Sleep is one of the most important activities for the human body, and it is not for nothing that we spend an average of a third of our life sleeping. However, it is not uncommon for people of all ages to experience problems sleeping, which can have several consequences for their health and well-being.
There are several disorders that can affect sleep, be it a difficulty to start sleeping or to maintain sleep throughout the night. Follow today’s text to learn more about the causes and treatments of sleeping problems!
What are the harms of lack of sleep for health?
Sleep is the moment when the body has the opportunity to recover and balance its physiological functions. While the person sleeps, his body performs several reactions and functions that are essential to keep him functioning smoothly. The main functions of sleep for our body are:
- cell and tissue restoration;
- solidification of what was learned and memorized throughout the day;
- release of growth hormone and prolactin;
- strengthening of the immune system.
Sleep loss can have a bad impact on all of these functions. In addition, it can generate an increase in anxiety, stress and the occurrence of diseases and accidents related to extreme tiredness.
In general, we can say that a person’s quality of life is directly related to their quality of sleep.
What are the causes of sleeping problems?
Sleep problems can be caused by different groups of factors, such as:
- emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder;
- medical causes related to sleep: sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, sleep problems related to breathing;
- external causes: noise pollution, light pollution, use of electronic devices before bed, use of medicines, use of substances (drugs, alcohol), exciting activities before bed, changes in the work shift;
- other medical causes: gastrointestinal problems, menopause and hot flashes, diseases that make breathing difficult (asthma, rhinitis), chronic pain.
Finding out the cause of sleeping problems is one of the essential steps for the correct treatment to be done. Often, a simple change of the environment can be enough to restore the quality of sleep.
How to improve sleep?
In the case of specific health problems and illnesses, treatment for sleeping problems should be accompanied by a specialist doctor in the area related to the problem. However, there are general precautions that help to improve the quality of sleep for all people.
The main forms of treatment and prevention are:
- Practice physical exercises (at a time not too close to bedtime);
- Establish a daily sleep routine (sleep and wake up at the same time);
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine;
- Use the bed only for sleeping and not for other activities;
- Leave the room totally dark to sleep;
- Maintain a pleasant temperature in the room (between 15 and 20 degrees);
- Create a relaxation routine before bed (hot bath, meditation);
- Stop working or watching TV at least 1 hour before bed.
Anyone who has trouble sleeping knows how stressful it can be to live without adequate sleep. So if you have this kind of problem, don’t hesitate to take the necessary precautions to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.