A lot of New Zealanders find a good night’s sleep to be difficult to achieve, and as such, may consult their doctor for sleep help. Issues with sleep are experienced by all of us from time to time, but when it happens often or chronically, it can impact our daily lives to a very detrimental extent. Sleep disorders need to be diagnosed and treated.
Why is Sleep so Important?
We need to regularly get high-quality sleep; it is crucial for one’s health and wellbeing. Everything from functioning physically and psychologically at your best to avoiding serious health issues like heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes relies on good sleep.
When you fail to experience quality sleep, you can suffer in your daily life, with issues that include fatigue, poor coordination and concentration, being more prone to accident and injury, being more likely to fall asleep while driving, poor decision-making, anxiety, compromised immunity, and developing chronic illnesses. Chronic sleep issues must be addressed.
Identifying the Cause of Sleep Problems
There are quite a few sleep disorders, and many of them are quite common. These include:
- Insomnia – the frequent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Snoring – this regularly affects 40% of men and 20% of women.
- Sleep Apnoea – the loss of the ability to freely breathe while sleeping, and waking as a result. The sufferer often wakes hundreds of times a night and may wake up gasping for air.
- Restless Leg Syndrome- irritation in the legs during the night, requiring movement to alleviate the discomfort.
- Narcolepsy – this occurs when the line between being awake and asleep is blurred, and it affects 1 in 2000 people.
- Night Terrors – these are more common in children, and occur due to not fully waking up. They can cause extreme distress. Usually happens within the first few hours of sleep.
- Sleep Walking and Sleep Talking – very common in children.
- Sleep Paralysis – waking without the ability momentarily to move – can cause panic and is similar to a night terror in some people.
- Bruxism – grinding of the teeth during sleep, often due to stress.
- Sleep Hypoventilation – happens if the brain fails to effectively instruct the muscles involved in breathing while asleep.
- Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder – a complex sleep issue that causes people to act out their dreams while still asleep.
Common Traits in People with Sleep Issues
People who experience chronic sleep problems often share some common traits. These include snoring, living with high-stress levels, being overweight, having a poor diet or eating too close to bedtime, poor sleep conditions and digital screen use before sleep, excess alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and reliance on sedatives.
The first step to diagnosing and treating sleep issues lies in a sleep assessment. Key questions can help determine whether or not you experience a sleep disorder. “YES” responses to a number of these questions signify you may need sleep help from a professional.
- Do you frequently have trouble falling asleep?
- Do you lie awake for more than half an hour before falling asleep?
- Do you experience sudden body “jerks” while falling asleep?
- Do you have trouble keeping your legs still at night?
- Do racing thoughts at night prevent you from sleeping?
- Do you have trouble relaxing?
- Do you wake a lot during the night?
- Do you frequently snore?
- Do you wake up gasping for breath?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you suffer from night sweats?
- Do you wake with heartburn, a sore throat, or experience a chronic cough?
- Do you often wake with a headache in the morning
- Do you wake earlier than you intend to?
- Do you feel exhausted in spite of sleeping through the night?
- Do you wake in the morning with joint or muscle aches, pains, or stiffness?
- Do you feel fatigued or irritable during the day?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating?
- Do you often feel flat, sad, or depressed?
- Do you often need a nap during the day?
Answering “yes” to a number of these questions can indicate the presence of a number of sleep issues, including insomnia, snoring, sleep apnoea, gastroesophageal reflux, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Only a professional sleep specialist or your doctor can effectively diagnose the specific issue that’s preventing you from getting a goodnight’s sleep.
Solutions and Sleep Help
Promoting better sleep is not difficult. Waking during the night once or twice is normal. Firstly, you need to improve your daytime habits – get regular exercise, manage stress, eat well, and limit caffeine, alcohol, and stop smoking.
Develop a relaxing bedtime routine, including a dark, cool bedroom that is quiet. Wind down before you go to bed and avoid using electronic devices in the hour before. Take a warm bath, use lavender oil, sip warm milk or chamomile tea, and listen to soothing music.
See your doctor to address snoring, obesity, sleep apnoea, depression or anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease, insomnia, and other health problems.
If you snore or suffer from sleep apnoea and you believe you may need sleep help, ApneaRX can help. Our revolutionary oral sleep device has helped people globally in alleviating snoring for a better night’s sleep and potentially helping with sleep apnoea. Worn in the mouth during sleeping, it works by repositioning the lower jaw to open the airways.
Visit our website to purchase ApneaRX, as well as to find loads of information relating to sleep health. Contact us today to discover more.