Subject: Sleep Your Way to Better Health- Part 3

Sleep Your Way To Better Health (Part 3)
11 Barriers To A Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial for good health and longevity as pointed out in part 1 and part 2 of this newsletter. However, a lot of factors can affect determine the quality of sleep. There are so many things that can prevent a person from falling into a deep, restorative slumber. Some of these reasons are easy to fix whilst others can point to more serious issues that may require the attention of a medical specialist.

In any case, good quality sleep should be the aim of everyone and this can be done by identifying the barriers that stand in the way of deep sleep. Below are 11 of these barriers.

1. Radiation
The habit of keeping a mobile phone in the bedroom causes the emission of radiation all night long and this disrupts the brain wave patterns. 

Even worse is having a (DECT) cordless phone base station emitting massive radiation throughout the night which is equivalent to the output from a mobile phone mast.

Apart from being a cause of major sleep disruption, this will increase your cancer risk by a 100%.

Laptops, Plasma screens and IPads are other radiation emitting devices that damage health and cause problems with sleep.

Router location is also a factor. A wireless router in or near the bedroom will have negative impact not only on sleep but on the overall health as well.

2.  Medications

Certain medications can disrupt your sleep as well as cause insomnia. 

Some people are susceptible to drug-induced insomnia than others. 

Medications that can interfere with sleep include anti-depressants, steroids, theophylline, beta-blockers and anti-arrhythmics.

 It is therefore no surprise that people on such medications find it hard to sleep at night even if they are tired. Also, if they do fall asleep initially, the effects of the medications causes them to wake up during the night.

3. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol drinks close to bedtime can disrupt sleep. The stimulating effects of alcohol are more pronounced during night time. 

Even though alcoholic drinks cause drowsiness at first, they later begin to stimulate the body. When this happens, it leads to waking up frequently during sleep and this means shorter periods of REM (rapid eye movement sleep). 

Thus, the third and fourth phases of sleep are affected and this affects the quality of sleep.
4. Nocturia

When a person wakes up frequently at night with the urge to urinate, then this is known as nocturia. 

Sometimes, drinking a lot of fluid before bedtime can cause this. However, old age as well as certain medical conditions can also lead to the onset of nocturia. 

People who suffer from heart disease, enlarged prostate, urinary tract infections, diabetes and sleep apnea may feel the urge to urinate more often. The effect of nocturia is that it leads to sleep loss since those affected have to wake up multiple times and night and this can lead to sleep loss.
5. Large meals

Eating a heavy dinner or right before bed can affect your sleep. This is because the body’s digestive system begins to work hard and this can prevent the body from relaxing. 

Also, large meals can cause digestive problems which can lead to discomfort. People with heartburn are more likely to suffer from sleep interruption.

This is because gastric juices make their way back to the esophagus and this can cause discomfort and prevent such people from falling asleep
6. Musculoskeletal problems

Pain the in the joints and ligaments can cause people to toss and turn at night. This prevents them from falling into deep sleep. 

Also, the treatments for such conditions can cause insomnia in some people. Researchers have found that people who suffer from fibromyalgia experience abnormal sleep. 

This is because their slow brain waves mix with waves that depict a state of wakefulness and this is known as alpha-delta sleep. When this happens, such people wake up feeling stiff and achy even though they were in bed at night.

7. Smoking

Smoking has been linked to insomnia in various case studies. People who smoke right before bedtime experience difficulty in falling asleep quickly due to the presence of nicotine in cigarettes. 

Nicotine affects the chemical balance in the brain and may alter sleep patterns. When such people are unable to fall asleep, they may smoke some more and this can trigger insomnia. 
Therefore, the more restless they feel due to sleep loss, the more they feel inclined to smoke.

8. Respiratory problems

People who suffer from respiratory problems find it hard to breath. Their airways may constrict at night and cause them to wake up suddenly due to difficulty in breathing normally.

Bronchitis, emphysema and asthma all affect the respiratory system and this in turn can cause a person to wake up during the night due to shortness of breath and coughing.

9. The environment

The environment can have an affect on the quality of sleep. In environments where there are too much distractions such as televisions, pets, bright lights and loud noises, falling asleep can be difficult. 

If a person’s partner happens to snore at night, then such people also experience poor quality sleep. They may find it difficult to sleep with the snoring. It is estimated that people with snoring partners lose more than sixty minutes of sleep every night. This drastically reduces their sleeping time and can lead to sleep loss.
10. Hyperthyroidism

When the thyroid glands are overactive, they over-stimulate the nervous system. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep and sleep deprivation. 

Also, people with hyperthyroidism experience nighttime arousal due to night sweats and this can cause them to wake up frequently at night. 
11. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in tea, coffee, cola as well as other products.

A large percentage of adults take caffeine in some form or the other regularly in order to stay alert and active.

However, caffeine can get in the way of sleep by blocking adenosine (the chemical which sends sleep signals to your body).

The stimulating effects of caffeine can linger in the body for hours and this is how caffeine can prove as an obstacle to a peaceful slumber.

With so many barriers to a good night's sleep, it is crucial to find out which ones affect you. Only then can you go ahead and look for a solution. The next newsletter will cover the ways in which you can get rid of these barriers for a peaceful slumber.

To Your Total Health!

Derin Bepo.

 0207 733 7077

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