We all have sleeping problems, be it difficulty in falling or staying asleep, a little snoring, or some pains and aches. Although sleep problems are fairly normal, most of them are fairly easy to alleviate and why suffer through it when you can fix it, right? Here are eight common sleeping problems and a few quick fixes for them.
Difficulty falling asleep
This is very common and it can be extremely frustrating because you want to fall asleep, but you can’t seem to, then you get anxious because you can’t fall asleep and the anxiety makes it almost impossible to fall asleep. A few ways to make falling asleep easier include:
- Have a productive day. This makes your mind and body more willing to rest. Additionally, you should also make a point of exercising in the morning and evening which should tire your muscles.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol several hours before sleep. This is because they act as stimulants which makes your body not willing to shut down in spite of how tired you are. If you must drink something, fruit smoothies are strongly recommended.
- Put your phone away an hour before bedtime. This reduces your immediate exposure to blue light which makes it difficult to sleep
If all else fails, don’t just lie in bed restless, get up and do something relaxing like reading a book or listening to some soothing music until you feel drowsy. Then try at it again. However, insomnia is a health condition and if you consistently find yourself unable to sleep at night, you should consider medical intervention.
A little snoring is okay, however, consistent and loud snoring lowers your quality of sleep. This is due to the fact that your body is unable to fall into deep sleep, because of the constant distraction.
- Sleep on your side or slightly prop up your head. A side mattress would be very helpful as well as good quality pillows
- Regularly clear out you sinuses with a saline solution. This should reduce the blockage in your airways which should make breathing easier at night
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is known to aggravate snoring at night, so if you already have a snoring problem, perhaps having that glass of wine before bed is not the best decision.
Persistent snoring could be a symptom of heart disease, obesity, or even a respiratory condition. Therefore, if your snoring persists, make a point to go to the hospital and get tests done in order to get a lasting solution.
Neck, shoulder and back pain
We all sometimes wake up with weird aches and pains and this affects productivity during the day and if persistent, may lead to permanent persisting pain in certain joints. The most common are neck, shoulder, and back pains. We can avoid such pains by:
- Ensuring that you replace pillows every two years because worn-out pillows not only increase the chances of an allergic reaction but are generally lumpy and uncomfortable. In fact sleep, experts recommend using firm latex-pillows to avoid neck pains.
- Sleeping in the correct posture. Particularly, avoid sleeping on your side. Falling asleep with all your weight on one side of your body is a recipe for both neck and shoulder pains as well as muscle stiffness. If persistent shoulder pain is on one side, it is more comfortable sleep on the other side and hugs a comfortable pillow on the other
- For back pain, you can add a pillow under your thighs in case you sleep on your stomach or place it under your legs when sleeping on your back. Alternatively buying a Tempurpedic mattress, which is specially made to avoid backache, maybe a more permanent fix.
Difficulty staying asleep
Have you ever woken up with the odd feeling that your night lasted ages? This is more common than you would think and is a result of having interrupted sleep. Your body is unable to fall fully asleep so your night becomes a series of short shallow naps which doesn’t allow your mind and body to rest and recuperate, which is why you wake up tired. This can be avoided by:
- Avoiding alcohol right before bed. This is because alcohol decreases the time spent in deep REM sleep, which is actually when the body and mind really heal and re-generate.
- Making sure that the conditions are prime for uninterrupted sleep. You can do this by reducing the amount of light and noise you are exposed to while you sleep as well as ensuring you are in the most comfortable temperature.
Difficulty waking up
This has to be the most common of all sleeping problems and we are often caught saying, ‘I’m just not a morning person.’ Well, you may not be a morning person, few of us are, but you still need to get to work or school on time. In fact, that indulgent sleep you allow yourself after your alarm has gone off is pretty unhealthy and makes you tired as well as making it difficult to fall asleep at night. The best remedy to this problem is as simple as waking up around the same regularly because this tunes your body to become alert around that time.
On some odd mornings, people have been known to wake up with odd cramps particularly leg cramps. This may be due to sleeping in uncomfortable positions or unconsciously placing your leg badly while you are asleep. There is no way to avoid this, and it doesn’t really happen that often. Some treatments for leg cramps include:
- Slowly but firmly massaging the craped area
- Applying heat to the muscle either using a hot towel or ointment.
- Doing slow stretches to relieve pain
However, if the cramp is consistent and a result to a prior injury, it is extremely important to visit a physician.