- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Sleeping Disorders - How Can I Sleep Through The Night?
It has been around a week and a half since I have had a good night’s sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I am sleeping; just not all the way through the night. As I write this piece I can feel my eyelids drooping and my concentration breaking every few minutes. Writing an article that would normally take me an hour now takes double that time, if not triple. I am experiencing some kind of sleeping disorder and it is affecting my whole being. I just want to sleep. How can I sleep through the night?
Some people find it difficult to sleep through the night without at least one bout of restlessness or an unexpected disruption. There can be many reasons why I am not sleeping well. Many of them are outlined in the list below. I have my ideas as to what I think it could be but that doesn’t explain why I seem to awaken at almost the same time every night; or morning, I should say.
I usually go to bed at around 11.30pm . I would like to make it earlier but I never feel tired enough. Once in bed I can pretty much fall asleep within five minutes. This is all good until around 2am when I suddenly awake and then cannot get back to sleep. Sometimes I try to fight myself back to sleep but this tends to make things worse. Most of the time I force myself out of bed and then go off to watch a little TV.
It seems like I am starting to build myself a little bad habit. Ok, I admit, I have some stresses in my life that may be bugging me but then so do most of us! You don’t see everyone getting up in the middle of the night though!
The frustrating thing now is that even on nights that I feel totally trashed and ready for a comfortable night’s sleep I still wake up at 2am!! I feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day!
Sometimes I wake up feeling hungry even though I had had a pretty decent meal a few hours before. Again, at 2am. What is that all about; greed? I am not overweight and don’t have any eating issues.
One of the strangest things about my sleep disturbances is the fact that even though I am up watching TV, reading or just wondering around at that early hour I still find myself to be very tired. So how come I cannot just get back to sleep??
It sounds to me like this is not physical but mental.
Amazing isn’t it, how the brain works. It controls everything. Even though your legs feel like jelly, your eyelids droop with tiredness and your head feels like a lead weight you still won’t be able to sleep if your mind just doesn’t want to.
Are you having similar sleep disturbances?
Factors That Cause Sleep Problems
Sleep problems can be caused by various factors. Although causes may differ, the end result of all sleep disorders is that the body's natural cycle of slumber and daytime wakefulness is disrupted or exaggerated.
- Psychiatric: Depression and anxiety disorders, life stresses, such as job loss, death of a loved one, moving or an illness.
- Physical: Things like ulcers, an old injury, other pains or discomfort.
- Medical: Someone who suffers from asthma or arthritis. Many medication drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants, blood pressure medication, and over-the-counter cold medicine.
- Environmental: Such as too much alcohol, caffeine, smoking or other stimulants. Too much light, noise, or extreme temperatures.
- Night shift work: People who work at night often experience sleep disorders. The body’s biological clock is not accustomed to daylight sleep and night time awake
- Genetics: There has been much research into the connection of genetics and narcolepsy.
- Aging: If you are above the age of 65 you may have some sort of sleep disorder. This could be a normal part of aging or a result of medications that older people commonly use.
There are many health benefits to a good night’s sleep and stress reduction has to be top of that list.
Below is a list of ideas you could try out to help improve your sleep.
Ideas To Help You Get A Better Nights Sleep
1. Keep away from any stimulants just before bed or even an hour or so before. Things like chocolate, coffee, cigarettes and alcohol can all contribute to bad sleeping patterns.
2. Do not eat too late in the evening or just before you go to bed. I personally do not eat after 7:00pm. If you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, you may want to set an earlier time to cut off drinking liquids.
3. Eliminate all distractions. Turn off the TV and radio. Shut out any noises from the outside etc.
4. Get your bed and room comfortable. Make sure your bed is very comfortable with soft sheets and a blanket that is appropriate for the weather. Make sure you are warm through the night.
5. Relax yourself. Get comfortable somewhere and relax with a good book. Use some self hypnosis, visualization or relaxation techniques to prepare yourself for sleep. Play some very low relaxing sleep music to put you in a calm state.
I am going to have a go at these tonight and work through them until I finally get some sleep!