When your head hits the pillow at night, do you drift right into a peaceful sleep? Or do you lay awake trying to sleep, but have trouble for some time?
If you do fall asleep with ease, how’s your quality of sleep? Do you find that you still feel tired in the morning? Are you waking up constantly throughout the night?
If you do anything but fall into a restful slumber for 7-9 hours, then chances are you’re being affected by one of the seven things we’re going to talk about in today’s blog.
It’s estimated that up to 70 million Americans are impacted by problems sleeping. Keep reading to see some of the most common causes and how to help them!
1. Circadian rhythm disorders
It’s not just a coincidence that people typically sleep at night and are awake during the day. It actually has to do with our natural sleep and alertness rhythms, which are driven by an internal “clock” called the circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is controlled by a small part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. It sits just above the nerves leaving the back of your eyes. Both exercise and light can “reset” your internal clock, moving it forward or backward. Circadian rhythm disorders occur when there is any disruption or abnormalities related to your internal clock.
These disruptions include jet lag, adjustments to shift work, delayed sleep phase syndrome (a condition in which you fall asleep and wake up too late), and advanced sleep phase syndrome (the opposite).
The most common treatments are healthy lifestyle changes like avoiding stimulants before bed or ensuring a healthy bedtime routine; bright light therapy, in which a patient is exposed to natural or artificial light to help the brain create the proper hormones at appropriate times; chronotherapy, a behavioral technique in which the bedtime is gradually adjusted to achieve a desired bedtime; and/or a prescribed intake of melatonin before bed.
The noise of snoring is produced when the air you inhale rattles over the relaxed tissues of the throat. This is a problem simply due to the noise it creates. Snoring affects many adults and can cause them – or those trying to sleep around them – to have a disrupted sleep. It can also be a sign of a more serious sleep problem called sleep apnea (which we’ll get into in a moment).
Snoring can also be caused or exacerbated by allergies, asthma, or nasal deformities that make breathing difficult. Mitigating these issues may help control snoring.
Other things that can help include weight loss, sleeping on your side, raising the head of your bed, nasal strips, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, or sleeping more.
If your snoring persists and is disruptive, it’s best to consult an ear, nose, and throat doctor to determine whether or not you are at risk for sleep apnea.
3. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway becomes completely or partially blocked, interrupting regular breathing for short periods of time, waking you up. This can of course cause daytime sleepiness. And if left untreated, sleep apnea can be associated with high blood pressure, along with the risk of stroke or heart attack.
Apnea translates to “no airflow”. The condition can impact people of any demographic. Researchers have noted that most people with sleep apnea have a smaller-than-normal inner throat and other subtle bone and soft-tissue differences.
When the airflow gets blocked from relaxed muscles, the body is awakened in its effort to overcome the obstruction of the airway and begin breathing again.
Alcohol and other sedatives can make sleep apnea worse, as can smoking, being overweight, not exercising, or sleeping on your back.
Though certainly circumstantial, pregnancy can come with the challenge of not being able to get a good night’s rest.
Women often experience sleepless nights and daytime fatigue in the first and third trimesters of their pregnancy. During the first trimester, frequent trips to the bathroom and morning sickness may disrupt sleep. Then, later in pregnancy, vivid dreams and physical discomfort may get in the way of a deep sleep.
And it doesn’t end there. After delivery, caring for the baby or postpartum depression may interrupt sleep.
Unbalanced hormones – specifically progesterone – is thought to be the main cause of fatigue for newly pregnant women.
If you or someone you know is struggling to find sleep while pregnant, they need to make better sleep a priority. Establishing better sleeping habits, a more comfortable environment, an optimal sleeping position, and easing the mind of common pregnancy worries can all help a mother-to-be achieve better sleep.
Though involuntarily falling asleep during the daytime has become the best known feature of narcolepsy, it’s actually fairly uncommon among those with the disorder. Instead, those with narcolepsy tend to experience constant sleepiness throughout the day.
As frustrating as it is after a day of fatigue, those with narcolepsy also have trouble staying asleep at night time, often waking up throughout the night for various reasons.
Narcolepsy is often caused by a lack of the brain chemical hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates wakefulness. The lack of hypocretin is thought to be caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the cells that produce it or the receptors that allow it to work.
Unfortunately, the cause of this is not fully clear. Researchers still aren’t sure if genetic factors play a role, as more studies are needed. There are also some rare nerve disorders that may be linked to the condition.
To help with narcolepsy, sticking to a sleep schedule, napping during the day if needed, exercising, and avoiding alcohol can all help mitigate its effects.
6. Restless legs syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening hours, and are often most severe at night when a person is resting, such as sitting or lying in bed.
There are many possible causes for RLS, such as kidney failure, nerve disorders, vitamin and iron deficiencies, pregnancy, and some medications. Research has found a strong genetic link and scientists have been able to isolate a gene that may be responsible for at least 40% of all cases.
During an episode of restless legs syndrome, it may help to massage your legs, take a hot bath, apply a hot compress to your leg muscles, or engage in activities that distract your mind, such as reading or watching television.
Last but not least, insomnia – one of the most common sleep disorders. Insomnia can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may also still feel tired when you wake up.
Insomnia may be caused by many things, such as stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, circadian rhythm disorders, and certain medications. It can also be a short-term issue caused by jet-lag, coffee, a stressful event, or illness.
To help yourself get to sleep despite insomnia, form a sleep schedule, limit screens before bed, exercise more, don’t nap during the day, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine – especially before bed.
Finding sleep naturally
If you’re looking for a way to have a deep and restful sleep naturally, then SomaLeaf can help. But don’t just take our word for it!
Improved sleep is among the most common feedback we get when it comes to SomaLeaf CBD Turmeric.