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.
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.
Look around your bedroom, and it is likely that you will see a wide assortment of technology, such as a television, cell phone, computer, or tablet. All of these devices can be incredibly convenient and fun, but technology can actually have a negative effect on your sleep. The more gadgets you have in your room, the more disrupted your sleep is likely to be. A lack of sleep can cause an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes, as well as exacerbate existing issues such as depression and anxiety, and increase feelings of stress. Because of this, it is pivotal to get all those devices out of your room if you would like to get a good night’s sleep.Continue reading
Insomnia can be a terrible burden. Lack of sleep can leave you exhausted in the morning, unable to think clearly, and feeling irritable and impatient. It can even affect normal activities such as driving. Some specialists estimate that missing the REM cycle of sleep is the equivalent of having two drinks. For those determined to tame insomnia, here are a few useful dieting tips.Continue reading
Most people who don’t get enough sleep are usually irritable, grumpy, or even angry throughout the day. And in fact, without enough sleep, mental and physical ability change getting worse and worse with the longer an individual has been awake. After 17 hours of no sleep, cognitive ability drops to a point that is similar to having a blood alcohol level of .05 (characterized by impaired judgment and coordination). After 24 hours of no sleep, it’s practically like being legally drunk. Over time a chronic lack of shut-eye makes you more prone to accidents, depression, and anxiety.
However, more and more experts are recognizing what’s called “short sleepers”, people who don’t need more than four or five hours per night. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours to feel rested and rejuvenated throughout the day. True “short sleepers” are rare, according to sleep specialist Carol Ash, DO, a member of the Ladies Home Journal Medical Advisory Board. “Only a tiny percentage of people can function well with that little [sleep],” she says.Continue reading