We all know how important sleep is to daily life. It’s the only time we get to recharge our mental batteries and allow cell regeneration to occur. So what happens if you suffer from sleep problems?
If you have a condition that hinders you from getting quality sleep each night, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems, chief of which is insomnia.
Many of these are caused by a number of reasons. According to SleepFoundation.org, insomnia can be a result of stress, depression, chronic pain, poor quality of life, and even drug and alcohol addiction. Other conditions such as sleep apnea, PTSD, and restless leg syndrome can also interfere with quality sleep.
Whatever causes sleep problems, their impact on daily living is too serious to overlook.
How Sleep Problems Take Their Toll
Different people have different body clocks. If you have been working the night shift for many years, your body could have become used to sleeping during the day. There is nothing wrong with that so long as you get the full eight hours of sleep required by your body.
But what if you can’t get sleep even if you want to?
Insomnia can do more than give you restless leg syndrome. There’s a long list of symptoms, but the most severe are:
* Daytime sleepiness which can lead to injury at home, the workplace, or anywhere else;
* Inability to make decisions and solve problems ;
* Hallucinations or delusions; and
* Snoring and gasping while sleeping.
If you struggle to fall asleep each night, you will need to look for ways to deal with it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to bring yourself back to a healthy sleep rhythm.
1. Try avoiding caffeine or alcohol
If you are an avid coffee drinker, try going a day without a cup of joe if you are having trouble sleeping at night. Likewise, you will also need to avoid drinking alcohol before going to sleep. Sure, a couple of bottles of beer can make you tipsy, but alcohol can cause you to wake up in the middle of deep sleep. These are small sacrifices to make, but they can help you attain quality sleep in the long run.
2. Commit to a sleep schedule
If you notice that you sleep easily during certain hours at night, it would be better to get to bed around these times. With a consistent sleep schedule, you can condition your body for quality sleep over the long term.
3. Learn how to manage stress
Chronic stress can make it difficult for your body to relax and thus make it harder for you to fall asleep. So, after a long day at work, pamper yourself before going to bed. You can take a warm bath, listen to soothing music, and meditate.
4. Limit your screen time while lying down
Browsing your phone or tablet won’t make you fall asleep faster. On the contrary, it will stimulate your brain and keep it from being relaxed. So, before you lie down, put your device away or turn it off if you are not using it as an alarm clock.
Still, sleep problems are symptoms of other serious mental conditions. So, in order to get a good night’s rest, consider talking to a psychiatric professional. At Mid Cities Psychiatry, we can help you get to the bottom of your sleep problems and lead you towards a more fulfilling life.