Description: Sleep is vital for our body, specifically the brain. It is when the brain controls its ability to adapt. When the body isn’t getting enough sleep, the brain has difficulty processing information during wakefulness activity and memory is compromised.
Welcome to part two of Sleep and Health. Check out our previous blog post to read all about what is sleep and what happens to our bodies when we are sleeping.
We ended off with asking the question, why do we need adequate sleep?
For the body, not getting enough sleep can increase a person’s risk for other health concerns since there is a compromised immunity and mental stability. Sleep also plays an important role in metabolism and there is an exerted effort in research to understand the relationship between sleep and disease. Studies have indicated that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to be overweight and have a higher risk for strokes and cardiovascular disease.
What is improper sleep hinting at?
Sleep disturbance or interrupted sleep might hint at other underlying medical conditions. Following are some health conditions that might be affecting your sleep quality:
Depression can make you wake up multiple times during your sleep and affect the overall sleep quality. Your disturbed sleep pattern might be indicating that you’re having some sort of depression, anxiety, or stress which you need to address to improve your sleeping pattern. Seeking the professional help of a therapist or psychologist can assist in solving the issue.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people across the world. The condition interrupts the sleep cycles and cause a person to wake many times during sleep. If you think you have sleep apnea, try sleeping on your back and see if the issue is solved. Otherwise, it is time to consult a doctor to get rid of sleep apnea. A doctor may recommend using a cpap machine to help have continuous airflow resulting in easier breathing during sleep.
Circadian Rhythm Disorder
If you wake up too early consistently, even before the sunrise, and face trouble going back to sleep, you may be facing circadian rhythm disorder. This disorder mostly occurs when your sleep-wake pattern is not in alignment with your daily activities and with the environment. Try having a good routine, such as going to bed early at a set time daily.
Restless Leg Syndrome
You might be thinking what’s causing you to have a disturbed sleep, while ignoring that you have restless leg syndrome! Restless leg syndrome is a terrible feeling and if you have it, chances are that your sleep will be disturbed. This condition starts in the evening and reaches its peak during the middle of the night. The condition should be controlled by consulting a health/medical practitioner.
REM Behaviour Disorder or Parasomnia
REM behaviour disorder is a neurological condition where people start acting out their dreams. This happens when the brain is unable to quit the muscles during dreaming. For example, sleep walking which causes a person to act out of dream. Most of the times, the person having this disorder doesn’t even know that he/she woke up and did something. This condition can be controlled by consulting a health/medical practitioner.
Tips to Improve Sleep Quality
So what can you do to get quality sleep? Here are some ways to help you get your sleep on track:
Set a schedule for sleep to regulate circadian rhythms.
Stay clear from caffeine and nicotine late in the day.
Avoid alcoholic drinks before going to sleep.
Exercise daily but avoid exercising a couple hours before going to bed.
Create a room for sleep by keeping bright lights, TVs, computers and other devices in another room. This will help avoid you lying in bed awake.
Practice mindful meditation before bed by setting an intention for sleep.
Relax before sleep with an activity that calms your mind like a warm bath or reading a book.
Remember that sleep is often neglected when we have a lot to do in our daily routines. Whether it is work, school or taking time to yourself because everyone else is asleep, it is important to realize that sleep is when the body is able to repair and be ready for the next day.