Several years of studying and working have left me with chronic insomnia. Throughout the years, I have always thought that there is a “type” of a person like me, who love to stay awake late at night. Yet, the issue was not that simple. During some of my life-changing events, this sleep issue has caused my performance at work to worsen. I even lost my job due to the lack of some good night’s sleep.
There were times I blamed myself for not being able to control my sleep well. Only until I learned about a mental disorder that I can understand what was going on. Only then I acknowledge the relationship between sleep quality with human health. After some more research, I can be sure that many health issues have the same symptom – poor sleep quality.
How can you measure your sleep quality?
There are two measurements for sleep, quantity, and quality.
Quantity is more common to everyone, which is to measure the hour one needs to rest. Quality measures how much time you need to fall into sleep or how many you are disturbed during your sleep at night.
For adults, having good sleep quality means that they can fall asleep within 30 minutes or less. Awaking less than one time, and going back to sleep within 20 minutes are also the signs of good sleep quality. On the other hand, terrible quality of sleep means that one has to endure insomnia, early awakenings, etc.
Possible health reasons for poor sleep quality
Chronic physical conditions
Facts: People with Diabetes often sweat at night and have to wake up many times to urine. With high diabetes levels, a person may find it hard or even painful to move their legs around at night. This condition also disturbs their sleep quality due to the lack of comfort.
Solutions: A well-planned weight loss program is for sure a solution for diabetes. Besides, you can try to ease yourself at night by adding more comfort to the sleeping environment. Making changes with significant factors, such as the latex mattress toppers, the light, the noise, etc. is a good way to start.
Facts: People with heart failure may experience many awakenings at night. They often found themselves short of breath caused by gradual declines in the heart “pump”.
Solutions: Using high pillows or Oxygen Therapy Equipment is more suitable. It can help to prevent the blood rate from declining and getting enough oxygen to breathe.
Facts: Many athletes and gym beginners often suffer from the pain from the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. They may even have to endure pain in any structures that affect the limbs, neck, and back. These pains will make it challenging to move around freely. Also, they may reduce your sleep quality.
Solutions: Made-comfortable beds with mattresses, pillows that support movements at night will be a great help for them.
Facts: If you are more likely to wake up at night to urine frequently, there is a high chance that you have kidney disease. People under this condition cannot control the time they have to urine as well as ordinary people. Even after dialysis or transplant, patients of kidney disease still cannot have better sleep quality at night time. The reasons remain unclear.
Solutions: Avoid drinking before bedtime will be the most practical solution.
Many other physical conditions impact sleep quality significantly as well. Some common ones are breathing issues, back pain, thyroid disease. A similar sign is that patients feel uncomfortable at night, following by frequent awakening and disturbed sleep.
Mental health disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder/ Depression/ Bipolar disorder
Facts: People under stress in life often experience continuous worries and cannot stop their mind from thinking. These conditions may cause them to stare at the ceiling for so long and counting the sheep for a while. Yet, they are still not able to fall asleep until they are exhausted.
Solutions: Yoga techniques and meditation often help people to focus more on their bodies rather than on their thoughts. Psychology therapy would be another help to solve any worry and fear all in once.
Studies show that most mental issues can cause a great disturbance to sleep quality. The reason behind this is that it impacts the Parasympathetic Nervous System directly. Even so, healing a psychological condition requires time and lots of patience. Thus, learning to treat yourself better with positive thoughts is significant. Try to avoid the source of stress. Place yourself in a beautiful place where you can feel connected to the world again.
Facts: Dementia is a common word for any problems related to the brain. People with dementia experience a decline in memory ability, language ability, and problem-solving ability. They are unable to manage leisure activities well, causing sleep disorder to happen.
Solutions: For this condition, antipsychotic medications are preferable than benzodiazepine drugs.
Headaches, strokes, and tumors
Facts: This is a severe case where people may feel sleepy and dizzy, while unable to sleep well as usual due to the pain of the brain.
Solutions: Look for medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid further growth of the tumor, if any.
To sum up
The medical causes behind poor sleep quality never stop there. There is still a plethora of related conditions that are not listed as well not discovered. With regular poor sleep, the medical causes would turn worse and make treatments harder to apply. There are even studies that better sleep quality can contribute to the treatment. Sleep does help to recover the immune system better to fight with the conditions. Thus, we should be more aware of current sleep quality and try to improve it as soon as possible.