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Even trained medical professionals can miss the mark in prescribing medications for insomnia. Medication can help, but studies show that prescription drugs are less effective over time. In short, the pharmaceutical route becomes less effective as we develop a tolerance.
There is also a high possibility that the patient will become drug dependent. Often believing that without it, a good night’s sleep is not possible.
In the following article, we take a look at some common mistakes that affect our quality of sleep.
As humans, we tend to favor aesthetics over comfort and function. As evidence of this, shoes going as high as 5” are becoming common even if wearing them is quite painful for the feet. Likewise, we often buy beds, mattresses, and furniture that please only the eye.
Your comfort level is as important and can be responsible for a sleeping disorder. Sleep disorders such as Insomnia are often triggered by changes in our comfort level. Even a small change in temperature, body positioning, noise or light can be to blame.
Think about your bedroom and look for any obvious reasons you may not be getting quality sleep. Things to consider include:
- The amount of light that enters your room
- The potential for noise to disrupt your sleep
- Your general level of comfort
If lighting is a problem place blinds and curtains in the room. If the light is still penetrating, you can use a sleeping mask. You can manage noise by using ear plugs. Sometimes even replacing your pillow can see a significant improvement in your sleep habits.
The Truth about Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the best-known stimulants and gets a pretty bad wrap when it comes to sleep. There is some truth to this although the impact it can have can vary from person to person. You may have friends who drink coffee in large quantities without any issues getting to sleep. But others may feel the effects of Caffeine many hours before attempting sleep.
The truth is caffeine absorption is a quick process. So drinking coffee before midday will have little effect on a person’s ability to sleep. The liver will generally absorb caffeine in approx. 6 hours. Absorption can vary depending on a person’s metabolism and the actual amount consumed.
Drinking coffee after midday can cause problems for those who have difficulty achieving sleep. A coffee mid-afternoon is a great pick me up and is routine for many of us. Yet few people are aware of the impact this can have when attempting sleep later that evening.
Researchers suggest that drinking coffee any time after midday can affect your sleep. If you’re getting sleepy mid-afternoon, stretch the legs and do something to stimulate yourself.
If you crave a hot drink at night you could also try a known relaxant like chamomile tea. Most teas actually contain caffeine but Chamomile is available caffeine free.
Food and Fluid Intake
You should consider what you eat and drink before sleeping. Most of us are aware that drinking coffee is less than ideal before bed. It is also a fact that other drinks like teas, sports, and energy drinks can also keep you awake.
Increase Water Intake
Increased fluid circulation can help you fall asleep faster and for longer. An increase in water intake at least 4 hours before bedtime can regulate body systems. The increased fluid circulation can help you fall asleep faster and for longer.
Healthy people tend to sleep better
Eating healthier and exercising will help you to feel more relaxed and less stressed. Stress is the number one contributing factor when it comes to sleeping disorders. It’s a simple concept yet many of us fail to realize the importance of it.
Regular exercise is also wise if performed at the correct times. If we exercise we generally need to recover. Recovery is a sense a forced period of relaxation that can force us into a healthier routine. Exercise not only keeps us fit, it also eases muscle tension
Another trap many of us fall into is consuming alcohol before bed. Alcohol may assist with you getting to sleep, but it is short lived and may cause you to sleep for shorter periods.
Think about the last time you went to bed after consuming alcohol, did you sleep through the night? most of us won’t.
The fact is alcohol causes dehydration which will often cause you to wake in need of water. Water consumption, in turn, will keep you up as you may need to go to the bathroom. Alcohol also produces adrenaline and combined with dehydration is a cause of disrupted sleep.
Research indicates that smokers may be four times less likely to achieve a good night’s sleep. The most common theory is that smokers do not reach a deep sleep state . When sleeping for longer periods, the body can experience a low nicotine withdrawal period. Nicotine addiction is powerful and can stop the body achieving a deep sleep state. Lack of sleep is just one more reason smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health.
Aromatherapy can be useful for assisting with sleep. Essential oils such as Lavender can soothe pain from muscular aches and cramping. Cramps and aches can be responsible for a lack of sleep.
The compound nature of a sleep disorder over time can drive many of us to try prescription drugs. As noted, they can be effective, but they shouldn’t be your first port of call. Remember there are almost always complications associated with prescription sleep medications. Experimenting with your current routine should be your first port of call.