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No-one likes to wake up feeling groggy and tired thanks to a bad night’s sleep. The thought of dragging yourself through your day after a night of minimal and interrupted sleep is never fun.
If you find that your quality of sleep is inadequate, a trip to a sleep specialist might be necessary. There may be reasons as to why you are suffering from poor sleep, so it’s always best to find out why and learn how you can prevent it.
We’ve listed 3 of the most common sleep conditions that cause these restless nights. If you think any of these sound like you, then don’t worry; you’re not alone and you can get help when you see a professional.
When you snore, your air passageways are obstructed. As you sleep, your throat muscles relax, causing your tongue to fall backward and relax your throat, making it narrower. This then causes a vibration in your throat as you breathe, the vibrations morphing into the sound of snoring.
Snoring not only interrupts your own sleep, but also your partner. Depending on its severity and loudness, you can rob your entire household of well-deserved rest.
If your snoring is only mild, try some of these methods to ease the problem:
- Have a regular sleeping pattern
- Lose weight
- Avoid alcohol up to four hours before bed
- Avoid eating for three hours before bed
- Sleep on your side not your back
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) can cause intense facial pains and manifest itself with uncomfortable symptoms as the disorder, TMD.
The symptoms of TMD are types of craniofacial pain, which is a term used to describe all pains in the face and head. If you are suffering from TMD/craniofacial pains, the symptoms you might experience include:
- Muscular/facial pain
- Jaw locking
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Nerve disorders
- Ear ringing/ear pain
- Neck pain
If you think your are suffering from TMJ, it is best to seek professional advice. 15% of untreated TMJ cases can lead to a chronic TMJ disorder.
3) Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when your airway collapses (partially or fully) while you’re asleep. It limits or blocks the air flow to your lungs. As you try to continue to breathe, your airway constricts, regardless of how hard you try to keep on breathing.
Because of this, you unknowingly try and change the position of your tongue and jaw so that your airway is open. This in turn makes it harder for you to breathe but also brings you in to a lighter sleep, leading to a less restful and disruptive night.
Links to sleep apnea are:
- Heart failure
The 4 stages of the sleep cycle are imperative to ensure you have the restful sleep you need. These conditions stunt the functionality of the sleep cycle and therefore prevent you from achieving the rest the body needs. The 4 stages are:
- Transition – 5% of the cycle.
- Light – 45% of the cycle.
- Deep – 25% of the cycle. This is when your body has the time to heal itself along with other functions needed for restoration. If you don’t enter this stage, you will feel the repercussions of tiredness and fatigue the next day.
- REM – Rapid Eye Movement – 25% of the cycle and essentially the dreaming stage. If you don’t complete an REM cycle you will notice tiredness, fatigue and lack of concentration the next day.
So, in a nutshell, your sleep cycle gives you your energy and your abilities to function throughout your day. If you think you’re suffering from any of these conditions, seek help immediately.