Sleep Problems Among Adults
If you feel tired reading this short article, you are being victim of this already.
It is estimated that over 100 million Americans have occasional sleep problems, of which 40 million have “Sleep Disturbances” and more than 75% of the population ramble daily without sleep. Studies show that the situation is getting worse with each passing decade, and there is no indication that the situation is improving. In fact, over the past 5 years alone, there has been a surprising 33% increase in those of us who report having sleep problems!
Can you imagine what the statistics of another decade will look like? Unfortunately, it does not seem that we are heading in the right direction. (for detail statistics visit: www.sleepfoundation.org.)
In our busy and accelerated society, it looks we are continually moving, thinking and trying to get “extra” constantly. The first thing that many of us think about doing when we have the so-called “free time” is to catch up with a little television or do some activity that “we did not have time to do”, in addition to catching up on our sleep. And a higher quality and quantity of sleep is exactly what most of us really need.
Sleep Studies For Insomnia
Sleep studies clearly show that not receiving the quality and quantity of sleep negatively affects our lives, sometimes to a large extent. It can change the way we see and experience our lives and the world that surrounds us dramatically.
Some of the following may help us identify when we may not be able to get enough sleep each night:
- Feelings of exhaustion at some time of the day
- Fall asleep in few minutes when you go to bed
- Reduces levels of intolerance and raised levels of hostility
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Slow reflexes
- Judgment alteration
- Lack of Concern or Apathy
- Unusual gain or loss of weight
- Change in body temperature that shows the way of feeling chill
- Unusual levels of anxiety
- Fall asleep when it is not appropriate
- Reduced Inspiration
- Reduced ability to logically think or handle complex tasks
- Increased levels of self-awareness with higher levels of anxiety
Surprisingly, one of the fastest ways to improve the quality of our lives and waking hours, as the statistics show, is simply to get a better night’s sleep. It is such a simple answer to such a complex problem.
If you have trouble falling asleep, there are things you can do that can help you very quickly. Yes, the following may seem obvious to many people, but sometimes we miss the obvious. So, let’s cover some quick and easy first.
Two Things to Avoid: Caffeine and Nicotine
Reduce caffeine levels used throughout the day. Studies show that people who have insomnia already have a higher metabolic rate (usually 9%) than people who sleep normally. I would take about 4 cups of coffee to raise the metabolism of normal sleepers at the same speed. From this metabolic indicator, although the person with insomnia does not feel fully awake and shows all the signs of not getting enough sleep, we can see that a person who consumes caffeine on average is very excited physiologically. After all, caffeine is a stimulant!
In short … reduce levels of caffeine intake throughout the day. Obviously, we are not going to say “quit smoking” completely, even though it may be useful. Of course, the last thing you want to do is take caffeine within a few hours (three or more) before you try to go to sleep.
List of items, both foods and beverages, that may contain caffeine:
- Coffee: Brewed (drip or percolated), instant, many coffees called “decaffeinated”
- Tea: Brewed (drip or percolated), instant, many coffees called “decaffeinated”
- Chocolate (Light, Dark, Baker’s etc): drink or Food. This includes milk with hot chocolate.
- Most Soft Drinks or Sodas: including “Diet” and “Clear” sodas/soft drinks: Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Mr. PIBB, RC Cola, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi, Canada Dry and many others
Next, nicotine intake can have a dramatic effect on our ability to rest well at night. Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant. Smoking is the main way to ingest nicotine. Smoking can raise blood pressure, stimulate brain wave activity and increase heart rate.
Studies have shown that smokers actually have greater difficulty falling asleep and waking up more often during the night. It is possible that the last one is a symptom of abstinence. And, when people stop smoking after regularly smoking 1 to 3 packs of cigarettes a day for at least a period of two years, studies have found that it is easier to fall asleep and sleep more deeply with fewer awakenings by the night.
Obviously, people will not stop smoking, since most of those who have the habit realize how addictive it really can be. Therefore, you may decrease your tobacco use and only do so during certain times of the day. Try not to smoke cigarettes near bedtime and try, as in the case of caffeine, to limit its use several hours before bedtime, which can be very helpful. If you want to work quickly to get a better night’s sleep and smoke cigarettes, then quitting smoking is one of the quickest ways to help you achieve your goal.
Sleep Problems Solutions
Tips to Sleep in the Bedroom! There are many more things we can do to achieve a better night’s sleep, which includes observing different aspects of our room or the sleep environment. Many of the following lists will be subjective, so you’ll want to find out if you focus on a few and make small changes throughout your time for what personally works for you.
- Bed-Sheets: comfort … silk can be romantic, but not always practical. Your sheets should “breathe” well.
- Room Temperature: not too hot or too cold. Some people find it easier to keep the room cold and wrap themselves warmly in their sheets. If your feet are cold … it’s easy enough … wear socks.
- Noise or Sound: the less the better, although some people might consider an underlying and constant sound to help with sleep.
- Moisture: If you notice that your throat is rough / irritated, your skin feels dry or you have a stuffy nose, your room may be too dry. If you feel heat, sweat and humidity, you may want to see if there is too much moisture in the room.
- Lighting: the darker the better.
- Drafts: some people like a draft, while annoying others. Watch for pain or a tight chest while sleeping. It may mean that you have a draft in the room. If you can, open a window and let in a little fresh air, since the air can become obsolete while it is stagnant.
- Cleaning: Good, simple … keep it clean. This can keep the air fresh and help sleep.
- The Bed is Equivalent to Sleep: use and associate your bed with only sleep and not with other activities. Read or work at “home” elsewhere … not in bed. Associating the bed with something like work or even television can keep us awake at night. Associating it with relaxing activities, sleeping or even sex can help us sleep faster and sleep more deeply at night.
- Time Apparatus: the click-click-click of mechanical watches, the brightness of digital watches, or simply having a watch in front of us can be a distraction. For some, the constant sound of the click might be good for sleeping.
- Pillows and Mattresses: take your time and find what will work for you. The new memory foam pillows, although sometimes they look expensive, can be worth every penny. Make sure they are high quality, high density memory foam (approximately 5 lbs. Per cubic foot), since there are many inexpensive and lightweight memory foam pillows on the market. With your mattress, take your time and be sure to try a bed in your home, so you can get it back if yours does not work for you.
- The Biggest Tip to Sleep: take your time and BE PATIENT with yourself. See what works best for you. Worth the effort. Simply reading each of the above can help you become aware of the ways in which you might not have realized in the past, and this will lead to improving your own life, by achieving a better night’s sleep. Take your time and be patient.
These are just some things about our be asleep context that can help us achieve a better night’s sleep and improve the quality of our lives.
As statistics clearly show, most of us walk half awake every day, which means in all probability that we are not living a better quality of life and that other areas of our lives can suffer. Psychological and mental problems can arise from not achieving sufficient quality sleep.
Take the above tips and run with them. Take your time, be patient and discover what has helped others and how you can help yourself improve the quality of your life through a better night’s sleep. It is time to stop the growth and reverse the sleep epidemic that is hardly noticeable in the United States.