Sleep plays a vital role in your overall health. Getting enough amount of sleep can help maintain your mental, physical, and emotional health in their best state. On the contrary, lack of sleep can cause your body to deteriorate and increase your risk of different health issues.
If you often experience trouble sleeping, chances are there’s an underlying physical problem that is to blame. To help you determine the root of your sleeping troubles, here are the five most common sleep problems and tips on how to fix them:
Snoring doesn’t only impact the person that snores, it can also impact and annoy the person sleeping beside the snorer. According to WebMD, a snore is the noise produced when the inhaled air rattles over the relaxed tissues of the throat. Aside from the noise it produces, snoring can lead to a more serious sleep problem called sleep apnea.
There are medical procedures to treat snoring. However, there are also lifestyle changes you can make to prevent it:
- Live a healthier and more active lifestyle to shed off a few pounds.
- Try sleeping on your side. Prop your head up a few inches as well.
- Refrain from drinking booze hours before your bedtime.
- If not needed, stray away from sedatives or sleeping pills. They relax throat muscles and interfere with proper breathing.
- Clear out your sinuses with a saline solution before bed.
Sleep apnea happens when the breathing temporarily stops while asleep – which then wakes you up. So, if your snoring erupts in snorts or sounds like you’re catching your breath or having gaps in breathing, it may have progressed to sleep apnea. If that happens, here’s what you should do:
- Have yourself evaluated by an otolaryngologist, an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physician.
- If you’re a smoker, quit. Smoking contributes to sleep apnea because it inflames and retains fluid in the throat and upper airway.
- Maintain a steady sleep schedule. Plenty of sleep can decrease sleep apnea episodes.
- Refrain from having heavy meals within one to two hours before bedtime.
- Practice the same tips that help prevent snoring.
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or sleep continuously at night. Symptoms of insomnia include waking up frequently at night, trouble getting back to sleep, unrefreshing sleep, and daytime drowsiness. Insomnia can also be a symptom of another problem like stress, depression, anxiety, or something as simple as having too much caffeine. To improve your quality of sleep, you can:
- Make your bedroom conducive for sleep – quiet, cool, and dark.
- Avoid big heavy evening meals, alcohol, caffeine, and naps.
- Find and do something that relaxes you so you can sleep more easily.
- Refrain from doing over-stimulating activities before bedtime.
- If your insomnia is because of more serious health conditions like depression and anxiety, get professional help.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common problem among the middle-aged and the elderly and pregnant women. It is a neurological disorder that causes sensations and discomfort in the legs and feet that can interfere with falling asleep or resting. RLS can be described as a “creepy-crawly”, prickling, tugging, aching, and tingling feeling.
To prevent or provide relief to RLS, here are some tips:
- Manage stress with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
- Don’t overdo your workouts and exercises.
- Put a stop to your smoking habit. Stop the use of vaporizers and e-cigarettes as well.
- Do some stretching. Do calf, front thigh, and hip stretches.
- Seek a medical expert to determine whether your RLS is caused by other health conditions.
Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are the most common causes of having trouble sleeping or sleeplessness. When the stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus and eats the esophageal lining away, heartburn is experienced. If the acid reflux reaches the back of the throat or larynx, coughing and choking can happen.
If you suffer from GERD and want to sleep better, you must:
- Avoid sleeping on your back or right side. Sleep on your left side instead. This position is the best choice to reduce acid reflux.
- Avoid eating large meals. Large meals seem to make acid reflux worse.
- Limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol can increase the severity of heartburn and acid reflux.
- Limit your intake of citrus juices as well. Too much intake of citrus juices can irritate the lining of the esophagus and make acid reflux symptoms worse.
- Do some exercises that can help lose a few inches off your belly.
Follow the above tips to address your sleep problems and get your much-needed zzzzzz’s tonight!
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