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Are These 4 Things Wrecking Your Sleep?

By Krista Elliott

One of the great ironies in life is that as kids, we hate bedtime, while as adults, we long for it. 

A good night's sleep is important. Without it, we're tired, grumpy, and have a hard time concentrating. Sleep deprivation can lead to things as minor as putting the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge, or as major as motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, getting enough sleep isn't always that easy.

There are a number of issues that may contribute to your lack of sleep:

Sleep apnea - This is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing temporarily one or more times per night. Snoring, and waking up tired after a full night's sleep can be symptoms.

Chronic pain - Back pain, sciatica, arthritis, and headaches all make it almost impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Stress - When your mind is racing, and you're worried about a myriad of things, relaxing enough to have a sound sleep can be difficult.

Environment - If you're too hot or too cold, if you're disturbed by noisy neighbors or traffic, or if your room is too bright, you may feel irritable - which isn't conducive to a good night's rest.

Man, That's a Lot of Sheep

If you suspect that sleep apnea may be the problem, a visit to your doctor is in order. You may be referred to a sleep clinic. Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, or using a CPAP machine that delivers air through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep.

Chronic pain is keeping you awake? Your first visit should be to the chiropractic doctors at The Joint Chiropractic. Furthermore, you should make sure that you've got a good mattress and pillow to sleep on, and that you try to sleep on your back or side instead of your stomach. This will ensure that your back and neck are properly supported and comfortable, helping reduce strain and subluxations. 

If it's stress that is keeping you up at night, a good pre-bedtime routine is a must. Stop doing any work, watching TV, or using your computer or phone at least half an hour before you retire. A soothing bedtime routine of a warm bath, maybe some stretches, and some light reading (short stories or poems are much better than an engrossing novel that keeps you up until 3 in the morning).

Is your slumber deterred by noise and light? There are measures you can take to reduce the brightness and the din. Light-blocking blinds or curtains, ear plugs or a white noise machine, and even a sleep mask (I use one, and they work wonderfully) can help turn your room into a dark, quiet and cozy haven for sleep. 

Hopefully with these tips, you'll be resting easy in no time, and might even be able to forgo your morning coffee! (Yeah ... that's not going to happen.) And you'll feel much better, tomorrow morning, and every morning to come.

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