Sleep problems – The most common causes

The way we look at sleep has changed and so have our sleeping habits. We have met a sleep scientist who tells us what sleep means, what is good sleep and how you can sleep better.

Sleep scientist at the Stress Research Institute and he straightens out many of the questions many have about sleep. If you experience problems with snoring, we will tell you more about snoring and what you can do about it in this article.

A kind of unconsciousness

Sleep is a kind of unconsciousness. The parts of the brain do not communicate with each other and the body recovers. In order to count sleep, you should have slept deeply for at least twenty minutes without interruption. It is also proven, that it is not counted as being awake unless you have been awake for at least five minutes. It has been seen that on-call doctors, who can sometimes sleep for a while during their workouts, cannot absorb information directly when he/she wakes up. It must be at least five minutes before important information can be distributed.

Night and morning workouts and heavy physical work with less than eleven hours of rest in between can also negatively affect sleep. When you sleep, the brain relaxes and takes care of itself and the body. Therefore, it is important that we get the right amount of sleep to simply cope with. Explains that sleep deprivation affects us and we lose control of what the brain is doing. For example, you may feel that you are more emotionally sensitive if you have not had proper sleep. There are also studies that have shown that you may be at increased risk of feeling “scratchy” if you suffer from sleep deprivation.

7 sleeping advice 

  • Make sure it is dark, quiet and cool in the bedroom. The ideal temperature is 14-18 degrees.
  • Get a comfortable and comfortable bed.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and alcohol at least six hours before going to bed.
  • Eat well in the evening. Being hungry affects sleep.
  • Allow time for walking down before going to bed.
  • Don’t go to bed without being sleepy. If you are not sleepy, get up and do something else until you get sleepy.
  • Get routines before bedtime.

Sleep deprivation can have several side effects

Sleep deprivation is something that most people have experienced or will experience. There are different levels of insomnia and many people can manage their lack of sleep without major problems. However, if sleep deprivation becomes permanent, it can cause a number of side effects. Research and studies have shown that, in addition to the risk of getting sick, you can also suffer from fatigue, depression and obesity if you suffer from severe sleep deprivation. You also count accidents as a side effect, as lack of sleep can make you unfocused and more prone to accidents.

A large part of Sweden’s population experiences some kind of disturbance or problems with sleep at least half of the week’s days. The cause of the problems can be anything from checking Facebook on the cell phone to worrying about financial or social problems. Suffering from any illness can also cause disturbed night’s sleep.

6 most common causes of poor sleep

About a third of America population have trouble sleeping sometimes. The problems are more common in women than in men and the incidence of sleep disorders increases with age in both sexes.

  1. Stress
  2. Work/Study
  3. Own children
  4. Own illness
  5. Social activities
  6. TV/SMS/Phone

Other causes of insomnia may be due to illness symptoms (pain, pruritus, respiratory distress, heartburn, etc.), external disturbances (light, noise, inappropriate temperature), disturbances in daily rhythm (travel, shift work), social problems (conflicts, worries), mental disorders (anxiety, depression), stimulants (coffee, tobacco, alcohol, drugs) and drug side effects.

Sleep deprivation affecting everyday life

Many people experience sleep problems without causing much trouble in their lives. If sleep deprivation affects everyday life, then it is a problem. There are various methods to use depending on what sleep deprivation is due to. For some it may be about treating snoring, for others it is about finding peace to sleep well.

If it is disease related or if you have suffered from insomnia for a long time then you need to consult a doctor.

Drug treatment for sleep problems

Treating sleep problems with drugs is surrounded by prejudices and myths, but it is certain that caution should be exercised in drug treatment of sleep problems. First and foremost, before even taking drugs, one must see what other methods are available or alternatively go directly to any underlying causes such as depression and anxiety. In cases where this is insufficient or when identifiable disruptive factors are missing, treatment must be directed directly to sleep disorders. The choice of medication should be adapted to your individual circumstances and based on the properties of the drug, your situation and the nature of your sleep disorder. It is good if you can use sleeping medication in the lowest dose possible and for as short a time as possible, no more than four weeks at a time.

If you need treatment for an extended period of time, your doctor may recommend that you do not take the medicine every night. The reason is that the sleep-inducing effect of many drugs is diminished if you use them regularly for an extended period of time and that they can develop an addiction. Many sleep medications also affect other medicines, so you and your doctor need to carefully review any medications you are on before you take any sleep medications.

Herbal medicines for sleep problems

There are also non-prescription herbal and traditional herbal remedies for sleep problems. The most common is that they contain the herb valeriana/root canal which has substances that can help the person who has sleep problems. There is a difference between herbal medicines and traditional herbal medicines which can be good to be aware of as there are many products for sleeping problems in both categories today.

As of September the “old” herbal remedies have been reclassified to either approved herbal medicines with well-established medical use approved from efficacy and safety point of view based on results of new preclinical and clinical studies or registered as traditional herbal medicinal products approved on the basis of bibliographic approval demonstrated well-established medical use. The remaining herbal remedies that do not contain plant material (ie based on animal materials, bacteria, minerals or salts) remain in Sweden under the old regulations for natural remedies.

Treatment without drugs

As mentioned earlier, one often needs to start by addressing the problem. It can be about keeping a consistent circadian rhythm, reducing activation in the evening to rest or strengthening the connection between bed and sleep. That is, limit the time in bed to only include the time you actually sleep and not have a computer, mobile or watch TV.

A good idea is to keep a sleep diary that helps you interpret your sleep pattern, what works and doesn’t. In case your sleep problems are long-standing, the sleep diary helps the doctor to clarify the problems and get a picture of your sleep problems.

Aging disturbs sleep

One tip is to create a list where you write down different things that need to be done and thoughts, then release it for the night and leave your head empty when it’s time to sleep. One term that uses, and that causes sleep problems, is precisely “burnout”. Aging is a more chronic form of stress where, by lying and pondering, you unwind, which causes the sleep to be disturbed. Failure to do so can result in a vicious cycle, which can be difficult to get out of on your own. If you need help, KBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) may be needed to help you relax, create good sleep behaviors and routines, so to speak, for beds for a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is our body’s way of recharging. It is needed to create the conditions for a new day full of energy and new opportunities. Sleep deprivation can affect a lot in our lives, everything from weight to mental energy. If you have sleep problems, change and do something you don’t usually. Take a warm bath before going to bed, lower the temperature in the room or put away the cellphone well in advance before it’s time to sleep. Clear your thoughts and create the best conditions for a good night’s sleep. You are worth it.

Good night!

Facts box: sleep

  • 8.5 hours is what people in their 20s need for a good and restful sleep.
  • 6.5 hours is what people in their 50s need for a good and restful sleep.
  • Did you know that you can get drunk by sleeping too little? It shows a published study where researchers have photographed people when they have had a good night’s sleep. Then they have photographed the same people after skipping a night’s sleep. An independent panel was asked which of the pictures the people looked the worst. The majority of the panelists thought that the subjects looked the worst in the photo where they had skipped a night’s sleep. 

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