A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for health. In fact, it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising.People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well. Here are 10 reasons why you are not getting a good night’s sleep.
Certain medications can greatly impact your ability to fall and stay asleep. Some over-the-counter painkillers contain caffeine — make sure to check the ingredients on the box. Certain medications for blood pressure; decongestants; steroids; and asthma medication can also impact your sleep. Most commonly, many antidepressants release serotonin on a continuous basis and can be very alerting.
Consult with your doctor if you think your medications are impacting your sleep. Sometimes a change in when you take a medication can make a big difference. If that doesn’t work, your doctor might be able to recommend an alternative medication.
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Chronic or acute pain can lead to shorter sleep and/or poor sleep quality. Factors like light, noise, temperature and mattress comfort are more likely to affect people who suffer from pain.
It is quite common for people to grind their teeth when they sleep. Often sufferers are unaware they are doing it but it can affect sleep quality and damage teeth. Ask your dentist about a dental guard to protect your teeth.
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Restless leg syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs commonly experienced from the evening through to the early hours of the morning. The only way to stop these feelings is to move your legs, which can impact your sleep. RLS can be caused by an iron deficiency so speak to your doctor about having your iron levels tested if you think you suffer from this syndrome.
People with depression may suffer from a range of insomnia symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, unrefreshing sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Speak to your GP if you think you may have depression.
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People with asthma often suffer from night-time coughing, wheezing and breathlessness that disturb their sleep. Those who do should discuss their symptoms with their doctor in order to develop a treatment plan that addresses this problem.
Sleep problems are common in people with allergic rhinitis, which occurs when allergens in the air are breathed in, irritating the nasal passages. Allergens may include dustmites, pollen, moulds, or pet dander. In people who are allergic to them, these particles cause nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose. These symptoms can lead to poor sleep.
Exercising within three hours of bedtime can be too stimulating for many people. Exercise wakes up the brain and warms up the body, which can both interfere with sleep. The best time to exercise (in terms of helping you sleep well) is four-to-six hours before bedtime. If that’s too difficult to schedule, consider exercising in the morning—the bright light can help wake you up, and reinforces a good, regular sleep-wake cycle.
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Protein requires a lot of energy to digest, and that keeps your digestive system churning away while you’re trying to sleep — bad combination. Better to have a light carbohydrate snack.
Smokers equate smoking with relaxing, but that’s a neurochemical trick. In truth, nicotine is a stimulant. When you smoke before trying to sleep, you can expect to wake up several times throughout the night; much as you would if you drank a cup of coffee.