Parents constantly tell their children to sleep on time in order to ensure their health. However, both children and parents often sidestep that rule in favor of a pastime or finishing a little more of work. Shaving off hours from your sleep can really take its toll on your body and can lead to serious illnesses.
While the first step towards a good night’s rest is getting into bed, falling asleep can often be a challenge. Thus, below are some causes and strategies that can improve your sleep.
Sleep Deprivation: Trouble Falling Asleep
There are numerous causes that can shorten, disrupt, and hinder your ability to fall asleep. The most common ones fall into four categories – psychological problems, medications, medical problems, and sleep disorders.
Psychological problems can prevent the mind from relaxing enough for sleep. As a result, individuals suffering from problems in this category have a difficult time unwinding from the day and shutting out persistent thoughts, causing sleep deprivation.
Some common illnesses in this category include depression, chronic stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
There are numerous medications that can cause sleep deprivation as a side effect. A few examples are antidepressants, pain relievers containing caffeine, diuretics, cold and flu medications containing alcohol, and high blood pressure medications.
Some medications inhibit the secretion of hormones such as melatonin, which regulates sleep and the body’s circadian clock. Others cause pain that can keep the individual up during the night.
Medical Problems and Sleep Disorders
Illnesses that can cause sleep deprivation include asthma, allergies, chronic pain, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.
These medical problems cause pain, anxiety, discomfort, and disruption of normal bodily functions.
Strategies to Counter Sleep Deprivation
There are several methods you can use to minimize or prevent sleep deprivation:
- Ensuring that your bedroom is quiet, cool, and dark creates a relaxed environment and can help you unwind from a strenuous day.
- Creating a sleep schedule and following it will help your body’s inner clock establish a routine
- Avoid naps – they can disrupt your sleep schedule
- Stick to relaxing, comforting activities before going to bed
- If you read, use books or devices that don’t emit their own light
- Stop consuming alcohol, caffeine, and smoking at least eight hours before sleep
Avoiding sleep deprivation will increase the amount of energy you have throughout the day and improve your overall performance. The benefits of sleep are numerous, so don’t miss out.
Best wishes, Steffi