It’s 3 am in the morning, you are still tossing and turning to get some sleep and need to be fresh for your commitments the next day. By missing minimum sleep hours, we will feel tired on the next day. However, long term sleep deprivation could cause health problems such as depression, weight gain, poor immune system and much more.
WHY CAN’T WE FALL ASLEEP?
Sleep deprivation or Insomnia is defined as short and poor quality sleep that affects your functioning during the day. Although the amount of sleep a person needs varies, most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed. Insomnia can range from being mild to severe. It varies in how often it occurs and how long it lasts.
Acute insomnia is a short-term sleep problem that is generally related to a stressful or traumatic life event and lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Acute insomnia might happen from time to time. With chronic insomnia, sleep problems occur at least 3 nights a week for more than a month. Insomnia tends to increase as women and men age.
Some of the factors that could contribute to why you can’t fall asleep:
i.The most common causes are anxiety, stress, and depression.
ii .Anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma.
iii. Medical problems or illness such as asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, and cancer also contribute to why we can’t get proper sleep.
iv. Medications used as antidepressants, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications, some contraceptives
TIPS TO GET BETTER SLEEP
Your bed is for sleeping and sex only, not for technology or anything else!
- Do not take naps after 3 p.m.
- Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day or at night.
- Get regular physical activity. But exercise or physical activity done too close to bed time can make it hard to fall asleep.
- Make sure you eat dinner at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool. If lighting is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan or a “white noise” machine to cover up the sounds.
- Follow a routine to help relax and wind down before sleep, such as reading a book, listening to music or taking a bath.
- If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes or don’t feel drowsy, get out of bed and sit in your bedroom or another room. Read or do a quiet activity until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed.
- If you lay awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed so that you don’t use time in bed for worry.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
- Get rid of clocks in the bedroom.
- See your doctor or a sleep specialist if you think that you have insomnia or another sleep problem.
EMPOWER YOURSELF TO REDUCE STRESS
One of many sleeping problems is residual stress, worry, or anger from the day that makes it difficult to wind down and sleep well at night. It may be due to work situation, financial burden, family problem or combination of all these. Though many believe the need to reduce stress, you actually need empowerment, the opposite of stress by practicing daily meditation. Meditation generally frees up all the clutter to float to the surface, be recognized, and be gone.