Having Trouble Sleeping?

funny cat sleepDo you have trouble sleeping? You just can’t seem to get the rest that you need? Think about the origin of your problem, it might be your lifestyle or a medical condition. Maybe even such a condition which evolved from bad habits.

Sleep deprivation is normally self-inflicted (otherwise seek help!). It’s that thing you do when you don’t sleep enough and you know it. You always stay up late and get up early but out of your own choosing, like going out in the club and to work the next morning and instead of going home to get the rest you need you go out and watch the game in a bar and the next morning again to work. This is very stressful on your body and possible long-term effects include amnesia and dementia. And don’t say it only happens to old people. They get like that because of what they did prior in their life, so watch out :P. I’m not saying not to have fun and always go to bed at 7, just be careful with your health, sleep quantity and quality are good indicators of how well you are.

Aside from what we put ourselves through, there is also the possibility of suffering from a sleeping disorder. If you have at least one of the following symptoms you might have trouble sleeping due to a medical condition:

  • slow reactions
  • irritable and sleepy during the day
  • feeling the need to nap every day
  • difficulty in staying awake when sitting still, in front of the TV or while reading
  • concentration difficulties
  • people often say that you look tired
  • needing caffeine drinks to keep you going

The most common sleeping disorder is insomnia. Not sleeping at all being its maximum form of manifestation, the normal signs include waking up frequently during the night, difficulty falling asleep initially or after having woken up. The source is inevitably yourself, being stressed, depressed or just preoccupied with something will always affect your sleep. A change for the better in your life will also make you sleep better. Think what aspects you should improve 🙂

A more dangerous disorder is sleep apnea. The upper airways are temporarily blocked thus stopping your breathing during sleep. You may even wake up a couple of times each hour. Not necessarily remembering about these pauses doesn’t mean it’s OK, because usually you feel tired the next day (everyday if you have this) thanks to the heavily interrupted sleep. Chocking, gasping, snorting, snoring during sleep are the tells for this sleeping disorder. Tips and tricks can be sleeping on your side or elevating the head of the bed (where possible) and the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a device which is worn like a mask and which provides a stream of air while you sleep.

Narcolepsy is another sleeping disorder, which involves uncontrollable sleepiness. You often see it depicted in comedies but it’s no laughing matter. The cause is a dysfunction of the part of the brain which controls sleeping and waking. With this condition it is possible to go right to sleep while in the middle of working, talking or even eating (very dangerous if person is alone).

There are a couple more things that can give you trouble sleeping. These are temporary disorders, if you will, and happen because humans are creatures of habit and when taken out of a normal sleeping cycle we need some time to adapt to a new one.

Jet lag sleeping problems are met when traveling and changing time zones. Your body will still function on the old schedule, being awake when it should be sleeping according to the new setting. If your trip stretches out for a longer period of time, your biological rhythm will eventually adjust itself.

Working in shifts also gives problems when it comes to sleeping. Sleep quality for a shift worker is inferior to that of a daytime laborer. Avoid as much as you can working like this. It takes its’ toll to work when your body tells you to sleep and vice-verse. It depends on the job but normally when your body is struggling with such a dilemma the risk of injury is increased so in case you’re working on shifts, do be careful. Thank you 🙂

From my experience, if you’re feeling you’re falling asleep (and you can sleep, you’re not in some meeting or god-forbid driving etc) just go for it, don’t force yourself to staying awake. Sleeping when your body tells you to is the most efficient way to sleep. Nature knows better 😉

PS: if everything else fails, take up magic and turn yourself into a cat, they seem to know how this sleep thing works 😀