Ever found yourself staring at the ceiling at 2am because you just can’t seem to get to sleep? One thing’s for sure, you’re not alone. While the occasional restless night is normal, what happens when this becomes a regular occurrence? If you often struggle to get a sound night’s sleep and wake up feeling tired and sluggish the following morning, you could be suffering from insomnia. Continuous episodes of sleeplessness that last for months or even years can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. If you are concerned that insomnia is interfering with your quality of life, this simple guide should help.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is an extremely common sleep disorder that affects approximately one in three people in the UK. It tends to be more prominent in older people and it affects more women than men. There are several tell-tale signs that could suggest that you have insomnia. For example, common symptoms include finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, waking up numerous times during the night, lying awake at night for long periods of time or waking up earlier than normal. You may also feel tired, lethargic and irritable during the day and struggle to carry out everyday activities due to low energy levels.
What causes it?
The cause of insomnia is not always clear. However, there are a number of factors that could contribute to the problem. For example, stress and anxiety and other mental health problems such as depression have all been associated with insomnia. Physical ailments such as chronic pain and heart problems may also trigger sleep deprivation. Lifestyle influences, such as drinking caffeine or excessive amounts of alcohol before bed and having irregular sleeping patterns, can also hinder your ability to enjoy a full night’s rest.
In addition, your sleeping environment could be causing your insomnia. If your bedroom is too cold or warm, excessively bright or noisy, you may find it difficult to get to sleep. Meanwhile, an uncomfortable and unsupportive bed can also exacerbate the disorder.
Certain medications, such as antidepressants, have also been linked to insomnia. If you think that your medication could be linked to the problem, speak to your doctor.
What are the health hazards?
For some people, insomnia can come and go without inflicting any serious harm to their physical or mental health. However, for others, the condition can be persistent and have a negative effect on their mood, relationships with others and their performance at work. Not only can drowsiness caused by a lack of sleep make you more prone to accidents during the day, it can also lead to impaired concentration and memory and sometimes even trigger depression. Long-term sleep deprivation can also result in weight gain and serious health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
If you find it difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep and it is affecting your everyday life, consider speaking to your GP. They will be able to identify any underlying medical issues that may be causing the disorder and recommend some simple lifestyle changes and home treatment techniques to help improve the condition.
How can I get more sleep?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much sleep you need as this varies from person to person. However, it is usually recommended that getting around eight hours of shuteye every night is a healthy amount for an adult. Establishing a regular sleep schedule where you go to bed and get up at the same time everyday can help to regulate your body clock and improve the quality of your sleep.
Having a relaxing bedtime routine can help to ease the transition from being awake to falling asleep. In the hour before you go to bed, try to avoid stimulating activities, such as watching TV or doing work. Instead, take the time to prepare yourself for rest by doing calming activities, like reading or listening to soothing music. If you are still struggling to relax, try writing down your concerns, thoughts and ideas before you go to bed to help clear your mind. It is also important to make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Invest in blackout curtains to reduce noise and light, turn off all electrical devices and make sure the air is not too dry. Using an eye mask or earplugs can also help to reduce potential disturbances during the night
Being mindful about what you eat and drink in the hours running up to bedtime is also a good idea. Try to avoid drinking tea and coffee before you go to sleep as they act as stimulants. While a light snack in the evening may help you drift off, eating heavy meals that are high in fat and sugar late at night can increase your alertness and cause digestive problems that may keep you awake into the early hours.
Staying active during the day can also increase your chances of achieving a sound slumber. However, try to avoid doing exercise too late in the evening as this can make falling asleep harder. Most healthcare experts advise that you stop doing strenuous physical activity at least three hours before you go to bed.
How can adjustable beds help?
Adjustable beds can help to provide long-term relief for insomnia. Using a mechanical system built in to the bed, they can be adjusted to suit your exact sleeping requirements and provide maximum support and comfort. Even a slight alteration to your posture can help you enjoy an undisturbed night’s sleep and leave you feeling refreshed and energised when you wake up.
At Adjustatamic, our adjustable beds feature our unique built-in NHC Cyclo-Therapy system, which can help to lull you into a satisfying slumber. Using a three way vibration technique, the massage system has been medically proven to alleviate aches and pains - as well as stress and anxiety - which are all common causes of insomnia.
For more information about how our products can help with sleeping disorders, browse our website further or get in touch today.