Despite Sleeping for 7-8 Hours Every Night, I Feel Extremely Sleepy Each Morning. How Do I Change This?

Despite Sleeping for 7-8 Hours Every Night, I Feel Extremely Sleepy Each Morning. How Do I Change This?

There is absolutely nothing as frustrating as going to sleep for the evening and waking up the next morning feeling even more tired than when you went to bed. In this article we will take a look at why you are waking up tired every morning and what you can do to help yourself get a good night’s sleep.

 

A Few Reasons Why You Are Waking Up Tired

● Thyroid Disease – A possible reason why you could be waking up tired in the mornings could be because you are suffering from fatigue. Additionally, you may experience moodiness, weight gain or muscle and joint pain.

● Adrenal Fatigue – This condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance that causes your body to excrete an excess of cortisol and adrenaline.

● Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – This is a condition similar to adrenal fatigue but it is more common in women than in men.

● A Sedentary Lifestyle – You may be surprised that sitting around not doing anything could be making you more tired. Not moving enough will cause you to feel tired, sluggish and you may even experience mood imbalances.

● Depression – One of the most common symptoms of depression is feeling tired and fatigued.

● Inconsistent Sleep – If you do not get a solid eight hours of sleep each night you may experience fatigue when you wake in the mornings.

● Anemia – Having insufficient levels of iron in your blood could cause you to feel tired no matter how long you sleep at night.

● Dehydration – This one may be quite surprising; however, dehydration is one of the most common reasons that you feel tired.

 

What You Can Do To Fix It

Control your breath

Use breathing techniques to breathe slower. This helps tremendously with calming down and will impact how quickly you fall asleep. You can follow the 4-7-8 routine:

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. If you are not getting enough air, try it with 4-4-4 seconds first.

 

Try our Somnox sleep solution

Have you already tried everything to fall asleep? Breathing is your answer. We invented the Sleep Robot that guides you towards relaxed breathing and helps you fall asleep faster, worry less and wake up rested. Our Sleep Robot is comfortable, easy to use (also in the dark!) and therefore feels like a sleep-buddy. Through relaxed breathing, the Sleep Robot can help you calm your breathing and unwind.

Because of the subtle sounds and movements the robot makes, that mimic human breathing, it is easier for you to relax. So: no longer staring at the ceiling all night, worrying about stuff. Not only do you fall asleep feeling more relaxed, you’ll also sleep faster and longer. All that using no medicine at all: the Sleep Robot works in a totally natural way. With the Sleep Robot next to you, you feel safe and secure. It keeps you company and helps to distract your thoughts from the things that keep you up at night.

How does it work? The Somnox Sleep Robot guides your breathing. By holding the robot, you feel the breathing rhythm that the Sleep Robot produces. You will (subconsciously) adapt your own breathing to it. By slowing down your breathing you will calm down and relax. The Sleep Robot has sensors that can detect your breathing rate. This will be used to generate a breathing pace that is synchronised to you to slowly guide your breathing towards slow deep breathing techniques proven to reduce stress and anxiety. The Sleep Robot can play soothing sounds, nature sounds, or white/pink noise sounds. These sounds have a relaxing effect and can enhance the calming effect of the Sleep Robot.

Wondering whether Somnox is right for you? Take our quiz, and get our free advice.

 

Somnox review Sabra Bozman

Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep

When you wake up feeling tired in the mornings it is time to look at your routine and decide what you can change so that you can get a restful night’s sleep. A good example of routine is to go to sleep at the same time every night. It is also a good idea to stop drinking caffeine after 4 in the afternoon and remove anything from your bedroom that may be disturbing you.

 

Have a screen-free hour before bed

Falling asleep is the process of your body and mind winding down after a stressful day. You can decide whether that process starts an hour before you go to bed, or whether that process only starts after you put your phone away one hour into laying in bed. Looking at screens like your laptop or smartphone strains your eyes and prevents your body from producing Melatonin, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Instead of browsing the Internet, use that hour for relaxing activities. You can read with dim light, draw, meditate, write or do something else that helps you calm down. Give your body a chance to wind down so you can fall asleep quickly.

 

Count backward from 200

This is a simple but effective technique. Mentally count from 200 backward with your eyes closed. Counting sheep is a great alternative to this and great for boring yourself to sleep.

 

The act of focusing on something calming prevents yourself from getting excited because you’re thinking about doing things. Research shows that just thinking about an activity like playing tennis is enough to raise your blood pressure. Thinking of mundane and calming scenarios that don’t involve yourself moving is best for calming down.

Use the 2-minute technique

The US military developed this technique to allow jet pilots to fall asleep quickly between missions. It works like this:

 

  1. Relax all the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
  2. Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
  3. Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down

 

Spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:

  • You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
  • You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
  • You say ‘don’t think, don’t think, don’t think’ to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.

 

If you get used to this technique, meaning that you use it every time you fall asleep for multiple weeks, it’ll start working like magic.

 

I calm my breath down with the 4-7-8 technique for 5 breaths, then I start with this 2-minute routine. If that’s not enough, I’ll either start counting from 200 backward or get up and try again after 15-20 minutes.

 

Watch your nutrition and caffeine intake

Caffeine affects your body for 4-12 hours after ingesting it. This means that having a coffee at lunch can impact your sleep, even though they are quite a bit apart. Eating can have just as much of an effect on your sleep. Try not to eat anything in the last 2 hours before going to bed. You can still drink some water if you need to. Getting the right nutrients has major effects on your life so it is always worth sorting that out.

 

Carbohydrates leave you feeling tired and sluggish. You will be surprised by the massive difference in your quality of sleep if you switch out processed carbs for whole grain options that have a low glycerin value. These types of foods will sustain your blood sugar levels for an extended period of time helping your body rest while you sleep.

 

Improve your sleeping environment

Is your room too warm? Does light get into your room at night? Is there a lot of noise coming in from outside? What about your pillows and your mattress?

 

All these factors impact the quality of your sleep and you should look into all of them. Sleep takes up roughly one-third of your day and will continue doing so for the rest of your life, so it is worth optimizing.

 

Generally, an optimal sleep environment is:

  • Cool
  • Dark
  • Quiet
  • Comfortable
  • Stress-free
  • Only used for sleep or intimate relations

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can contribute significantly to feelings of fatigue. Make sure that you are drinking at least eight large glasses of water every day. Additionally, if you lead an active lifestyle, are pregnant or nursing you should be drinking more to keep yourself hydrated. It is also a great idea to keep a bottle of water on your bedside table so that you can sip on the water during the night.

 

Exercise

Getting a little exercise during the day will help you sleep much better at night. Not only does regular exercise boost your general health but it helps to oxygenate your blood. This will send more nutrients to your brain and heart helping them work more effectively and helping you sleep. As it uses up your energy In turn, you will sleep more and end up with more energy the next day. Fortunately, you do not have to jog five miles a day to attain these benefits. A simple 30 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to keep your body healthy and help you sleep. If you’re not into sports, you should still at least take a walk or do some lighter exercising.

 

Herbal Tea

If you find yourself waking up tired it is a good idea to cut out caffeine from your diet. Fortunately, this does not mean that you have to give up on warm drinks entirely. Simply choose herbal teas to enjoy in the evening instead of your usual cup of coffee. Chamomile tea is a great option if you struggle to sleep as the soothing properties of this herb has been used to help people go to sleep for centuries. Alternatively, you could opt for a cup of peppermint tea if you prefer something with a refreshing taste.

 

Look into other factors

Stress, kids, drugs/alcohol, sleep apnea, insomnia, and other issues can have a major effect on your sleep. All of those things affect your energy, mood, happiness, and productivity. Seek help for these kinds of issues. Home remedies and techniques can’t fix everything and there are people who work on these things professionally.

 

Other ways to wake up less sleepy

Waking up in the morning can be challenging, especially if you didn’t quite get enough sleep. Here’s a list of things you can do to make sure you get out of bed:

 

  • Have only one alarm. Multiple alarms only encourage you to ignore them and make you more likely to oversleep.
  • Use the 5-second rule. As soon as you hear the alarm you go 5-4-3-2-1 (out loud or in your mind) and you get out of bed. Don’t give your mind time to convince you to stay in there.
  • Get out of bed. Getting out of bed is usually the hardest part, but as soon as you’re not in there anymore it is much easier to stay awake.
  • Have a morning routine. I always drink a glass of water right after waking up, then I take a cold shower. A set routine can help override the emotional part of your brain.
  • Turn the light on. Light tells your body that it is daytime and helps ease the sleepiness.
  • Use a smart alarm clock. There are lots of different models of clocks that need more than just a press of a button to turn off. Whether you need to solve a puzzle first or go to your bathroom to take a picture, they’ll usually wake you right up. (I use the free app Alarmy for this)
  • Make staying in bed uncomfortable. You can achieve this by opening the window blinds or turning the heat on automatically each morning so the bed gets too warm.

 

After a few days of adjusting to your new schedule, you should be able to wake up even without a clock most of the time. If you oversleep a lot, you might need to adjust your sleep time and add half an hour.

If you are looking for more great information regarding the latest health news you should click here for more.

How can I relax my mind before going to sleep?

How can I relax my mind before going to sleep?

Some people fall asleep immediately; their heads hit the pillow. However, for some of us, whenever we want to sleep, our minds start to play. So we end up turning and tossing in bed even for hours without falling asleep. 

 

We turn on our phones and quickly browse through global sleep statistics. However, at least forty percent of the adult population doesn’t get enough sleep. We are not alone. Such information sounds comforting, but sleep experts have already declared sleep a pillar of good health.

 

So we search for natural sleep supplements and make a mental list of the ones we must buy in the morning. By the time we get our minds to accept to sleep, it’s a few hours to wake uptime, and we feel like searching for ways to get eight hours of sleep within four hours.

 

What do we do? How do we get our minds to switch off? If we can learn how to relax our minds before going to sleep, we could be snoring as soon as we get to bed. That is why this article is entitled, ‘how can I relax my mind before going to sleep?’

 

Here are tips on how to do that;

1. Re-design your bedroom

Before suggesting some tasks that you could be doing before going to bed, let’s talk about the bedroom. You can have the best bedtime routine in the world, but you still cannot sleep well because the sleeping area gets in the way.

 

We will look at your bedroom in two ways: the structure and the memories. The structure refers to the bed, lighting, and colors. The memories refer to recollections that come to your mind each time you enter your bedroom.

 

The structure of a great bedroom

1. The right bed and mattress 

What makes a good bed? A good bed should provide sufficient support to your spine and neck so that you don’t wake up with unnecessary pains. The mattress you choose must promote healthy sleeping positions.

 

Sleep experts like Trish Boudreaux have done excellent reviews on various kinds of mattresses and beds for you. You can also check with such professionals for the best companies around you so that you buy what fits your budget. For instance, Plushbeds makes an excellent latex mattress, but can you afford it?

 

2. Enough lighting

There are as many bedroom lighting tips as there are interior designers. However, one thing that’s crystal clear is too much light does not promote sleep. How can you even relax your mind when the lighting makes you uncomfortable?

 

3. No clutter

It is impossible to relax in a stuffy and congested room. One way of relaxing your mind before going to sleep is by de-cluttering your bedroom. Also, ensure you clean your bedding at least once per week an keep the floors clean as well. 

 

 Dirt can stand in the way of a peaceful night. Try keeping your sleeping area tidy, simple, and elegant, and you will always look forward to bedtime.

 

Memories of your bedroom.

What comes to mind each time you look at your bedroom? Did you know that if you were abused in that room, you are likely to be traumatized each time you go to sleep? Perhaps your mind cannot relax at night because of the events that have taken place in that room. Hence consider the following tips:

 

  1. If you shared your bed with your ex and the relationship wasn’t great, you can change the bed or have someone new to make new memories.
  1. If your bedmate has passed on, you can move to another room for a while. Alternatively, you can choose to think of the great memories you shared because positive thoughts will calm you.
  1. Redecorating the bedroom is also a way of erasing the past and preparing for fresh memories.

 

2. Yin Yoga

You already know that the mental benefits of Yoga include mind relaxation and stress relief. If you’ve never tried Yoga, please know that you are missing out on a great way to exercise both your body and spirit.

 

Yin Yoga is the best variety of Yoga for relaxing the mind before going to sleep. Yin Yoga postures are also known to improve blood circulation and flexibility. 

 

 Here is a simple Yin Yoga routine that both beginners and experts can do at home. The method is from Melina Meza, a Yoga teacher for over fifteen years.

 

Try each step for three to five minutes before moving on to the next. Yoga experts advise us to sit still after each pose and listen to our breathing as we meditate on our lives. Do this routine close to bedtime, and you will solve most sleep disorders.

 

  1. It starts with the reclined bound angle pose, also known as the reclined cobbler’s pose. The main objective here is to reduce fatigue and any anxiety you might have had during the day.
  1. Then you move to the supine twist to stretch your back muscles and the spine. The pose also helps in reducing stress and anxiety. Jathara Parivartanasana or the supine twist is one of those poses that can also help you burn fat around your abdomen.
  1. The third step is Ananda Balasana, also known as the happy baby pose. One benefit of Ananda Balasana that is known the world over is its ability to calm the mind. 
  1.    Thread the needle pose. This pose relaxes most of the upper body muscles and joints. You may not enjoy doing it, but in the end, you feel like you’ve just had a great massage. 
  1.    Legs up the wall pose. As you get used to Yoga, you’ll always want to end your routine with this pose. It’s easy to do, even on the bed, if you have a great mattress. Lie on your back, and raise your legs straight up the wall. You can place a pillow under your buttocks to help you elevate your hips.

3. Deliberate self talk

Have you ever held a meeting with yourself? Sometimes the mind is like a busy office where all manner of voices wants your attention. So you find it hard to sleep immediately; you go to bed since your brain is saturated with voices.

 

One easy way of easing the mind is through having the courage to face whichever thoughts running through your mind. In other words, call yourself to a meeting and have deliberate self-talk.

 

Importance of self-talk

  1. You get a chance to confront the negative thoughts in your mind. For instance, imagine you can’t sleep since your bills are piling up. Your brain cannot shut off for you to keep thinking of all the bad things likely to happen to you if you don’t pay your debts.

 

You can confront such thoughts by facing the fact that if you fail to sleep, you will be more stressed the next day. Therefore, you won’t be able to think clearly about how to manage the bills. Also, stress is a health issue, so you might end up adding medical bills on top of the ones you have already.

 

  1. Positive self-talk gives you hope. You affirm yourself for nothing is as bad as it seems. Engaging yourself in positive vibes also gives you the morale to confront evil thoughts. 

For instance, you know you are incredibly talented in a particular area. 

 

If you encourage yourself to look for gigs in the field of your gifting, you will sort out all your bills soon. There are various types of self-talk, and you can master the art of controlling your mind through internal monologue.

 

4. Read books and articles that make you sleepy

Do you have boring things to read to sleep? If reading these things works for your kids, it can work for you too. You get to divert your mind from stressful thoughts through books and articles so that you can fall asleep.

 

In case you enjoy reading, a good book will reduce your fatigue significantly. Experts argue that reading keeps your mind occupied, but it could also be a great way to relax.

 

5. Have sex

Having sex is one of the proven relaxation techniques before bed. Great orgasmic sex helps your body release three kinds of hormones: oxytocin, cortisol, and prolactin.

 

Note, Oxytocin is the hormone that makes you feel that you want to cuddle your partner after a sexual encounter. 

 

You two feel close and safe in each other’s arms. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Sex can reduce stress; hence, you get lower levels of cortisol in your body. Finally, prolactin is the hormone you release once you orgasm. That’s why you feel sleepy and happy after an orgasm.

 

If you form a habit of having sex before bedtime, you will always have a relaxed mind before going to sleep especially, if you get intimate with someone you love and someone that makes you feel safe.

6. Take magnesium supplements

Magnesium is one of the supplements that help you sleep. Health experts say that the mineral reduces stress and anxiety, as well as promoting better sleep. Luckily, you can get the mineral through supplements or foods like almonds and green leafy vegetables.

 

Although scientists have conducted enough research on magnesium for sleep and anxiety, remember to consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Once you get a green light from your physician, you can find the supplements from stores near you.

7. Eat food rich in Omega 3 

We have talked a lot about exercise, your thoughts, and your bedroom. Nevertheless, your diet is crucial in calming your mind before going to sleep. Apart from taking magnesium supplements, you need to invest in a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Foods that help you sleep through the night have a calming effect on your brain. Most of them relieve stress and anxiety; hence, you feel happy and relaxed. Omega-3 fatty acids are like the superman among the foods that promote sleep.

 

Sources of Omega-3

  1. Salmon
  2. Roasted Soybeans.
  3. Chia seeds
  4. Sardines
  5. Flax seeds
  6. Omega-3 supplements.

 

8. Take some warm milk

Does warm milk help you sleep? To answer this question, think of what happens to babies when they breastfeed. Most of them fall asleep. That shows that there is a connection between warm milk and falling asleep.

 

One way to relax your mind before going to sleep is by taking a glass of warm milk. Research tells us that milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan. The nutrient is critical in helping the body release a hormone known as serotonin. 

 

Serotonin helps you feel relaxed; hence, the hormone aids the body to sleep. Also, milk is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, which not only helps you sleep but also helps you to stay asleep.

9. Eat some organic honey

Honey calms nerves, by the way. Kindly note that only pure and natural honey will do the trick in this scenario, so buy organic honey from a reputable grocery store.  According to research, honey also contains tryptophan.

 

Overeating honey might cause nausea and tooth decay. Therefore, one spoonful a day is enough. In fact, you add it to your warm milk then take the solution before bedtime. 

10. Go crazy

Sometimes you cannot calm your mind at night because your body is not tired. It’s challenging to get some sleep if you stay idle all day long. You cannot do a lot of work at night, but you can do some crazy stuff to get you tired.

 

For instance, you can jump up and down on your bed until you are worn out. You need a firm latex mattress for that. You can also engage in a pillow fight or play hide and seek if you have some company.

 

11. Relax with the Somnox Sleep Robot

If you are having trouble falling and staying asleep, the Somnox Sleep Robot can help. It is a device created by robotics engineers who wanted to help their fellow family members get rid of the sleeping pills they were taking. 

The Somnox Sleep Robot helps you guide your breathing in a subconscious way in combination with soothing audio. Aiming to help people fall asleep faster and get better, more restorative sleep each night.

You can find out how it can help you, by getting free advice from us 👇

 

 

Key Takeaways

In case you are have been wondering, how can I relax my mind before going to sleep, you are now spoilt for choice. The tips discussed above have been tried and tested over time. If you still persist to have problems after trying out these things, please contact a professional seeking help.

 

Somnox Sleep Robot Updates

Somnox Sleep Robot Updates

We value your feedback a lot. That’s why these updates are a direct result from your input.

To update your Sleep Robot, you have to have a stable connection between your Sleep Robot and your mobile phone. Make sure that your charger is not connected with the Sleep Robot while updating. Read an extensive guide on how to update your Sleep Robot:

You can download the latest update here on iOS and Android.

 

✨ 04/20: Adjust your speed in adaptive breathing

Our redesigned breathing screen allows you to set the start speed and end speed when adaptive breathing is on. This allows you to better adjust the robot’s breathing to your own rhythm!

 

pas-snelheid-aan-gesynchroniseerde-ademhaling

 

✨ 02/20: Renewed introduction screen for new users

This update is focused on giving new users a better experience when introducing the Sleep robot!

 

introductiescherm-nieuwe-gebruikers

 

✨ 12/19: New breathing programme designs

In this update we’ve improved the design and user experience of the breathing program selection, added more information about the breathing programs. Next to that, we’ve added the user’s name to the Hello message at the home and breathing tab. The lightning icon is now replaced with a standard Bluetooth icon!

 

nieuw-ontwerp-ademhalingsprogrammas

 

✨ 11/19: Accessibility update

The application is now automatically adjusted based on the accessibility settings of your device.

 

toegankelijkheid-update

 

📱 11/19: Somnox Support 2.0

Where can I find the right information? In the app? The manual? On a website? Or should I make a phone call? Why isn’t there one central point where I can find everything?
We heard you. Therefore we are pleased to announce the Somnox Support 2.0 – a new way to support you through an updated live chat, an always up-to-date knowledge base and support messages for new Sleep Robot users. Have all information available in one central place.
  • ✨ Added: Somnox Support for improving communication between you and Somnox
  • ✨ Added: Audio will fade out when the Sleep Program is ending

Read more on the different ways you can use this: https://somnox.com/blog/new-somnox-support-2-0/

 

 

🔨 10/19: New Welcome Screen

In this update, we focused on improving the existing features of the mobile application. We directed our efforts on improving stability, performance and the first user experience.

Both:

– Brand new first-time experience with the Somnox Companion App
– Logging in and signing up user experience and interface has been improved
– Improved Bluetooth communication with Sleep Robot in terms of stability and performance

🍎 iOS:
– When creating an account with Somnox, you will receive onboarding emails based on your phone’s language settings now
– Fixed bug where Serial Number registration prompt-up was unnecessary
– Fixed a crash when no account is logged in somehow

🤖 Android:
– Sleep Robot updates can now be performed on the background
– Fixed a bug where performing a Sleep Robot update for the second time would result in a crash
– Fixed some translations issues

Important: Don’t swipe away the update notification on your Android phone, because this disrupts the update. Wondering how the notification will look like? See the image down below.

 

 

📱 08/19: Status Screen

During the feedback rounds in the past month, you asked us to display more valuable information about your Sleep Robot. In the past month, we have focused on delivering exactly that. We’re introducing the Somnox Status Screen, displaying:

– The battery status of the Sleep Robot
– The firmware update changelog of the Sleep Robot
– The installed software version of the Sleep Robot

Next to that, we did some behind-the-scenes maintenance to make the app more stable. At last, we’ve improved our support in German 🇩🇪.

 

 

🔋 07/19: Battery Improvements

The July 2019 update introduced the low power mode: once your Sleep Robot is turned off, it will consume 50% less battery than before. This creates an overall battery life improvement of around 20%.

 

✨ 06/19: Adaptive Breathing

The June 2019 update introduced a beta version of the Adaptive Breathing: your Sleep Robot will measure your breathing speed and automatically synchronizes itself to you. After this, it will gradually bring you to a slower and more relaxed breathing pattern. How to turn it on? Just enable the button on your Breathing home screen.

 

 

✨ 06/19: New Design

In the June 2019 update, we did a big overhaul on our Companion App design.

We’ve updated the design to:

  1. Help you find the right settings straight away
  2. Change the overall mood and atmosphere
  3. Improve the readability for use during the evening

We did this by doing extensive research and create a more useful and intuitive navigation experience in the app. Next to that, we’ve added new icons and engaging illustrations to support you to use the app more intuitively.

 

🎵 06/19: Upload your own music 

Because everyone has a different taste, we added the ability to upload your own music, audiobooks, podcasts or any other audio file to your Sleep Robot. You can learn how to do that by following the guide by clicking here.

 

List of Sleep Disorders

List of Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders continue to affect a lot of people across the world, in fact, more than 70 million people just in the USA struggle from them. The field of sleep is complex and there are so much research and studies being conducted to better understand the symptoms, causes and best treatments for sleep disorders. There are several organizations that are at the forefront of studying sleep and advancing the field of sleep medicine. 

Today, there are over 80 recognized sleep disorders, where some are more common than others. People with various types of disorders may constantly struggle to sleep, have trouble staying asleep, wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to return to sleep and others wake in the morning feeling tired. Here are the most common sleep disorders that could disturb your quality night sleep. 

Insomnia 

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. It is known, that about 10 per cent of Americans reported suffering from chronic insomnia. Insomnia is characterized as having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. People with insomnia are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms: 

  •   Difficulty falling asleep
  •   Waking up in the middle of the might and having trouble returning to sleep
  •   Waking up too early in the morning 
  •   Feeling tired upon waking

Insomnia can be categorized into two types: 

  •   Primary insomnia: this is insomnia that is not directly associated with any other health condition. 
  •   Secondary insomnia: this type of insomnia means that the person is having sleep problems that are associated with something else such as an illness or the medication or alcohol problems, etc.

Insomnia is also categorized as acute and chronic insomnia.

Acute insomnia is short-term while chronic can last a long time. Acute insomnia can actually last from one night to a few weeks. Generally, one is diagnosed with chronic insomnia if it lasts for at least three nights a week for three months or longer. 

Good sleep habits can be used for preventing and curing acute insomnia.

Treatment for chronic insomnia starts by first treating any underlying conditions that are causing insomnia. Behavioural therapy is another remedy for this sleep disorder. 

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Obstructive sleep apnea is another prevalent sleep disorder. Many people with this sleep disorder do not even realize they have it. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something partly or fully blocks the upper respiratory system.

When that happens, a person’s breathing stops for a few seconds during the night. The blockage makes the diaphragm and the chest muscles to strain to open the blocked airway and pull air into the lungs. A person resumes breathing with a loud gasp or body jerk. 

Obstruction of the airway can lower the flow of oxygen to vital organs thus leading to irregular heart rhythms.

Obstruction of the upper respiratory system can happen several times an hour for several seconds at a time. This, therefore, does not allow the brain time to get into deeper phases of sleep where the restorative process happens which prepares you for the next day. As a result, a person wakes up in the morning feeling tired. 

There are several symptoms of sleep apnea including fatigue, night sweat, and headaches in the morning, dry mouth when you wake up, snoring and restlessness during sleep among others. 

Sleep apnea can be treated by avoiding alcohol, using nasal sprays, sleeping on your side, oral devices and surgery if necessary. 

 

REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder

Sleep has two distinct cycles, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). During REM sleep, there is irregular breath, blood pressure rises and the muscles are relaxed. A person with REM sleep behaviour disorder experiences sudden and intense movement during sleep. People with this sleep disorder tend to act out their dreams and they might talk, yell, punch, kick or jump out of bed. 

The exact cause of REM sleep behaviour disorder is unknown, but it has been highly associated with alcohol or sedative-hypnotic withdrawal. Medication is often advised as a treatment for this sleep disorder. 

 

 

Narcolepsy 

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that inhibits the ability of the brain to control sleep and wakefulness. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness whereby they fall asleep unexpectedly during the day. The unexpected sleep attacks can happen during any activity at any time of the day. 

People suffering from narcolepsy typically have their REM sleep happen almost immediately in the sleep cycle and happens in different periods during the waking hours. 

The exact cause of narcolepsy is not known, but there are scientists who associate it with the genes that control the production of chemicals in the brain. The chemicals may signal sleep and wakefulness cycles. 

The most common symptom of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness which really interferes with your normal activities and can be very dangerous when you’re driving. One may also experience hallucinations and sleep paralysis. 

There is no cure for narcolepsy, but its most common symptom, excessive daytime sleepiness can be controlled with drug treatment such as amphetamine-like stimulants. 

 

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes one to have irresistible urge to move the limbs, usually when resting. People with RLS, experience sensations in the legs which are often described as creeping, aching, itching, pulling or burning. That’s why the only relief is the movement of the legs. 

Restless leg syndrome can impact your sleep because of the constant urge to move your legs, and that’s why it has been classified as a sleep disorder. With this disorder, it becomes difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

RLS can lead to sleep loss can lead to other symptoms of sleep deprivation caused by other sleep disorders including reduced quality of life, memory loss, cognitive impairment, fatigue and excessive sleep disorder. 

Regular exercise is a good treatment for RLS. Also if you are found to be having an iron deficiency, iron supplements will be prescribed. Caffeine can intensify RLS, so it is important to avoid caffeine-containing drinks as well as alcohol. 

 

What to do if you have a sleep disorder

If you believe you’re suffering from a sleep disorder you should talk with your doctor about your symptoms. If the symptoms are signs of a sleep disorder, the doctor will prescribe relevant drugs if necessary or refer you to a sleep clinic. 

 

New Discoveries Question Our Understanding of Sleep

New Discoveries Question Our Understanding of Sleep

How much do we really know about sleep? We go to sleep every day for several hours, without thinking about how that process works. Sleeping is essential as breathing, and no matter how long we try to stay awake, eventually we will fall asleep. While we are sleeping, many vital processes are going on in our body, so our brain is not really resting, it is actually bursting with activity.

Have you ever wondered how do we fall asleep, and what happens in our brain when we start feeling tired? For a long time, this was one of many sleep-related mysteries. There is no such thing as a magical button or brain’s sleep switch to turn the lights off in our brain. However, recently, researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Oxford managed to make significant progress in this field with their international study about brain dynamics and transitions during Non-REM sleep and periods of wakefulness. 

 

How Much Do We Know About Sleep so Far?

During our sleep, every 90 to 120 minutes, we go through one sleep cycle, meaning that over the course of one night, we complete four or five sleep cycles. The first one is always the shortest, and it lasts around 90 minutes, after that every next one will last from 100 to 120 minutes. Every sleep cycle consists of four different stages of sleep.

Once we start falling asleep, first we go through three stages of Non-REM sleep, and then we fall into the REM stage. Stage 1 of Non-REM is the drowsy one, it does not last long, and it can be described as light sleep, or transition from wakefulness to sleep. You can still hear sounds, or be easily awoken, although your brain has stepped into sleep, you are not entirely aware that you are sleeping. 

After that comes the stage 2, which lasts significantly longer, making around 40-60% of our sleep time. This stage is also the stage of light sleep, but it is not so shallow as it is in the first stage. During this phase, our brain is processing memories and emotions, our metabolism is regulating, so there is still a lot going on, while our heart rate and breathing are slowly decreasing.

Stage 3 lasts longer in children, but in adults, it is quite short, this stage of deep sleep is also known as restorative. This is when our body and muscles get relaxed, and our body produces growth hormone, regulates its immune system; basically, it nurtures itself from the inside. Together, these three stages last roughly around 90 minutes, after that comes the REM sleep. 

While during the third stage of NREM it is all about the body, in REM, the central activity occurs in our brain. The REM stage is a phase when our dreams occur, the brain’s activity is at its highest, eyes are moving rapidly, heart rate increases, etc. After REM, the cycle goes again from the beginning, and we go again from the N1 stage through the REM. The first REM is the shortest, but as the night progresses, every next one will last slightly longer.

 

The Case Study

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, so it is not surprising that many scientists are fascinated by sleep, and everything related to it. Researchers from Denmark and the US have joined their forces to question one particular problem that is common for both nations, sleep issues since both countries have a high percentage of the population dealing with various sleep disorders. They believe that their findings can be potentially revolutionary in terms of understanding what happens in our brain while we are sleeping. Besides that, it could also be significant for improving treatments and fighting sleep disorders.

So far, our understanding of sleep was based on classifying sleep into different stages; however, how the underlying brain dynamics work was not clear. Dividing sleep into stages is based on many conventions, which are not outdated, but they do not explain precisely enough what is going on in our brain. For the purpose of this study, researchers gathered 57 healthy adults and used Markovian data-driven way of analyzing continuous neuroimaging while participants were falling asleep. At the same time, they were simultaneously performing fMRI and EEG. By doing so, they were able to get a detailed and more precise idea of sleep, as a result of multiple brain networks that communicate through different patterns during sleep.

Their findings showed that our wake-NREM sleep complex is much more complex than we believed, certainly more than the traditional division into stages was suggesting. They used those transitional stages and projected them onto a probabilistic map of different relationships between whole-brain networks. By examining those transitions, researchers noticed a lowered whole-brain dynamics during the NREM stages. They consider that the activity of the brain network does not correspond to the traditional criteria for defining N1 sleep. Also, they find out that the activity in our brain is not on the same level before and after sleep. 

However, at the moment, their results are still not enough to understand what is going on in the brain of a person who suffers from insomnia, or what the role of sleep is in mental disorders. But, researchers are hoping that the next steps in their work will provide more information and success.

 

Key Takeaway

This type of research represents a modern outlook on something that was accepted and became a convention a long time ago. This is a step forward in understanding and getting to know more about the brain’s activity during sleep, and with every further research, it is going to get more and more complicated. Traditional sleep stages are not wrong; they can still be accepted as a simplified version of what is going on. However, with the progress of modern science, we can only expect that researches like this one will eventually break that division and come up with a new one, more detailed, more complicated, and more accurate.

This guest article was written by Selena Thomas. Selena Thomas is a content writer who loves sharing tips on healthy lifestyles. A writer by day and a reader by night, she’s fond of writing articles that can help people in improving both physical and mental health. Also, she loves traveling and inspires people on her blogs.