If you are having trouble getting to sleep because of stress, illness, jet lag, or other temporary interruptions, then you most likely have a sleep disorder.
The fact is that sleep disorders can seriously affect your mental and physical health, also leading to memory problems, weight gain, and unhealthy mood swings.
A sleep disorder regularly affects your ability to get enough quality sleep.
However, it is not normal to have problems falling asleep during the night, and to wake up the next day feeling exhausted throughout the day.
If you want to feel great, stay healthy, and perform well, quality sleep is vital.
Therefore, if you are familiar with the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating on your daily activities
- Fatigue while driving
- Difficulty staying awake while reading a book or watching television
- Emotional control problems
- An addiction to caffeinated drinks
- A desire to take a nap every day
- The feeling of always being tired and exhausted
- Reacting slowly to external stimuli.
In this case, you definitely have a sleep disorder.
You don’t have to live with a sleep disorder, as there are many options to help you improve your sleep and rest.
Treatment for sleep disorders can vary depending on the type and underlying causes.
However, this treatment usually includes a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes. That is why we have listed a series of possibilities to overcome sleep disorders, both medically and through lifestyle improvements.
Keep a regular sleep schedule: Regardless of your sleep problems, keeping a regular sleep schedule is very important.
You can adopt healthy habits by exercising regularly and limiting your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine to achieve better sleep quality in the long term.
Adopt regular sleep patterns: You need to condition your body for sleep when you go to bed. In this regard, it is important to respect your circadian rhythms (your natural sleep cycle). Unless you work shifts and variable hours, or have more than one job, this tip should have no impact on your budget.
Always listen to your body when going to bed when you feel tired: This may seem obvious, but don’t stay up too late, or try to go to bed when you feel tired. If you are too awake to sleep, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading or meditation. Going to bed when you’re tired will help you develop a regular sleep schedule and relax tired muscles that can’t express themselves.
Strive to fall back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night: Whether or not you have a sleep disorder, it’s normal to wake up briefly during the night. However, you need to find easy ways to get back to sleep as soon as possible. So, you can focus on your breathing, practice a little meditation, or another relaxation technique. You can also write down everything that comes into your head or your mind and resolve not to think about it again until the next day, when it is easier to find a solution to these problems in peace.
Avoid, as much as possible, all caffeine consumption: Caffeine is a stimulant, and people may have different sensitivities or reactions to caffeine, based on factors such as:
- The quantity consumed
- And cases of anxiety disorders.
However, it is best to avoid caffeine for four to six hours before going to bed.
As you may know, caffeine consumption is associated with increased anxiety, which can also shorten your sleep. You can replace caffeine with water to help you sleep.
Consider quitting smoking : Like caffeine, nicotine is an excitant and should be avoided before bedtime. Don’t smoke any cigarettes about 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime, and smoke less in the four hours before bedtime to help you fall asleep. In addition, to really improve the quality of your sleep, it is advisable to completely stop all nicotine consumption. Keep in mind that the side effects of nicotine withdrawal include insomnia and irritability. Therefore, be patient with your body, and give it time to readjust to improve sleep quality.
Avoid excessive food consumption in the evening: You can certainly eat something light before going to bed. Also, it is better to eat heavier meals earlier in the day. In fact, eating too late can cause discomfort when you are lying down. In addition, they can also cause additional sleep disturbances, especially for people with heartburn. This is another cost-effective way to try to reduce your sleep problems.
Reduce screen time: Did you know that blue light can activate our brain to stay more awake? It happens that screens generally emit a large amount of blue light. Therefore, even if the room is dark, this blue light can keep you awake. Therefore, it is better to turn off the screens one hour before going to bed.
Always drink enough water: It is vital to drink enough water to keep your body functioning properly and to improve your sleep. Drinking enough water during the day will help you get a deeper, more restful sleep and avoid waking up thirsty. While drinking water is necessary for sleep, be careful not to drink too much before bedtime or you may have to go to the bathroom several times during the night, which could interrupt your sleep.
Incorporate regular exercise: Exercise can help keep your body functioning properly, provide energy for daily activities, and is associated with better sleep. However, physical exercise just before bedtime has a stimulating effect and delays the onset of sleep. So, it’s best to exercise about 3 or 4 hours before going to bed, or go for a walk for about 20 minutes a day to improve your overall health.
There are various medical treatments for sleep disorders, including
- Medication for colds and allergies
- Sleeping pills
- Treatments for bruxism
- Melatonin supplements
- An intervention for sleep apnea
- And other possibilities…
If lifestyle changes do not bring relief, you may want to talk to sleep specialists or your doctor. You can then, together with your doctor, try to identify the underlying causes of your sleep disorder, and also find ways to improve your sleep, and your quality of life.
Return to the blog and discover other articles.
PS: Doctena allows you to make free online appointments with thousands of doctors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.