The modern and hectic life has considerably and steadily spoilt the quality of the sleep. Apart from kids, it is hard to find anybody who can say with surety that he has no sleep related problems and every day, when he gets up in the morning, he feels refreshed. There will be some, but they would be few. It is a brutal truth that immense stress, the number of gadgets present in the bedroom, irregular eating habits and other factors have affected the general quality of sleep.
These problems can be easily solved to get a good sleep. For example, you can keep your gadgets off your bed, do some meditation to relieve stress and cultivate better habits to ensure you doze off quickly. However, there are some sleep problems that you can’t resolve. Not because there isn’t any solution available, but because nobody talks about them. So, let’s find out what might be troubling your sleep and what should be done to remedy it.
Snore like a saw
Almost everybody is guilty of snoring once in a while. However, if snoring is a regular phenomenon, then it can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep and also of your family members. Snoring can lead to poor sleep, fatigue, tiredness and other health problems. And, if you are in a habit of snoring like a saw, then you might have a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. The snuffle snores means that your slack tongue and throat muscles are narrowing your airway, which could be due to the soft palate or extra weight you are carrying.
Although you will wake up, if you get short of breath, but the chances are that you won’t remember it. Some people wake up more than dozens of times in their sleep without actually being aware of it. This problem increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. The short term effects of the disorder include daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents.
Solution – If this is a recurring problem for you and you more than often feel tired after waking up in the morning, then see a specialist to get checked for sleep apnea. In case, you have the sleep apnea disorder, the doctor might advise use of CPAP machine and mask that can help by keeping your pharynx open with a steady stream of air.
To avoid the general snoring, avoid rolling onto your back. In this sleeping position, your airway is more likely to collapse.
Grinding teeth in sleep
Do you often wake up with a sore jaw and severe headaches? The chances are that you might be gnashing your pearly whites in the sleep, which could be due to anxiety, an abnormal bite, missing or crooked teeth and the experts believe that the antidepressants may also be a cause. The teeth grinding can severely affect your sleep and can wear down your enamel. In some chronic cases, the grinding of teeth in the sleep can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. And, in such cases, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed. The tooth loss or damage isn’t the only concern. It can affect your jaw, change your facial appearance and might even cause or worsen Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, which affects the hinge that connects your jaw.
Solution – The dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that will protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If stress is the cause of grinding, then you need to explore options to reduce stress. Start an exercise program or consider doing yoga to relieve the stress. Starting a stress counseling therapy can also be helpful.
Also, you should cut back on foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Staying off alcohol is helpful as well, the grinding often increases after the alcohol consumption. And, avoid chewing gum at all costs because it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching, which makes the grinding more likely.
Body clock messes up
Not even a wee bit drowsy even around midnight? The problem is your body clock. And, the technical term for this problem is called delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS), which affects about 10 percent of people who seek help for insomnia. It is a biological anomaly in your body that hampers the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) until 12 a.m. or later. This problem is pretty prevalent in teenagers, and few of them often tend to carry it into their adulthood. The sleep is dictated by the internal clock that controls the daily ups and downs of biological patterns, including body temperature, blood pressure, and the release of hormones. And, it is due to this internal clock that people’s desire for sleep is strongest between midnight and dawn, and to a lesser extent in midafternoon.
Remember, you need to squeeze at least seven hours sleep in the night to ensure that your body gets necessary rest. Lack of it could put you on a greater risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. A recent study published in Cognitive Therapy and Research has revealed that those who get less sleep tend to experience more negative thoughts.
Solution – Improve your sleep habits and hygiene. Ensure that all your habits and evening activities are conducive of a good sleep. Avoid consuming caffeine in the evening. Avoid gadgets, laptop and television at least 90 minutes before bedtime. And, it would be great if you can set a winding down routine that would help you relax and alleviate anxiety and stress. Getting a good workout session in the day could also be helpful.
Jittery or restless legs
The creepy and crawly feeling is scientifically called Restless Legs Syndrome. This condition is usually characterized by irresistible urge to move their legs due to an uncomfortable, “itchy,” “pins and needles,” or “creepy crawly” feeling in the legs. Apparently, this restless leg syndrome affects up to 10 percent population and is more common in women. This condition could be triggered by chronic diseases and conditions such as iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy. It can also be caused by some types of medications including anti-nausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs and some antidepressants. The cold and allergy medication containing sedating antihistamines, may worsen symptoms as well.
Solution – The mild to moderate restless legs syndrome can be alleviated by some lifestyle changes such as establishing a regular sleep pattern, getting an exercise daily and cutting back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
Leg massages, hot baths or heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs, a vibrating pad called Relaxis can also help treat RLS. If you are experiencing acute symptoms, then it is time to consult a specialist.
Around 4 percent of the population are liable to start house wandering expeditions in the middle of sleep. This condition usually runs in the family and those who suffer from it usually are aroused from sleep when they have entered deep sleep cycle. And, by the way, the technical term for the condition is somnambulism and is more likely to occur if a person is sleep deprived. It can also be triggered by taking zolpidem (one of the most popular sedatives). The normal things that could occur during sleepwalking is wandering around, and the extreme incidents include urinating in the closet and screaming.
Also, there are 1 to 3 percent of people who in their sleepwalking condition like to raid the kitchen. This sleep related eating disorder often strikes women on diet and you guessed it right, it is triggered by hunger pangs.
Solution – Taking tranquilizers can be helpful. However, getting adequate and necessary sleep could be a better solution. As long as you aren’t doing anything risky or daring such as stepping out for nightly excursions like Batman, you don’t need to take any medications. And, for the sleep eating thing, please ladies, do take care of your diet. Looking slim and sexy is good, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health.