Most people have trouble sleeping from time to time and this is perfectly normal, if slightly annoying. However, if this issue persists it can have a serious impact on our day to day lives, affecting our ability to concentrate and even leading to feelings of depression and helplessness. Read on to identify if trouble sleeping is actually a problem and if so how to deal with it.
The first step to tackling sleepless is identifying if it is an ongoing problem. Although many people go to bed at a reasonable hour, they may find that they wake up in the morning feeling tired and experience difficulty getting out of bed. This can be caused by several different factors such as not being able to fall asleep within thirty minutes of getting into bed, broken sleep patterns, inability to fall back to sleep once the individual wakes up and disturbing dreams that leave the individual tired in the morning. These factors can lead to increased tiredness and diminished energy levels and the longer that the problem persists, the more difficult it can be to remedy.
If left unchecked, lack of sleep can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart problems. Increased cortisol levels that are produced by lack of sleep stress the body and these excess hormones can lead to weight gain. People who have trouble sleeping are at higher risk of contracting diabetes, which can lead to sugar cravings. Hormones and bodily functions suffer and individuals may feel generally unwell for a large part of the day. The body needs around eight hours of solid sleep per night in order to repair itself and people who are unable to get this amount of sleep for an extended period of time are likely to discover that they have dark circles under their eyes and patchy skin due to the inability of the skin to produce optimal collagen to make it appear fresh and healthy. Other problems associated with lack of sleep include reduced performance at work, higher irritability and the inability to handle stress.
One of the first steps to getting a good night’s sleep is establishing good sleep hygiene. This means following a set routine before bedtime that will allow the body to gradually relax and promote deep sleep when they individual finally climbs into bed. It is a good idea to banish technology such as televisions, mobile phones and game consoles from the bedroom so that the brain will not be over stimulated and is able to properly shut down when it is time to sleep. Avoid eating a meal or any sugary drinks or snacks for at least three hours before going to bed and indulge in a warm bath around thirty minutes before going to bed. Massage and meditation can also prove to be very beneficial in the minutes leading up to bedtime, as they help the brain and body relax and prepare for sleep.
If you would like to talk to someone about psychotherapy andavailable treatments for sleep difficulties, please get in touch with us at the Health Psychology Clinic by telephone at 020 8144 3041 or book online by clicking below.
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