Common Sleep Problems and How to Manage Them

If you wake up in the morning and feel like you didn’t get any sleep, then you’re not alone. Millions of people deal with common sleep problems every day. When those problems are not appropriately managed, it robs you of sleep quantity and quality.

Managing your sleep means confronting your sleep problems. Here are some of the most common sleep problems people face today and what you can do to potentially fix the situation.

#1. Limb Movements

This may be Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). It can also involve the arms. It is a condition that causes involuntary muscle twitches or jerks while sleeping, some of which are severe enough to cause the person to wake up. These conditions typically need medical supervision to manage them, but it can sometimes be caused by an iron deficiency.

#2. Sleep Apnea

With obstructive sleep apnea, a person stops breathing while sleeping because their air passageways become blocked or narrowed. Enlarged tonsils are a common reason for this sleep condition, as is being overweight. It can also cause snoring and heavy sweating which disrupts sleep as well.

Anyone with the signs of obstructive sleep apnea should speak with their doctor.

#3. Screen Insomnia

Looking at tablets, smartphones, and computers all day can lead to insomnia. The light of the screen, plus the actions required of the person to use them, act as a stimulant to the brain. Using screen technologies within 60 minutes of a bedtime routine can be extremely disruptive to a person’s sleep patterns.

Try to limit screen time whenever possible to avoid this type of insomnia. If you do wake up at night, don’t turn on your phone or tablet as a distraction. Keep your room dark and quiet. Consider using a sunrise alarm clock to help restore the balance of your circadian rhythm.

#4. Acid Reflux

Another common sleep issue is related to stomach acid. It can move into the esophagus while sleeping, producing heartburn. You can be dealing with acid reflux, however, without experiencing any heartburn symptoms.

One tell-tale sign of acid reflux at night is a feel of gas or pressure in the stomach 2-3 nights per week. Many over-the-counter medications can help to reduce this issue.

#5. Nightmares

Nightmares tend to go away as people age, but up to 1 in 5 adults still have them on a frequent basis. They interfere with sleep because they trigger a wake-up due to fear, stress, or anxiety. Certain medicines are known to trigger nightmares. Drinking alcohol right before bed can trigger nightmares. Not getting enough sleep is also known to trigger a nightmare on occasion.

Change your drinking habits and try to get your recommended amount of sleep each night to avoid nightmares. Talk with your doctor about changing medication if you can.

Establishing a regular bedtime routine and reserving up to 9 hours of sleep is a best practice to follow so you can get the right amount of rest. Treat any medical concerns immediately and consider using a sunrise alarm to establish a balanced circadian rhythm. In doing so, you might just feel rested and refreshed consistently every morning.

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