Getting a quality night’s sleep is an essential part of maintaining overall health and wellness. If you are one of those who experienced sleep issues or find it hard to fall asleep, this might be a sign of insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that has several symptoms like making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night.
Scientists say that healthy adults usually need about seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. However, this number isn’t for everyone since every person requires a specific sleeping schedule to feel great. Sleep quality is more important than how many hours you sleep, as sleep issues may ruin the entire sleeping schedule and change over your lifetime as you age.
Insomnia and other sleep issues can make people feel tired and unfocused throughout the day, affecting both physical and mental wellness and health. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, we can experience various health issues, like lack of energy, concentration, fatigue, and increased stress levels which may even lead to health diseases. Chronic sleep issues may also increase the risk of conditions like depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
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Most Common Causes of Insomnia
Stress & Mental Health Conditions
Stress is considered the biggest cause of insomnia and sleep issues. That is because it provokes a profound reaction in the body that puts the body under pressure and makes it hard to fall asleep. While we all experience some amount of stress, insomnia can be caused by having chronic stress or extra high levels on a daily basis.
Mental health diseases like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder can also cause insomnia and disturbed sleep. In addition, people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) usually experience sleep problems.
Irregular Sleep Schedules
Our bodies have internal clocks, known as circadian rhythm. These inner clocks are responsible for how we sleep and how we feel when we wake up. Ideally, this rhythm helps us easily fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed, but many people have sleep schedules that ruin their circadian rhythm. There are many causes of ruined circadian rhythm like late working hours, jet lags, drinking caffeine or alcohol before going to sleep, stress and many more.
Even though unhealthy habits won’t cause health diseases, they still can affect your sleep quality. In addition, several unhealthy habits, food and drink preferences can increase a person’s risk of insomnia.
Below you will see several lifestyle choices that can cause sleeping problems:
- Working late in the evening since it stimulates the brain and makes it hard to fall asleep. Using electronic devices in the late evening also stimulates the brain;
- Napping for many hours late in the afternoon can ruin inner clocks;
- Using the bed for activities like working in it, watching movies or eating in it might develop mental associations between your bed and wakefulness.
6 Tips to Sleep Better
It is vital to note that insomnia is a sleep disorder, so it can be treated only with the help of healthcare specialists. Depending on the cause, you may also need to consult a psychologist. However, you can still improve your sleep quality and make it easier for you to fall asleep by following some simple tips:
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Going to bed hungry or filled with food isn’t a good idea. To be more specific, you should avoid heavy and large meals within 2-4 hours before sleep. Feeling hungry can also cause discomfort. Consuming nicotine, caffeine and alcohol before sleep will make you alert and stressed, making it hard to fall asleep.
Include Physical Activity in Your Daily Routine
Even small yet regular physical activity can help you maintain inner wellness and promote better night rest. But it is vital to avoid any physical activity before going to bed since it will only worsen the situation. You can choose your favourite activities, like a quick walk outside or swimming in the morning.
Use Sleep Applications
Since sleep issues are common in the 21st century, software developers and healthcare companies build specialised applications. A sleep app is designed with the help of specialists in sleep disorders, allowing people struggling with falling asleep to get a quality night’s rest. These mobile apps are a convenient way to create beautiful dreamscapes that may help patients fall asleep fast and stay asleep, leaving them refreshed in the morning.
Create a Restful Environment
Experts believe that the environment plays a crucial role in how you fall asleep. It is best to check how you react to various factors since some people like silence while others prefer little noise. Keep your sleeping room dark and cool. Exposure to light in the late evenings can make it harder for you to fall asleep. We also recommend you use room-darkening shades, earplugs, a humidifier and other devices that work for your sleep best.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Try to identify how many hours of sleep you need to feel great in the morning and stick to the amount. It is best to have 7-9 hours of sleep. Make sure that you follow your sleep schedule even during weekends, as sleeping too much on the weekends can ruin your inner clocks. Being consistent allows you to achieve a stable sleep-wake cycle.
Limit Daytime Naps
Even though daytime naps feel great, they can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you know you have issues with night rest and may experience problems with falling asleep, it is best to limit your daytime naps and make them less than one hour.