Some of us don´t give sleep the importance it deserve, we have a lot of things to do and we love doing them that we don´t want to go to sleep, we´re so inspired and motivated by our work that someone needs to stop us, others don´t sleep enough because they need to finish their work even when they hate what they do and there are some others that can get 8 hours of sleep every night, they go to bed early but can´t fall asleep.
If you are in the last group you may have a sleep disorder and it´s the reason why you can´t fall asleep or you wake up at night, here are some of the most common sleep disorders:
1.- Insomnia.- When you have trouble to fall asleep or you wake up frequently during the night and when you wake up you don´t feel rested you feel like you didn´t get enough sleep, this can be caused by stress, jet lag, illness.
2.- Sleep apnea.- Here the regular pattern of breathing while you are sleeping get interrupted for short periods of time because the airway gets blocked.
3.- Nightmares.- This one is when your dreams are scary and you get frightened and fearful so you wake up, if this happens every once in a while is normal but when it´s constant it can be caused by stress, anxiety or worries.
4.- Shift work.- Working at night goes against the internal clock of the body and it´s harder to stay alert and productive during work time and you may have trouble to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep during day. Blocking all light and noises during your sleep time is key to help you get as much sleep as you can. Some people doing shift work like to spend some time of the day doing stuff they like or need to do and many of them don´t get enough sleep so for them is really important to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours.
5.- Restless legs syndrome.- If you feel the urge to move your legs at night while you are sleeping you may suffer from RLS, one of the causes is low levels of iron but there can be more.
We all suffer from sleep disorders from time to time, if you´re dealing with a very stressful situation, if you´ve been traveling a lot, if you are worried, it´s normal to have some nights of poor sleep every once in a while but when this is consistent then you need to do something.
There are different treatments for sleep disorders, some of them will be more beneficial than others and as with any other treatment you will get results fast, at least the symptoms will lower but almost all sleep disorders can be improved by making some changes to your lifestyle that start with making better choices, being more active during the day, especially in the morning, reducing stress and following a healthy nutrition program will improve the quality of sleep.
High levels of stress is a huge cause of lack of sleep, worries and fear also keeps us awake at night or we keep waking up. Tools or strategies like breathing techniques, meditation or journaling are great options to help you relax, calm your mind and body and helping you get better sleep. Exercise is also a good way to improve quality and quantity of sleep so if you can do some physical activity, especially in the morning it will help.
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