According to Harvard Medical School, chronic sleep problems affect up to 80 percent of psychiatric patients. Sleep problems are especially prevalent in patients that have depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety.
It was once thought that insomnia and other sleep issues were a symptom of psychiatric disorders. Research indicates that sleep problems may actually contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders. Treating sleep disorders may improve symptoms of the mental health disorder.
Tossing and turning at night is a sure sign that something is wrong. Whether you have long-term bouts of insomnia or temporary sleep issues, going even a few hours without sleep can cause a serious drop in your energy and productivity. Fortunately, most sleep issues are fairly easy to identify, and you can be back on track to getting a full night’s rest by checking to see if any of these common causes of sleep problems sound familiar.
Have you ever crawled under the covers, wanting desperately to sleep but instead tossing and turning all night long? Maybe your mind won’t shut down or you have a long to-do list that you cannot seem to stop thinking about. Whatever the cause, sleep problems can leave you feeling down in the dumps and make it difficult to perform at your best the next day at work. In addition, chronic insomnia is related to high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious health issues. Here are some groundbreaking therapies that can help you banish insomnia for good and get a better night’s rest.
- Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Research from the JAMA Internal Medicine indicates that mindfulness meditation is effective at improving sleep. Mindfulness meditation is a mind-calming practice that focuses on staying present in the moment and breathing. It involves bringing your mind’s attention to the present instead of focusing on past or future worries, such as your long to-do list for tomorrow. Another component of mindfulness is focusing your breathing. Staying present in the moment and slowing your breathing helps the mind calm. This practice produces a shift in the body that is opposite of the stress response. For many people, sleep disorders are triggered by stress. Relaxing your body and mind can help ease many stress-related problems, as well as improve sleep.
Insomnia is a condition that affects everyone occasionally, but there are also individuals who have chronic insomnia that leads to feeling tired each day. Finding better ways to sleep by changing your daily lifestyle and your bedroom’s environment can lead to a restful night’s sleep.
Stop Ingesting Caffeine
If you are having trouble getting to sleep or wake-up several times, then stop ingesting caffeine. You probably know that caffeine is in coffee, tea and many flavors of soft drinks, but this stimulant is also in chocolate, chewing gum or some medications. It is also possible that the bottled water you drink several times a day has caffeine. To avoid caffeine, read the labels on all foods and beverages before making a purchase.
The sleep position that you naturally gravitate to is kind of a random thing, and no one is really sure why we tend to prefer one position over the others. Each position definitely has its own benefits and drawbacks, however. And depending on what your personal health and medical circumstances are, you may want to re-train yourself in a new sleeping position to make sure you are as healthy as possible.
There are three basic positions you can wind up sleeping in — stomach, side or back. Health experts generally advise sticking to the position you are naturally inclined to take, with the exception of stomach sleeping in certain medical circumstances. Below we’ll take a more detailed look at the pros and cons of each position.
So you have insomnia or some other form of sleep disorder, but you’ve decided the prescription pharmaceutical route (i.e. Ambien) isn’t going to work out for you. You begin looking over the all-natural and OTC options … and there’s a staggering amount. Where do you even start? Are all of these substances safe to try? What exactly is a “valerian root,” anyway?
The truth about OTC sleep aid ingredients is that some of them do have some amount of science backing them, but there is a lot more anecdotal (non-scientific) evidence from individual users who have experienced good ongoing effects with them. Even with the ones that work, however, the dosing can be highly individualized — the optimal amount for you may not be what works for someone else.
Sleep deprivation is a common problem in America. In fact, it is estimated that 20 percent of people in America get less than six hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can put your health at risk. Fortunately, there are natural sleep solutions you can use. Below is a list of natural ways that you can improve your sleep:
One of the best things you can do to improve your quality and quantity of sleep is to exercise. There was a study done that involved sedentary adults who reported sleeping poorly. They were asked to exercise four times per week. The results of the study showed that the subjects sleep quality went from poor to good.
It is best to get your workout in early in the day. Exercising right before bed can make it harder for you to go to sleep.
In today’s health-conscious world we are encouraged to eat right, to exercise, to take our vitamins, and see our doctor’s regularly. But what about sleep? Who has time for that? Unfortunately, sleep is all too often overlooked. Not only is sleep important, it plays a vital role in a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five reasons why getting the appropriate amount of sleep is so important:
- Mood Have you ever dealt with a toddler who threw themselves on the ground and screamed uncontrollably because their toast was cut length-wise instead of at an angle and you immediately assumed they didn’t get enough sleep? Have you ever felt like doing the same? Turns out, there might be something to that. A lack of sleep can trigger overly-emotional responses, crying episodes, and angry outbursts. Prolonged sleep deprivation has also been associated with depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Physical Appearance Red eyes? Bags under the eyes? Breakouts? These are all tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation.
- Foggy Brain It’s often harder to focus when you haven’t gotten a good night’s rest. This can affect your memory and your ability to process and retain information. This is why students are encouraged to get an adequate amount of sleep prior to taking an important exam.
- Physical Well-Being When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, the immune system takes quite the hit. Lack of sleep makes the body more susceptible to common colds and other viruses. Sleep deprivation over an extended period of time increases the risk for a number of health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- Daytime Drowsiness Feeling a bit drowsy may not seem like a big deal when you’re sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen, but it does have the potential have serious consequences if you need to get behind the wheel of a car or operate heavy machinery.
Sleep paralysis can be a disconcerting experience and happens when you are temporarily unable to move or speak upon waking or falling asleep. Although this seems like a highly unusual scenario, many people have experienced this phenomenon. Here are a few preventative measures that could help you retain control of your movement:
- Keep a Regimented Sleeping Schedule
Researchers have reported that perhaps the most common reason for sleep paralysis is an unregimented sleep schedule. If this applies to you, perhaps you should try going to bed and waking up at consistent times. This may seem difficult, but setting alarms and getting into a sleep routine can allow you to achieve a proper regiment. This will help your body know when it is time to wake, and thus it can transition through the sleeping processes more efficiently. Continue reading
Do you have a hard time getting any sleep at night? As soon as it is time for you to get into bed, you may suddenly feel a surge of energy. If you toss and turn regularly, you could have insomnia. It may not seem like such a big deal right now, but only getting three or four hours of sleep each night is going to cause problems for you in the future. Even if you do not feel excessively tired at the moment, the lack of sleep is going to destroy your ability to perform well enough. It is best to get at least eight hours of sleep, but even more than that would be great for your body. Not sure how to get more sleep? Try these few simple techniques. Continue reading