Inflammation is a means for your body to protect itself from trauma. On the other hand, it can lead to health complications when it becomes chronic. Inflammation can affect all areas of the body and health and can take quite the toll on your health.
One area of health that inflammation can affect is your sleep. In fact, inflammation can be an underlying cause of endless sleepless nights. When we don’t get adequate sleep, this can further worsen inflammation and contribute to worsened health outcomes, thus causing a catch-22 scenario. The more you don’t sleep, the more inflammation in the body; the more inflammation in the body, the more you don’t sleep.
But how can you tell if inflammation is the culprit behind your insomnia? Look out for these seven signs.
7 Signs Inflammation Is Causing Your Insomnia
Your jaw feels tight: If you experience a tight jaw while you sleep or upon awakening, inflammation could be to blame. Inflammation prevents you from thoroughly relaxing, thus tightening your jaw. Without proper relaxation, you can wake up feeling unrefreshed.
You wake up with a headache: Daytime stress can trigger inflammation along with preventing a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep and stress can trigger a morning headache.
You experience pain: If you feel pain while trying to sleep, this can leave you uncomfortable and tossing and turning trying to become comfortable. Inflammation is a large contributing factor to muscle pain, which is why many sleeping pills also contain anti-inflammatory medications along with sleeping aids.
You have a restless stomach: Being unable to sleep due to a restless stomach could be a sign of inflammation, as inflammation can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
You wake up during the night: Inflammation is tied to the sleep disorder sleep apnea, which causes a person to wake up abruptly due to temporary cessation of breathing. The airway becomes blocked and to catch your breath, you wake up suddenly. This constant awakening can leave you unrested.
Your mind races prior to bed: If you’re trying to settle down and relax, but instead that’s when your brain decides it wants to start firing, it could be inflammation triggering cortisol (stress hormone) levels to spike – they need to drop in order to sleep – which causes you to feel stressed rather than relaxed before bed. You need to find healthy ways to reduce your stress levels prior to bed.
You can’t stop moving your legs: Restless leg syndrome only occurs at night when you finally try to get some rest. Your legs feel itchy and you feel that you need to keep moving them to stop the irritating feeling in them. The exact cause of restless leg syndrome isn’t well known, but inflammation may be a potential culprit.
Speak to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms to get to the root of your insomnia.
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