5 Common Causes of Sleep Disturbances … and How to Eliminate Them

words Alexa Wang

Sleep Disturbance

Image: unsplash

The amount (and quality) of sleep you get can play a significant role in ensuring that your body and mind are in top condition. Apart from improving your overall health, sleeping well can be a great way to ensure you don’t wake up feeling groggy, fatigued, and consequently less productive!

But what if sleep disturbances stand in the way? 

This article will take you through five of the most common sleep disturbances and what you can do to resolve them to ensure a good night’s sleep every day.

What Are Sleep Disturbances? 

Sleep disturbance can be defined as physical factors, medical disorders, behavioral issues, or environmental conditions that interfere with your sleep patterns, ability to fall asleep, or your quality of sleep. 

Any factor or condition that causes you to stay awake while you’re supposed to be enjoying your slumber can be considered a form of sleep disturbance, and there’s a wide range of them! 

Is it Normal to Wake Up in the Middle of the Night?

If you’re like most people, you might have experienced a night when you woke up after a few hours’ sleep and wondered if the stress of the day was catching up with you. Well, waking up during the night (or early morning) can be overly frustrating, but it’s completely normal.

In many cases, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Most people solve it by observing proper sleep hygiene. Among other things, this means observing a proper bedtime routine, sleeping in a soothing environment, and freeing your mind from clutter before bedtime.

5 Common Causes of Sleep Problems 

The first step in addressing sleep disturbances is to find out what is causing them. Sleep disturbance can arise from a wide range of causes. Some of them are chronic and medical in nature, whereas others are behavioral, consequential, or even environmental.

Once you have discovered the cause, it becomes easy to create a plan to resolve the problem, preferably in consultation with your physician. 

All the same, the most widely encountered causes of sleep problems include the following:

1. Medical Causes: Sleep Disorders 

In this age and day, the number of people suffering from sleep disorders in America and across the globe is alarming. Better yet, many of these stem from a myriad of medical causes.

Some of the most common ones include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and excessive sleepiness, among others. 

If you or your partner is a snorer in bed, has RLS, struggles falling asleep, or often experiences overwhelming daytime drowsiness, you have a good reason to seek a physician’s counsel to address the problem from the root cause.

2. Stress and Anxiety 

In an age of rapid development and increasing stress levels, it should not come as a surprise that, alongside anxiety, stress is a major contributor to sleep problems and disturbances. 

 Mental clutter from your daily hustles of life can make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Remedy: Develop a positive mindset, understand the importance of sleep, and adopt ways to unwind and relieve stress before bedtime.

3. Lack of a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Do you sleep and wake up at the same time every day? If not, your inconsistent sleep routine could be to blame for your sleep issues!

Scheduling a bedtime routine can help regulate your circadian rhythms, hence helping you ensure a sound night’s sleep every day. This is especially helpful if you have to wake up early for work, prepare the kids for school, or run your daily errands.

4. Poor Dietary Choices (Including Alcohol and Caffeine) 

A good night’s sleep requires a balanced diet consisting of high-quality, low-calorie, but energy-providing foods. Overfeeding or consuming the wrong foods before bedtime can interrupt your sleep if not give you trouble getting into slumber.

This may manifest in various ways, including heatburt, acid reflux, flatulence, and even diarrhea. In line with these, your body weight and overall exercise routine can have a huge impact on your sleep. 

If you have to get some, caffeine and alcohol consumption should be limited to a few hours before hopping into bed.

5. Noise Pollution

Nighttime noise can disturb your slumber no matter what your bedroom has to say about it. Aside from your physical state of mind, this can hurt your biological clock.

If you have to wake up early for work, live in a big city, or are a commuter, you may be confronted with a wall of noise for an average of over half an hour before you can finally get some shuteye. Eliminating this noise is thus essential.

And whatever you do while at it, just make sure your bedroom is relaxing, quiet, and comfortable enough to allow you to wind down so you can get the good dose of sleep you deserve.

To sum it up, sleep disturbance can have more than a dozen causes. For instance, it could come from discomfort caused by your old mattress, inferior-quality bed, or sloppy bedroom lighting.

It could also come from your poor bedtime habits, health challenges, or the noisy neighborhood where your current lifestyle forced you to rent an apartment! Hopefully, something you picked up from the above list of common sleep disturbance causes will help you sleep better, perhaps not just yet like a king ­– NPI :).


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