Factors Effecting Sleep
This page deals with the various causes of sleeplessness that can happen not only to children who are giving their exams but any other individual. The causes for sleeplessness could be physical, emotional or even medical related. Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorder that can be found in an individual. This page also deals with various tips to overcome insomnia.
Causes of Sleeplessness
Several physical factors are known to upset sleep. These include arthritis, acid reflux with heartburn, menstruation, headaches and hot flashes.
Psychological and mental health problems like depression, anxiety and stress are often associated with sleeping difficulty. In many cases, difficulty staying asleep may be the only presenting sign of depression. A physician should be consulted about these issues to help determine the problem and the best treatment.
Many medications can cause sleeplessness as a side effect. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if medications you are taking can lead to sleeplessness.
To help overall improvement in sleep patterns, your doctor may prescribe sleep medications for short-term relief of a sleep problem. The decision to take sleeping aids is a medical one to be made in the context of your overall health picture.
Always follow the advice of your physician and other healthcare professionals. The goal is to rediscover how to sleep naturally.
There are a wide variety of sleep problems, the most common of which is insomnia – the inability to get sufficient sleep. Other problems include snoring, sleep apnoea (a condition in which the airway becomes temporarily blocked during sleep) and narcolepsy (an inability to stay awake). There are also sleep problems associated with shift work and jet lag.
Tips for Avoiding Insomnia
- Wind down for the night at least 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
- Reduce caffeine and tobacco use late in the day.
- Limit or avoid alcohol before bedtime. While a glass of wine or a beer may be helpful for some individuals, excessive alcohol has a tendency to get you to sleep, but then interrupts sleep throughout the night.
- Exercise late in the afternoon or early evening can help, but do no major exercise (except for sexual activity) any less than 2 hours before going to bed.
- Relax before bed. Light stretching, a warm shower or bath, or any other activity that you find relaxing, may be helpful.
- Have a light carbohydrate or dairy snack before bedtime but avoid chocolate or sugar. In small quantities, sometimes eating something prior to bedtime can help. A bottle of milk puts a baby to sleep; the same principle can work for adults.
- Avoid drinking large amounts of fluid late in the day. A full bladder can interfere with sleep.
- Do not have a visible bedroom clock. "Clock watching" often intensifies insomnia. Turn the clock face away from you or put it in a drawer.
- Sunday through Thursday evenings, as often as possible, try to get to bed on the same day you got up. This means being in bed by midnight. Research indicates that if you sleep on a schedule that allows you to be awake by early morning, you will perform better.
- On Friday and Saturday nights, try to extend your wake hours by no more than a couple of hours. The more off cycle you get, the harder it is to get back on cycle and stay rested and alert.
- If you experience a large number of distressing thoughts when you are trying to fall asleep, try setting up a thinking time during your daytime hours. Pick a 20 to 60 minute period when you can focus on the types of thoughts that come to you when you are trying to fall asleep. When these thoughts come to mind as you are trying to fall asleep, dismiss them and remind yourself that you will deal with them during "thinking time." If this does not work, keep a pad of paper by your bed so you can "download" your thoughts to reconsider the next day. After a good night's rest, you will think and resolve those concerns better.
- If you are dealing with a severe crisis or you are under extreme pressures, there are some non-addicting sleep medications that can be provided for short periods of time by a university physician. Consider a consultation with a physician. Sleep difficulties can also be caused by other physical or mental health concerns such as depression. If you are having difficulty managing sleep patterns by yourself, you may want to consider discussing your concerns with a counselor.
- Before going to bed wash your feet. Sometimes before sleep put your feet in hot water for sometime. This will induce sleep early and it may be deep sleep.
- A mild activity in the evening triggers the need for rest resulting in quick and good sleep. Sleep is the therapeutic .When we sleep we give nature a chance to do its normalizing, harmonizing and balancing work, without interference form our conscious mind.