You toss and you turn and, sadly, the next morning you’re more tired than ever. Not getting proper sleep can really put a damper on your daily activities and negatively impact your health. Sleep is vital for the whole body, and without proper sleep you set yourself up for a health disaster. There are many factors that can impede one’s sleep, including stress, insomnia and even sleep apnea. But what should you do when you can’t seem to get a good night’s rest? Well, we have some easy fixes for your pressing sleep issues, which can help you get back to the sleep you deserve and start improving your overall health.
Easy fixes for common sleep problems
Snoring is a common problem that doesn’t just affect men – women, too, can snore. It has the same affect on both genders; snoring keeps you and your partner awake. There are many reasons why a person may snore, from nasal congestion to narrow airways. The key to fixing this common sleep problem is to find the underlying cause.
If you are still tired after waking up in the morning and even have a headache, you could have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing numerous times a night. When the brain clues in to the lack of oxygen it abruptly awakens the patient and kick starts breathing again.
To determine if you have sleep apnea, you can undergo a sleep test where you will be monitored during sleep. If you are diagnosed, your doctor may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This device is strapped onto a person’s face like a mask and air continuously flows to prevent any blockages from occurring. Better yet, without the snoring, your partner can begin to get better sleep as well.
Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw? That’s the number one sign of nighttime teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth can affect your sleep and also damage the enamel, or protective layer, on your teeth. It’s estimated that 16 percent of the population grind their teeth. Doctors suggest that anxiety may play a role in it.
If you are a teeth grinder – a doctor or dentist will be able to tell – a dentist will fit you for a mouth guard. By taking a mould of your mouth the dentist creates a custom fit guard to act as a protective layer between your top and bottom teeth. Another way to prevent teeth grinding is to reduce stress and anxiety. Take necessary steps to wind down and calm down prior to bed or, better yet, clear your head.
You are in bed ready to doze off, and the next thing you know, your legs are feeling as if something is crawling on them, or you have the desire to sprint. This condition is known as restless leg syndrome and it affects one in 10 people. Restless leg syndrome is thought to be caused by the dysfunction of dopamine or, in some cases, a nutritional deficiency.
Although each person is different, common ways to treat restless leg syndrome involve using cold or hot packs on your legs, getting massages or even taking a bath. Speaking with your doctor can also help narrow down the cause of restless leg syndrome, and the doctor may prescribe medication to help combat it as well.
Your body’s clock is off
Are you tired in the a.m., but wide awake in the p.m.? Your body’s clock – also known as the circadian rhythm – may be working in reverse and depriving you of sleep. The condition is known as delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS) and nearly 10 percent of insomnia sufferers have it. DSPS is a biological glitch that prevents the body from making melatonin – the hormone responsible for sleep.
Ways to improve DSPS involve creating proper sleep hygiene, cutting back on caffeine, avoiding the use of technology or TV prior to sleep, and creating a wind-down routine to tell your body it’s time to sleep. When these methods don’t work a doctor may prescribe melatonin supplements or even light therapy.
Your body depends on sleep, so if you’re not getting at least seven hours, it’s about time you start being proactive about regaining your sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So, if you want the most out of your health, do what you can to improve your sleep.
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