(HealthyResearch.com) – Whether it’s tossing and turning all night or waking up feeling exhausted after a full night’s sleep, most sleep issues can be controlled through lifestyle and behavioral modifications. Here are five of the most common sleep problems and ways to overcome them.
Sleep Problem #1: Snoring
Sleeping with someone who snores might keep you awake more than your own snoring does. And even though you might not be aware of your own snoring, it may keep you awake or in a more shallow state of sleep than without the snoring. If your partner snores, you may want to ask them to try these tricks to reduce snoring.
- Prop up pillows or mattress toppers to incline the head of the bed to help reduce snoring. Raising the head by 4 inches might make a significant difference.
- Use nasal strips on the bridge of your nose and clean out nasal passages before bedtime with a neti pot or similar nasal cleansing device.
- Use bite plate snore guards, a dental appliance to help minimize snoring.
Sleep Problem #2: Trouble Falling Asleep
Most of us don’t fall asleep the second our heads hit the pillow. It can take a while to go from full throttle to a dead stop. The best way to fall asleep more quickly is to start a bedtime routine long before entering the bedroom. Try to:
- Avoid caffeine. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. It might affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Relax and prepare for bed. Start unwinding, both mentally and physically. Stop focusing on work issues or home projects. Consider listening to calming music or meditating.
- Dim the lights in the house. Our bodies still respond to circadian signals, so dimming the lights may help our bodies prepare for sleep.
- Avoid electronics. Immediately prior to bedtime, avoid computer and cellphone screens. The High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light that these devices emit has been shown in studies to disrupt circadian rhythms and sleep cycles.
Make your bed and bedroom a place for sleep and create an environment and expectation for relaxation, rest and sleep. Reading or using electronics in bed may disrupt your schedule, cause you to remain alert and potentially make the onset of sleep more difficult.
Sleep Problem #3: Can’t Fall Back to Sleep After Waking
Waking during sleep is not unusual. It is important to keep lights dimmed or off and try to minimize stimulation so that your mind and body remain primed for sleep. If you are restless, allow yourself to get up and sit comfortably in a dimly lit room, and avoid electronics or bright lights. Avoid activities that might stimulate your mind. Try soothing music, meditation or relaxation techniques. The next step is to go back to bed. Concentrate on breathing and relaxation.
Sleep Problem #4: Too Hot or Too Cold
A room temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is what experts recommend to provide the best sleep environment. Body temperatures drop during sleep, and maintaining a slightly lower body temperature may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Sleeping with someone else can also pose temperature issues, especially if you share a blanket or comforter. In that case, another way to control temperature is to sleep with your own blanket. If each person has their own blanket, they may choose to be as warm or cool as they wish.
Sleep Problem #5: Tossing and Turning
If tossing and turning is keeping you awake at night, a new mattress might be on the shortlist of purchases to consider. A foam mattress or topper with enough firmness to keep from transferring movement when you or your partner move might be your best bet. Stay away from coil spring mattresses if movement is something that keeps you awake.
As mentioned above, using individual blankets might solve some issues with temperature, tossing and turning, and the ever-popular blanket stealing. Consider finding the perfect weighted blanket for your best sleep, and allow your sleep partner to find theirs. You’ll both sleep better. Studies have shown that weighted blankets may help those with insomnia and anxiety sleep more soundly.
Certain sleep problems might not be so easy to resolve. Being obese, having trouble breathing when lying flat or waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air are all strong indicators that someone might need to consult their physician to see if a sleep disorder like sleep apnea might be to blame.
Taking these steps may help alleviate your sleep problems. Remember, sleep quality is as important as quantity. The more rested you are at night, the more you may be able to accomplish each day. If you have adequate sleep quality, you may find you need less quantity than you currently require. We wish you sweet sleep and good health!
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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