How to prevent restless sleep
Sleeping problems like restless sleep are not uncommon for most people. Stress at work, medications, and environmental factors are only a few reasons why it is often so hard to fall asleep. Fortunately, when it comes to curing sleeping problems, we have quite a few resources at our disposal. A glass of warm milk, soothing music, even white noise have all been used by people who simply want a good night’s rest.
Restless sleep is not your typical sleeping problem, however. It is a condition characterized by hallucinations, shouting, sleeptalking, sleepwalking, temporary paralysis, heartburn, and involuntary clicking of the jaws while sleeping. The tension that is present during these episodes will cause you to wake up tired and drowsy every morning, which is not good for you, especially if you have a day job.
Why You Need Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important activities that we can do for our bodies. Sleep restores energy, and this is the only period when the body repairs itself so we wake up rejuvenated and refreshed. Even if you think you have fallen asleep, your body’s restlessness can take a toll on your energy which becomes apparent once you wake up. If you experience restless sleeping night after night, pretty soon you will start to manifest the effects of lack of sleep like forgetfulness, difficulty in concentration, lethargy, and irritability. Your hand-eye coordination may be affected as well. Before you start seeing these effects on yourself, it is very important to get to the bottom of what’s causing your restless sleeping so you can start addressing it.
Common Causes of Restless Sleep
There are many possible causes of restless sleep. An altered sleeping pattern because you have to work the night shift, intake of new medications, lifestyle patterns that are likely to cause sleep disruptions such as all night partying, and everyday stress can all contribute to the development of this problem. If you know that any of these factors caused the restless sleeping, it is important that you make changes right away. For example, you can cut back on the partying or switch to medications that have no adverse effects on your sleeping patterns. If you work the night shift, ensure that you have a comfortable sleeping area during the day that mimics the ideal sleeping conditions to optimize your sleep, even though you are sleeping during the day. There are environmental factors that contribute to sleeping problems as well. Outside noise, lights, an uncomfortable sleeping area can all contribute to less-than-ideal periods of sleep that can leave you tired and fatigued in the morning.
Effective Ways to Avoid Sleepless Nights
Cut back on stress.
Stress is one of the main causes of bad sleep. Most people who find it hard to sleep often say that their bodies are tired but they cannot sleep because their mind is running wild with thoughts and ideas that they cannot turn off. The anxiety about work, school, or the bills can stay with you even as you prepare for bed. It is therefore important that you learn how to handle stress so you go to bed calm and relaxed and more easily able to fall asleep when you need to. Meditation, gentle exercises two hours before bedtime, even a glass of wine can help you relax, soothe your mind, and get your body ready for its much-needed rest.
Avoid alcohol and coffee.
Alcohol is a depressant, but because it has sugar you are actually giving your body more fuel, causing you to feel alert even if you really want to fall asleep. People who tend to experience heart palpitations easily should avoid alcohol before sleeping, since this could cause the heart rate to go up, keeping them awake. Caffeine should be avoided especially a few hours before bedtime since it is an effective stimulant. Caffeine will keep your brain awake into the wee hours of the night and you can end up tossing and turning in bed.
Stick to a sleeping routine.
Restless sleeping often occurs because of disrupted sleeping patterns, such as when you fail to fall asleep for one whole night or when work schedules force you to stay up during the night and sleep during the day, especially if this happens for several days. You may have trouble readjusting to a normal sleeping pattern if your body starts to adapt to staying up at night and sleeping during the day. To avoid restless sleeping, sleep on time, and stick to the routine of sleeping for a specific number of hours per day. Try to stick to a sleeping schedule for a full 30 days. Creating a habit of sleeping on a designated hour will help you fall asleep easier.
Avoid strenuous activities during the day.
Intense physical activity during the day, especially if you are not used to that level of physical exertion, can cause your body to become restless even during the night. Your legs may twitch involuntarily, and you could manifest teeth grinding as you sleep. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or a massage after each activity. You are more likely to fall asleep if your mind and body is relaxed.
Create a space conducive for sleeping.
For some people, sleeping in a room that is not conducive for sleeping, such as a room that is too bright, too small, too cluttered, or too noisy, can cause them to repeatedly wake up during the night. Change the position of the bed to avoid unnecessary light streaming through the windows, or use white noise to drown out distracting sounds coming from the outside.
Have yourself checked for hormonal imbalance.
If all else fails it may be time to have yourself checked for any physiological problems that could be causing the restlessness. Hormonal imbalances often occur in women before their periods, during menopause or when you take certain medications. Treatment for the imbalance can help eliminate periods of restless sleeping if the imbalance was the underlying cause.
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