With the ongoing pandemic, many people have had a hard time getting sleep. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that one-third of U.S. adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. That means adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep per night. 

Let’s take a look at why you might be missing out on sleep and ways you can improve your nightly rest.

Reasons you are losing sleep

There are some major sleep disorders that can affect your ability to sleep as well as your overall health. If you do suffer from one of these conditions, it is important that you visit your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment planning. 

One cause of a lack of sleep is insomnia, which refers to a person’s inability to initiate or maintain sleep. Insomnia symptoms will typically manifest as excessive daytime sleepiness and impact your ability to function properly the next day. You may even experience early morning awakening where you wake up hours earlier than anticipated and are unable to get back to sleep.

Next, there is restless leg syndrome, which is a sleep disorder that refers to an uncomfortable sensation in your upper leg. It can often cause aches and pains throughout the leg, which can make it hard to initiate sleep. That is because these sensations are often relieved by moving the leg by kicking or walking. 

Narcolepsy can also cause sleep interruptions. This condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and muscle weakness. It can sometimes happen in unusual circumstances like while walking or during physical activity. In fact, narcolepsy muscle weakness is often brought on by surprise or other strong emotions.

Sleep apnea is another contributor to poor sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you will have episodes where you gasp for air or make a snorting noise while you sleep. During this time, your sleep is momentarily disrupted, which can cause you to wake up feeling tired the next day. 

How to improve your sleep

Not getting enough sleep or proper sleep can lead to chronic diseases that can lead to premature illness or death. If you are having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do. To get a better night’s rest, try:

  • Moving your body during the day.
  • Sleeping in a cool, dark and comfortable bedroom.
  • Avoiding screens in your bedroom.
  • Making going to bed a ritual each night.
  • Avoiding food and drinks before bed.
  • Practicing meditative breathing. 

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about how you can get a better night’s sleep.