Poor Sleeping Habits
know how it feels have a rough morning. You wake up from your slumber
and it's so much easier just to turn over and hit the snooze button.
Sometimes it can be a struggle to even open your eyes. Hopefully,
you're one of those people that only feels that way every once in
awhile, but we understand that a lot of people have significant
amounts of trouble getting out of bed on a regular basis.
people think of it as a form of laziness, but there are a lot of
reasons why poor sleeping habits can be chronic and problematic,
without it necessarily being some sort of character flaw, as it is so
How Did You Feel This Morning?
Think about how it felt to wake up
this morning? Was it a struggle to throw off your blankets? What did
you do yesterday? Did you spend the afternoon helping your friend
move into a new apartment Maybe you were so exhausted that you needed
to get a little extra rest to recover. Or maybe the room was
particularly cold, and it felt so wonderful under the blankets that
it took every ounce of your resolve to leave your wonderfully warm
and comfortable bed. Maybe it was something going on in your head?
We've all had those nights we spent
tossing and turning because of anxious thoughts we just couldn't
evacuate from our minds. There are perfectly normal reasons why we
have trouble sleeping sometimes, but there are a lot of reasons why
we sleep poorly that can have a powerful effect upon your overall
health and well-being.
Sleeping difficulties are a major
problem for a lot of men and women across the country. A lot of
people don't really understand why they have trouble sleeping, but
they know that it's having a negative effect upon their life.
Specialists spend their entire careers working with patients in order
to help promote healthier rest patterns. In terms of so many aspects
of our health, healthy sleep is the lynchpin that helps maintain us
in peak condition. The rest of this article will be concerned with
various root causes which have a negative impact on normal sleeping
Common Sleeping Problems
Not Enough Sleep
This should seem pretty obvious, but
if you don't sleep the seven to nine hours that your body naturally
requires, you will start to slip as a result. Your body goes through
a natural cycle of sleep, slipping from REM sleep to multiple stages
of deep sleep.
All of these stages of sleep are
important and restorative, and if you don't sleep long enough, your
body will suffer because you don't spend the necessary amount of time
rejuvenating through each phase of sleep. Just restructuring your
life to be able to sleep for a full night can do wonders for your
Abnormal Sleeping Patterns
There are a ton of careers out there
that don't permit you to establish a normal and healthy pattern of
sleep. Doctors and nurses work long hours and often are required to
flip their entire schedules on a day's notice. Firefighters and EMTs
have to remain on call for long hours, finding short respites of
sleep interrupted by high adrenaline periods of activity. In order
for sleep to be most restorative, your body must adhere to a healthy
Hormone levels rise and fall
throughout the day, controlling hunger, fatigue, and energy levels,
and if your schedule is too all over the place, you may find yourself
with energy rushing through your veins just when you lay your head
down to rest. Although there is only so much you can do in regard to
regularize your sleeping patterns in many cases, make every effort to
establish sleeping habits as close to normal as possible.
Atypical Circadian Rhythm
If you have allowed your sleeping
habits to get off track, you may have actually hijacked your own
Circadian Rhythm. The Circadian Rhythm is naturally optimized for
nighttime rest, but if you work second or third shift, stay out too
late with friends, or do anything that causes you to regularly fall
asleep at a strange time, your body will actually re-adapt to your
This means that if you get a new 9-5
job or if you otherwise have to wake up at a normal and decent hour,
your body will grind its gears, slow to recalibrate to sudden
alterations in your sleep schedule.
Bad Sleep Hygiene
There are a lot of things that you do
throughout the day that wreck your normal sleeping habits without you
even realizing it. Do you watch Television in the bedroom? Do you
drink caffeine within three hours of bedtime? Do you give in and take
a nap in the afternoon? All of these seemingly innocuous decisions
can prevent you from getting the most out of your night's rest.
Even having a large dinner, or
exercising just before bed can have a severely negative impact upon
your resting patterns. As you fall asleep, your muscles relax and
your digestive system slows to a crawl. Falling asleep with a lot in
your stomach or right after a long and hard workout can lead to a
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is a severe medical
condition that affects many men and women across the United States.
Sleep Apnea primarily effects obese individuals, but can actually be
a problem for anyone. Sleep Apnea is a condition caused by anything
that obstructs your airways as you try to sleep. Minor Sleep Apnea
can be as simple as a chronic snore, but for some people, it actually
causes them to suffocate for brief periods throughout the night,
before gasping for fresh air.
Sleep Apnea wreaks havoc upon the
body, and is one of the leading causes of Testosterone Deficiency in
males. It also disrupts Human Growth Hormone production, which can
have a negative impact on energy levels of both sexes. Even though
Sleep Apnea is a serious and potentially chronic condition, there are
multiple effective ways to treat and alleviate the disorder.
For obese patients the best way to
resolve Sleep Apnea is to lose weight. There are also masks which
actively circulate fresh air into the nostrils and mouth, allowing
you get all of the oxygen that you need to sleep soundly. For
patients with severe sleep apnea not directly caused by obesity,
surgery is also an available option.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a
little-understood medical condition that can have a negative effect
on healthy sleep. The primary symptom of RLS is exactly what it
sounds like: during sleep, a patient feels sensations which cause
them to compulsively want to move their legs or arms during sleep.
The condition is obviously neurological in nature, but researchers
have yet to discover a clear cause.
Around one in ten people in the
United States suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome. Although doctors
don't have a firm idea of why RLS happens, there are ways to ease the
symptoms of the condition, such as exercising more often, sleeping
more regularly, decreasing caffeine use, or massaging the legs before
There are many medications that can
lead directly to disrupted sleeping habits. A few types of drugs that
can disrupt healthy sleep are allergy medications, blood pressure
medications, and anti-depressants.
If you are having trouble sleeping,
consider what drugs you are currently on, and talk to your doctor
about choosing another treatment option or changing the means that
you take a medication. Some medicines, for example, can disrupt sleep
when taken orally, but when delivered directly to the lungs has no
Untreated Psychiatric Issues
Men and women with elevated levels of
anxiety or depression are at higher risk of sleeping poorly, which
can even exacerbate the primary condition. Psychological conditions
have a nasty tendency of making the brain go into overdrive at the
worst times, especially when you are alone with yourself.
If you are chronically depressed or
sad, getting treatment can help you sleep better, and the combination
of therapeutic treatment and improved sleeping habits can improve
both your health and your outlook on life significantly.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and
Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder
As researchers learn more about
conditions related to Circadian Rhythm Disruption, they find that
there are underlying biological reasons why their sleeping patterns
are different than the norm. A few examples of conditions caused by a
disruption of the Circadian Rhythm are Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder
and Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.
ASDP is a condition in which
individuals start to get sleepy very early and have a tendency to
wake up early than normal. DSPD is caused when individuals have
trouble falling asleep until later than normal, and wake up later as
These conditions are believed to be
the result of a biological clock that is simply out of time with the
majority of human beings. Although these disorders are often chalked
up to poor habits, they can actually be biologically-induced
These conditions are also correlated
with an increased risk of serious medical disorders such as diabetes
and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes has also been strongly
correlated with an increased risk of sleep apnea.
Sleep Often Troubled by Multiple
Although all of these issues can have
a negative effect upon sleep, the problem is that most people that
sleep poorly have trouble for multiple reasons. The more
sophisticated that views on poor sleep become in the medical
community, the more it becomes clear that many issues which have a
disruptive effect on sleep are interconnected and finding the root
cause or causes of poor sleep are the most effective ways of
contributing to a normal night's sleep.
What Can I Do to
Sleeping well is undeniably important
to living a healthy life. If you are having trouble sleeping well,
read through this list of common causes and see which issues apply to
you. If your sleeping problems are clearly the result of an
underlying medical condition such as sleep apnea or medications you
are taking, don't be afraid to talk to a doctor.
If you feel that your sleeping
problems are the result of your own taking healthy sleep for granted,
the following are some healthy steps to get your sleep patterns back
Make a concerted effort to sleep
better- One of the most important things that you can do is
simply prioritize sleep more highly, making the conscientious choice
to sleep better.
Lights Out The healthiest
sleep occurs in the darkest of night. Eliminate all sources of light
from your sleeping area. Even cover up your alarm clock.
No Caffeine after 4pm
Caffeine stays in your system for a notoriously long time. By
avoiding caffeine in the early and late evening, you can detox and
make it easier to sleep.
Have a Light Dinner A
heavy stomach can make sleep very restless. The digestive system
works slowly at night, and falling asleep with a full stomach is far
No Work or Play in the Bedroom
The brain is a complex thing. If you like to watch television, work
on your homework, or play on your phone in bed, this can prevent your
brain from properly associated the bedroom with sleep.
Consider Melatonin- If you
are in the process of correcting poor sleeping habits, Melatonin can
be a useful tool to recalibrate your system. Only use recommended
doses however, because taking too much can have a negative effect on
For most people, a combination of
these steps will be quite successful in improving your sleeping
habits and your ability to wake up ready for anything. If you
still have trouble sleeping even after taking these proactive
measures, your doctor can work with you to uncover any underlying
conditions which may be impacting your sleep.
If All Else Fails, Talk to Your
Remember: There is no reason to
resign yourself to a lifetime of poor sleep. You will age faster, be
less productive, and ultimately less happy. Take the necessary steps
to optimize your sleep to necessities of your life, and your body and
mind will thank you for it in the long run.