Nearly 40 million people in North America each year suffer from sleeping difficulties. An extra 20 million people experience intermittent sleeping issues.
Work, housework, babies, worry, parties, or late-night television are a few causes of sleep deprivation.
Whatever the cause of sleep deprivation, research has proven that it harms our mental and physical health. Our bodies secrete hormones that alter our mood, energy, memory and focus when we sleep.
According to testing, sleep-deprived persons may do as poorly as intoxicated people in a driving simulator or a hand-eye coordination exercise. Furthermore, a new study has revealed that prolonged sleep deprivation can promote high blood pressure and contribute to diabetes complications.
Common Sleep Problems and Causes
Problem #1: Cannot Fall Asleep – Cannot Stay Asleep
Most people encounter short-term insomnia at some point in their lives. Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, returning to sleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia is more common in women, persons with a history of depression, and those over 60. Temporary sleeplessness can be brought on by:
- Hearing a noise
- A stressful event such as job loss, family tragedy, or even catastrophic global events. Certain medications could keep you awake, particularly those that treat colds and allergies, heart disease, high blood pressure, and pain.
- Sleep-deprivation practices such as consuming alcohol and eating too close to bedtime
Short-term insomnia typically lasts only a few days and is no cause for concern.
For example, if you experience jet lag or seasonal time changes, your internal body clock will adjust within a few days.
When insomnia lasts for several weeks or more, it is considered chronic. This long-term ailment requires medical treatment. If you’re unsure if you have persistent insomnia, specialists recommend treating it like a headache. If it persists and nothing you try appears to help, you should consult a doctor, especially if you cannot pinpoint the source.
Insomnia can be caused by an underlying ailment that requires treatment, such as:
- Thyroid disorders
- Restless leg syndrome