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Having Trouble Sleeping?
About 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders. Further estimates report that between 20 and 30 million people experience intermittent sleep problems. Sleeping problems can effect your health and well-being, including stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory problems, illness and even disease if not treated. Many men find themselves having sleep troubles which tend to increase with age. When it comes to being awake at night or waking up repeatedly throughout the night, many are unsure why and what they can do to resolve this problem and get a good night sleep.
Sleep Disorders: What Are They And What Can Be Done?
From insomnia to narcolepsy to restless leg syndrome, any number of disorders can influence the amount of sleep a person receives each night. A comprehensive primary care physician can provide deeper insight into any of these symptoms. If you believe you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, here is a brief overview of what to watch for.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia, which is the most common sleep problem, can be caused by a variety of factors including: •Psychological factors like stress, worry, anger, or grief •Medical conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, pain, or digestive problems •External factors including noise, weather, light •Drugs whether prescription medicine, steroids, or street drugs •Lifestyle habits like reliance on caffeine, alcohol, too little exercise, poor eating habits, and cigarette use Insomnia symptoms can include being unable to fall asleep within 30-40 minutes, needing sleeping pills or alcohol to help you sleep, waking up during the night, or waking too early and feeling worn out. Preventing insomnia can be accomplished through various means. First of all,
- Create a “sleep sanctuary” in which your bed is only used for sleep instead of using the bed as an office, table, or couch as well.
- A dark, comfortable room is most conducive for sleep.
- Purchase a comfortable bed because a mattress should be supportive to the body. If it is not, the body will wake up in discomfort.
- Eliminate caffeine before bed.
- Turn off TV and dim a bright clock, which can disrupt natural sleep patterns.
- Go to sleep at the same time every night.
- Warm milk or green tea before bed can aid in sleep.
- Read a book.
- Leave the bed until you are tired, then go back to bed.
Be active and change to a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide the body with the right nutrients to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin. Exercise provides physical exhaustion as well as preventing certain health risks, such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and heart disease which can lead to insomnia. Finally, find the right way to release stress from the body. Many men achieve stress relief through aroma therapy, regular exercise, quiet time to relax or meditate, or unwinding in a hot tub.
Causes of Narcolepsy
A chronic neurological disorder, narcolepsy is caused by the brain’s inability to regulate normal sleep-wake cycles. Many narcoleptics experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and abnormal daytime sleep patterns. One of the earliest symptoms of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness, which can lead to more severe symptoms such as sleep paralysis and hallucinations. Treatment of narcolepsy is tailored to each person, so if you think these symptoms describe your difficulty sleeping, consult a physician or sleep specialist.
Restless Leg Syndrome
A condition affecting the nervous system, Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS, is the urge to move the legs when attempting to fall asleep. While many men experience RLS at one time or another, a constant need to move your legs while trying to fall asleep is considered a sleep disorder as it interrupts normal sleeping patterns. Physicians might prescribe medication, leg massages, or heating pads. There are enough stress factors within the day without fatigue needing to be one of them. Utilize a doctor and other routine changes to aid in resolving your sleeping problems and enjoy a natural night’s sleep.
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