A good night’s rest is not as common as people may think, and it’s not always about time management. Someone could sleep for 8 or 10 hours and still wake up feeling tired or groggy. This is because a good night’s rest must have the right balance of duration and quality of sleep. If you often find yourself having trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, feeling drowsy during the day, or losing focus while doing your tasks, there is a high probability that you may have a sleeping disorder.
This can lead to serious consequences such as health problems or even accidents when you’re not at your best condition when awake. There are many possible causes of sleeping disorders, and it is always best to consult your doctor in order to get the right diagnosis and proper treatment. But while you are waiting for your appointment, you may want to check out this list of the most common causes of sleeping disorders:
1. Environmental Factors
Before you dig deep in search of reasons for your sleeping problem, take a look at the most obvious factor first, which is your immediate environment. For example, our bodies are conditioned to fall asleep when the sky turns dark, so trying to sleep in a well-lit room or during daytime is already going against your natural inclinations.
Noise can also easily disrupt sleeping patterns. If you live on a busy street, or if your neighbor likes to play loud music, this could be the reason for your sleeping difficulties. Keeping the television or the radio on in the bedroom could also be affecting the quality of your sleep. Bringing your work home, especially to your bedroom, has an impact on your sleeping cycle as well. Instead of associating the bedroom with sleep and rest, you start to see it as a place of work. When this happens, it would be difficult for you to get your brain to relax, which you need to do in order to fall asleep.
2. Medical Conditions
Sometimes, the sleeping disorder is caused by a medical condition, such as sleep apnea. This is a chronic condition wherein the person’s breathing becomes disrupted either by a blockage of the airway, or when the brain stops sending breathing signals to the body.
In both cases, the person would stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. This leads to them becoming restless and gasping for air during sleep, or waking up several times in the middle of the night due to lack of oxygen. It is difficult to identify the condition by yourself, but there are doctors who can guide you through a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Another medical condition that can affect sleep is the Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS which is characterized by a strong urge to move the legs. This usually occurs at night and when the person is at rest such as when lying down or sitting for a long period of time, making it difficult for a person suffering from RLS to fall asleep.
Aside from these, any aches and pains that you feel in your body can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. They need to be addressed to enable your body to relax and fall asleep. If you are currently taking medication for other ailments, certain drugs and ingredients may also cause disruptions in your sleeping patterns.
3. Lifestyle Choices
Take a look at your daily activities and identify which of them could be contributing to your sleeping problem. Some of your lifestyle choices could be disrupting your body’s internal clock, such as working, playing, or traveling at night. The same effect is achieved when you frequently take long naps in the afternoon.
Excessive consumption of coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol is another factor that can directly affect the quality of your sleep. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that can stay in the bloodstream for a long time, which means that their effects can extend even up to your sleeping hours, keeping you up at night. And while alcohol is technically a sedative, it also disturbs the sleep cycle and causes fragmented sleep.
4. Psychological Issues
Mental health is another major factor that contributes to sleeping disorders. Severe conditions like anxiety or depression can make it difficult for the person to fall asleep as negative thoughts keep attacking their minds as they try to rest. This leads to a vicious cycle of sleeplessness which then aggravates their mental health condition, and so on.
Stress in any form can also seriously impact your sleep quality. Whether it is due to work, school, society, or the more serious post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress triggers a hyperactive response in the body which makes it difficult for the person to fall asleep.
As you can see there are several reasons that could be causing your sleeping problems. According to the Wellness Center In Buffalo NY, “the best course of action is to speak to a doctor that makes recommendations by instituting a personalized, concierge medical experience that takes into account the entire person, including their social, emotional, and physical demands to determine what the issue might be”.