Surprising Reasons You May Not Be Sleeping

Daily Health Solutions,Sleep
March 15, 2012

If you’re having trouble sleeping, here are three surprising reasons why you may be tossing and how to get some rest.

Sleep is as important to your overall health as good nutrition and exercise. The average adult needs about seven to eight hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle; however, the amount of sleep an individual actually needs depends upon a variety of factors, including age and gender.

Tossing and turning when you need to be engaging in restful slumber can be frustrating and detrimental to your health. Uncovering the cause of your fitful sleep may help you get back to a restful state. There might be three surprising reasons you are having trouble sleeping.

Environmental factors. It’s easy to blame sleep issues on stress or anxiety. However, sometimes it may not be stress but your sleep environment deterring the Sandman from his nightly visit. Evaluate your sleeping environment. Is it too hot or too cold? A restful sleep requires your sleep environment to suit your physical comfort needs. Are there distracting noises, or is it too quiet? You need to determine what types of sounds (or lack thereof) are most relaxing as you are falling asleep. Try to make your bedroom a sleeping room, not an “everything” room. Keep work and the computer out of bed. Consider turning off the television before turning off the lights, and be sure to avoid any stimulating programs before bedtime. Never exercise just before trying to fall asleep, as your heart rate will be elevated, making sleep elusive.

Acid reflux. According to the Mayo Clinic, acid reflux is a symptom of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Acid reflux can interrupt your sleep even if you are not experiencing heartburn symptoms. Acid reflux may occur from late-night eating, especially when consuming foods such as chocolate, fatty meat and tomato sauces. Spicy foods also may cause acid reflux, disrupting sleep patterns. In addition, sleeping on your back may increase your risk of acid reflux. Sleeping on your left side may reduce the instances of acid reflux.

Bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding of teeth and generally is caused by stress or genetics. The continual grinding of teeth and the clenching of the jaw can cause a restless night’s sleep. If you are waking with a sore jaw each morning, talk to your dentist. He or she may prescribe a mouth guard.