How to Sleep Easy?

Perhaps the easiest way to find make sleep easy is to first find out what are the factors that are not letting you get the sleep you need every night. As important as food and shelter, sleep is essential for the upkeep of health and well being.

Sleep is an aspect of life that many lucky people take for granted. Yet there are millions who are forever counting sheep in bed, as they find it nearly impossible to sleep easy. According to research data from National Sleep Foundation (1999-2004), at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60% report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more.

Why do so many people find it difficult to sleep easy? 

There are plenty or reasons for troubled sleep. While temporary sleep problems are common, when the problem persists for more than 3 nights a week for a prolonged period of time, it is necessary to probe deeper for getting the condition treated.  Check whether the reasons for not sleeping well match with the following common causes of sleeplessness.

–          Stress, depression, anxiety

–          Medications including antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medicines, anti-allergy medicines, stimulants, corticosteroids, etc. Many OTC products including weight-loss formulations can also cause sleep problems.

–          Excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine

–          Chronic medical conditions like pain, breathing problems, need for frequent urination, arthritis, cancer, heart failure, gastroesophageal problems, lung disease etc.

–          Change in sleeping environment or work schedule. Extensive travel across time zones (jet lag).

–          Worrying excessively about not being able to sleep easy can also keep you awake.

–          Over eating, lack of physical exercise

–          Advancing age

The reason for not being able to have a good nights’ sleep could be more but these are the most common issues affecting sleep.

Are there are easy tips to follow to sleep easy? 

As is evident not all factors that rob sleep are within one’s control; but that should not discourage sufferers from using these simple tips and adopt habits that promise better sleep.

–          Maintain a strict time schedule for going to bed and waking up. This includes weekends, holidays and days one does not have to go to work. Maintaining regularity reinforces the body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm.

–          Take care of your eating and drinking habits. Eating too much or going hungry can disturb sleep. Stimulant drinks like alcohol and coffee before bed damages the quality of sleep. Though alcohol has a sedative effect, it actually disrupts sleep, causing frequent waking.

–          Doing similar activities before bedtime send signal to the body that it is time to relax and go to sleep. These include taking a warm shower, listening to soothing music, reading an easy book, etc.

–          Creating the bedroom conducive to sleep helps. It makes sense to remove all pictures, objects, files and furniture that make you worry, or make you think of anxious moments.

–          Give the mattress and sleeping pillows a second look. Are they comfortable enough?

–          Try and finish the last meal at least 2 to 3 hours before sleep.

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