With National Stop Snoring Week occurring 23th-29th April, it brings to light a lot of sleep problems that many of us suffer with on a regular basis. Whether it’s yourself personally, or you find yourself disturbed by your partner’s sleep problems, it can lead to a lack of sleep and possible health complications. From not being productive in work, to shifts in your mood, a lack of sleep can contribute to a general decreased quality of life if it goes on for long enough.
National Stop Snoring Week was designed to remind people that you don’t have to suffer from snoring; it can be treated. So, what are some of the common sleep problem that problem suffer with, and how do you go about overcoming them?
Snoring is often the result of your lifestyle. Factors such as your weight, how much you drink or smoke, sleep position or allergies can all cause snoring. Just under half of the UK adult population snores, and it generally affects men more than women. Whether you snore yourself, or it’s your partner, it can be incredibly disruptive.
However, there are a few remedies you can try in order to reduce your snoring. Maintaining a healthy weight is important, as well as avoiding alcohol before bed. You should try and sleep on your side, rather than your back. You could also consider changing your pillows. Anti-snore pillows are available that will support your head and neck in order to encourage better breathing. Anti-snore pillows can also enhance your sleeping position to relieve snoring and other breathing problems.
Insomnia affects around 30% of the population, with many of us finding it hard to fall asleep as well as waking up several times through the night. It can affect your general wellbeing if it continues long-term, but there are some things you can do to try and alleviate the problem.
Getting into a bedtime routine can help; going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can encourage your body to become tired at the right times. Make sure you only go to bed when you feel tired. You should also make sure you relax ahead of going to bed; avoid electronics if you can. It’s also important that your mattress, pillows and duvet are comfortable and are keeping you at a good temperature.
Known as bruxism, many of us suffer with teeth grinding or jaw clenching while we sleep. This can cause headaches, facial pain and can even wear your teeth down over time. It’s usually due to stress, and those who suffer from it probably don’t realise they’re even doing it.
If you are grinding your teeth regularly, wearing a mouth guard is usually recommended to protect your teeth. Make sure you relax as much as possible before going to bed; encourage your brain to switch off from work-related problems or anything else that may cause stress or worry. You can also follow some muscle-relaxing exercises to reduce pain in your jaw.
Restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs, and is also associated with jerking of your legs and sometimes arms. It affects around 10% of the population, and symptoms can range from very mild to severe.
It is said that it could be caused by how the body handles dopamine; the chemical that controls muscle movement.
You can treat this by adopting good sleep habits, quitting smoking and exercising regularly in the daytime. If your symptoms are quite severe, medication is sometimes prescribed to regulate levels of dopamine and iron.