you stop breathing occasionally during your sleep. As scary as it sounds, most people with this condition normally don’t realize that they do this on a daily basis. Sleep apnea will cause the throat muscles to collapse which restricts the airway while you’re sleeping. In order to restore your breathing, your body will gasp or choke, and this will cause micro-awakenings (where you wake up for a split second and go back to sleep like nothing happened). Micro-awakenings are known to cause daytime sleepiness, which is a major sign of sleep deprivation.
Surely everyone has had at least one nightmare in their life. Whether it’s about ghosts, past trauma, or an assignment you forgot to do – no matter the context, we can all agree that nightmares are definitely not a fun experience to have.
Nightmares usually trigger feelings of anxiety or fear, which can wake you up from your sleep. Although they’re pretty common, a small percentage of people struggle with nightmare disorders. They often have nightmares each time they sleep, which leads to a lot of waking up in the middle of the night and this makes them scared to go to sleep too.
Hacks that you can try to help improve your sleep:
Hack #1 – Use An App To Track Your Sleep Patterns And Improve Your Quality Of Sleep
Nowadays, almost everyone owns a smartphone. The advancement of technology has allowed for smartphones and other digital devices to enhance our lives, including tracking apps for your sleep.
Sleep apps are designed to give feedback on how well the user sleeps. This includes a smart alarm that’ll wake you up during your lightest phase of sleep, so you’ll feel more refreshed in the morning, and a sleep tracker that lets you see how long your hours of sleep are and how often you wake up during the night. The data provided by the app can help you make better decisions for a much better sleep, so take advantage of it!
Hack #2 – Create A Bedtime Routine That Works For You
A bedtime routine is the best way to wind down after a long day and can help you to sleep better. Your routine could include a nice warm bath, lighting up candles, or simply reading a book before you sleep. As long as it helps you calm down and relax for the night, the ritual can be anything you like! What’s most important is that you set a specific time to sleep and wake up, and commit to it everyday for it to become a natural habit.
And no matter how much you love your coffee, try to avoid drinking it during the night. You also shouldn’t eat large meals before bed and going to sleep with a full bladder. It’ll force you to wake up in the middle of the night to empty it, and you won’t be able to have a long and undisturbed sleep.
Aside from that, make sure your room is set up in a way that’ll make you feel comfortable and relaxed. This means that your bedroom should be dark, cool, and free of distractions and noises like TVs or smartphones. If there’s still noises that disturb your sleep that you really can’t do anything about, try to opt for ear plugs.
Hack #3 - Exercise During the Day
Exercising not only improves your health, but also your sleep quality. The more you exercise, the better your sleep will be.
Regularly exercising will help you lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, improve your mood, and trigger the production of natural substances that promote drowsiness – all of which are important in getting good sleep. And not only will you sleep better, you’ll also look good from working out!
So why not try to take some time off during the day and dedicate it to exercising? It doesn’t have to be too vigorous either. Even moderate aerobic exercises have been found to increase the amount of slow wave sleep you get.
Hack #4 – Use a Weighted Blanket For Instantly Improved Sleep Quality
A super simple yet efficient hack to help you fall asleep faster is to sleep with a weighted blanket. These blankets have just the perfect amount of weight to provide deep pressure stimulation (DPS) when you’re underneath it. DPS is also a popular form of therapy that has been proven to help with anxiety issues, ADHD, insomnia, and PTSD.
Studies show that regularly sleeping with it can help improve your sleep quality, boost your mood, reduce the severity of night terrors, and help with sensory processing disorders.
The weight of the blanket is also evenly distributed all over the body, so it can create the feeling of being hugged by someone you love – and who doesn’t like hugs? Of course it’s no secret that most weighted blankets generally cost more than normal blankets, but they work amazing without you even having to lift a finger, and are definitely a worthy investment for your overall health and well-being!
Aside from eating healthy and exercising, getting enough sleep is also important in maintaining your health. You should take your sleep more seriously so that you’ll be able to avoid plenty of sleep-induced health issues such as depression, weight gain, heart diseases and so on.
Try getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day for the optimum health benefits. Give your body the rest it deserves and start sleeping better today.
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Made from non-toxic silent inner glass beads and an ultra-soft Bamboo Fiber cooling outer layer, the Sloth Weighted Blanket is the ultimate comfort blanket, helping hundreds of Malaysians to sleep easier.