10 Reasons You Might Be Losing Sleep

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Do you ever wonder why, on some mornings, you feel more exhausted waking up than you did when you went to bed?

Sleep deprivation is a common problem among adults with a wide variety of possible causes, making it difficult to pinpoint the particular reason you may be feeling so tired.

However, the factors below may contribute to your sleep loss, and with a few minor adjustments you can correct the problem and get the relaxing, essential rest you need for your day to day activities.

1. Stress

We've all been there--lying awake at night fretting about that unpaid bill, the upcoming presentation at work, the kids getting in trouble at school, a sick relative. Sometimes even all at once.

The most notorious stealer of sleep, day to day stress can take a real toll on our well-being. Whether stress is acute or chronic, it is important to assess and manage our most nagging stressors so they do not interfere with our sleeping patterns.

The American Psychological Association provides five useful tips for managing stress.

2. Pain

Research shows that pain and sleep are inextricably connected. Whether it's mild or severe, any bodily pain can disrupt the sleep cycle throughout the night.

The most common types of pain-related sleep disruption include back pain, arthritis, headaches, menstrual pain, and fibromyalgia.

3. Pets in Bed

Sleeping with pets may seem like a comforting habit, but studies show that sharing a bed with your pet can lead to sleep deprivation.

Your pet's scratching, kicking, snoring, or meowing (albeit unintentional) can disturb your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.

4. Medication and Vitamins

Even the most common drugs, such as steroids used to treat asthma or beta-blockers for high blood pressure, can cause disturbed sleep.

Some vitamins, namely B6 and B12, put people at risk for disrupted sleep and should typically be taken only in the morning.

5. Infants

A crying new baby will surely cause a cutback in the number of hours parents can sleep. However, it is important for both you and your new baby to get as much sleep as you can.

Here are 10 ways sleep-deprived new parents can improve their sleeping habits.

6. Alcohol

A nightcap before may seem like a relaxing way to ease into drowsiness and fall asleep, but research shows that this is not the case.

After the sleep-inducing effects of alcohol wear off, it becomes a stimulant as the blood alcohol level begins to fall. It is important to avoid alcoholic beverages 4-6 hours before bedtime in order to achieve the best night's rest.

7. Sleeping Environment

The sleep environment is an important factor in the quality of rest you get. Environmental problems such as irregular room temperature, disruptive noise, or a snoring bed partner can influence your sleep patterns.

The best part about this factor is that it is often modifiable--you can make necessary changes to improve your nightly quality of rest.

8. Poor Bedtime Rituals

Sleep deprivation based on poor personal rituals before bed are tough, because these habits can be hard to break.

Drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, staying up late, and watching television before bed stimulate the nervous system and impair the body's ability to transition into its sleep cycle.

Over extended periods of time, these habits can create a multitude of problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation, so it is important to practice good pre-bedtime rituals every night.

9. Exhaustion

There is a difference between feeling sleepy and feeling exhausted, and this may be a determining factor in the quality of your rest. Exhaustion does not necessarily lend itself to quick, deep sleep.

For example, if you ran 10 miles then immediately jumped in bed, you may very well feel exhausted, but your body would be too keyed up to transition into the sleep cycle.

No matter how worn out you feel after exercise or a long day at work, it is important to take time to unwind and let your body gradually ready itself for sleep.

10. Sleep Disorder

If your symptoms worsen, you could be suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Because most symptoms of these disorders present themselves while you are asleep, you may not know you are experiencing them at all.

Sleep is an essential part of day to day function and overall health, so if you feel that you suffer from chronic sleep deprivation or exhaustion, consult your doctor about possible treatments.

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Topics: Healthy Living