Worries about work, school, health, finances, or family can keep your mind active during the night and make it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma, such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce or loss of work, can also cause insomnia. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. However, many adults have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during the night.
In fact, up to 50% of older adults report having difficulty sleeping. A variety of lifestyle factors and underlying medical conditions can also contribute to difficulty sleeping in adults. Circadian rhythms have been linked to a variety of sleep problems and sleep disorders, as well as depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (winter depression). Whatever the cause of insomnia, improving sleep hygiene, reviewing your habits during the day, and learning to relax will help cure most cases of insomnia without relying on sleep specialists or resorting to over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills.
For others, sleep problems are due to a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome. A new survey reveals that most men say they often sacrifice a good night's sleep to spend more time playing video games and drinking alcohol. By reducing stress and anxiety, the relaxation response can allow you to fall asleep peacefully. Many common sleep problems can be treated with behavioral treatments and increased attention to proper sleep hygiene.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. Prescription sleeping pills may be needed for people who don't respond to over-the-counter products or those with a sleep disorder. These schedules force you to work when your body tells you to go to sleep and go to sleep when your body tells you to wake up. Signs of trouble sleeping may include inability to concentrate during the day, frequent headaches, irritability, fatigue during the day, getting up too early, waking up during the night, or taking several hours to fall asleep.
Sleep apnea, especially if it is severe and causes the blood oxygen level to drop during sleep, is a risk to the fetus. While sleep problems may increase as your loved one ages or experiences changes in their health, they may also be at greater risk of having trouble sleeping due to stress or odd hours. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an intense, often irresistible, urge to move your legs. If your healthcare provider suspects you have a sleep disorder, they can refer you to a sleep disorder clinic.