During normal sleep, you will cycle through REM (rapid eye movement) and four stages of non-REM sleep several times a night. Stage one of non-REM sleep is the lightest, and stage four is the deepest. When you are regularly interrupted throughout the night and are left unable to cycle through these stages of sleep as normal, it might result in you feeling tired, fatigued, and you may have trouble focusing while you’re away.
So, what are some of the most common sleep issues, and what can you do about them?
People who suffer from insomnia don’t often get enough sleep at night. They might deal with trouble falling asleep at night, they may wake up frequently during the night, or wake up early in the morning and have trouble getting back to sleep. There are many possible causes of insomnia including mental health issues like depression, anxiety and stress, circadian rhythm disorders, poor sleep habits, and certain medications.
If you suffer from insomnia, you might find it helpful to stick to a strict sleep-wake routine in order to ‘reset’ your circadian rhythm and get your body into the habit of falling asleep and waking up at a certain time. Other options include relaxation techniques, like deep breathing exercises, before bed. Exercising earlier on in the day can also help to combat the symptoms of insomnia and help you fall asleep at night. If you find it difficult to sleep due to discomfort, a new mattress can help. EachNight is a good resource as they cover the top-rated choices with plenty of information to help you decide on the right one for you.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Typically, most people sleep during the night – thanks to natural sleep rhythms which are driven by an internal ‘clock’. Known as the circadian rhythm, it is controlled by a small part of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which sits just above the nerves behind our eyes. Exercise and light can affect this ‘clock’ and disrupt it, moving it backward or forwards. Any abnormalities are known as circadian rhythm disorders, which can include adjustments to shift work, jet lag, and sleep phase syndrome, which can be delayed, meaning that you fall asleep and wake up too late, and advanced, which means that you fall asleep and wake up too early.
How you deal with this issue will depend on the cause. Jet lag will usually go away after a few days back in a normal routine, but in other cases, it can help to have a set time to sleep and wake so that your body gets into a routine.
Many adults snore and most of the time, it’s completely harmless – although your spouse might not agree. The noise that you make when you snore is produced by the air rattling over the relaxed tissues of the throat.
If you snore and want to do something about it, there are several options to consider. You can get nasal strips that can be worn at night to keep your mouth closed when you breathe in your sleep and prevent you from snoring. You might also snore if you roll over onto your back during the right, so using pillows to keep you on your side can help.
Snoring can be a symptom of the more serious sleep apnea, which occurs when the upper airway becomes either partially or completely blocked, interrupting regular breathing for short periods of time, which can wake you up and often goes hand-in-hand with insomnia.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, the best action to take is a visit to your doctor. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
If you’re noticing any of these sleep disorder related symptoms, most of the time they can be prevented with different sleep habits and the help of good bedroom furniture.