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5 Reasons Why You Can’t Get A Good Night’s Sleep

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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In this increasingly fast-paced world that we live in, lack of sleep is more common than we think. Knowing what affects your sleep can help you to take action and prevent insomnia.


Here are the 5 usual reasons why you can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep.


1. Medical Condition


Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – imagine feeling a constant urge to walk around. This what people suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) goes through as they have to move around to relieve the uncomfortable sensations in their legs. They have describe these sensations as painful, tingling, itching or crawling. The discomfort worsens when the body is relaxed. Hence, it is difficult for these individuals to fall asleep and stay asleep.


Sleep Apnea – people with sleep apnea cannot sleep well because they stop breathing or have shallow breaths for brief periods while sleeping. This happens either because the airway has collapsed or because the brain does not send correct signals to breathing muscles. Breathing then resumes, sometimes with a snort or a choking sound. If you are obese, snore loudly and constantly feel sleepy during the day, chances are that you have sleep apnea.


2. Too Much Stress


Today’s hectic lifestyle keeps us constantly on our toes. Whether at work, at home, or on the roads, we experience stress. Many of us have lost sleep worrying about something. When we feel stressed, the body increases its levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), causing sleeplessness.


Stress also results in poor sleep. Scientists found that people who were stressed woke up more often during the night and had less deep sleep, a stage of sleep that allows the brain and muscles to rest.


3. Inapproriate Diet


Foods high in spice, fat and acid tend to trigger heartburn, a burning sensation felt behind the breastbone. As lying down makes heartburn worse, such food could keep one awake for the bulk of the night. Snacking on high-fat, low-fibre food such as meat products just before bedtime could lead to indigestion, which then leads to insomnia.


Caffeine in food such as coffee, tea, cola and guarana stimulates the central nervous system and may aggravate stomach discomfort, adversely affecting sleep. A study in the United States found that nicotine deteriorates areas of the brain that control rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (the last stage of sleep), wich scientists say is essential to health.


According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol disrupts REM sleep as well. NIAAA reports that alcoholism also increases the risk of having obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that interupts sleep.


4. Poor Sleep Environment


An uncomfortable environment makes for uneasy sleep, and several factors contribute to such an environment, for example:


  • Excessive Noise – noise from traffic, children or neighbours may act as disturbances.
  • Bright lights – bright lighting signals to the body to stay awake.
  • Television or Computers – watching television or using the computer makes you more alert instead of relaxing your mind.
  • Heat or Cold – temperature below 18°C (65°F) and above 22°C (72°F) may be unsuitable as high temperatures causes frequent awakenings.
  • Uncomfortable Bedding – mattresses that are too soft will not provide any support, causing you to toss and turn, while hard mattresses are bad for the back. Dirty pillows may trigger allergies or asthma, disrupting sleep.
  • Bed Partners With Sleep Problems – someone who snores or constantly moves during sleep can disturb the sleep of a person who shares the same bed.

5. Lack Of Tiredness i.e. You Are not Tired


Technological advances have reduced daily levels of physical activity. Most work is done facing computer screens while sitting down. Such sedentary lifestyles affect sleep because not enough energy is expended to exhaust the body.


As a result, the brain never receives signals that the body is tired at bedtime, causing difficulty in falling asleep. Most people do not have sleep problems, instead, they are just not tired ‘enough’ to fall asleep.

Keng Yau Chan

Keng Yau is a Malaysian-based editor & writer for YesMyWellness.com. Fitness as a career wasn't always in his first choice and in fact, he was quite an obese lad before! However, after a major health scare, Keng Yau has decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle and solidify his commitment by completing Associate Degree of Applied Fitness from Australian College of Physical Education and is also an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. He has worked for major fitness centres and often volunteers in public and community health initiatives.

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