Almost all of us have experienced difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at some point, but frequent sleeplessness can be extremely frustrating and lead to a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. The Mayo Clinic defines a sleep disorder as changes in sleeping patterns or habits that can affect your overall health, safety, and quality of life.1
Here we investigate the root factors of what can cause a lack of sleep and natural ways to promote a good night’s rest.
When medical professionals are confronted with questions of what causes sleeplessness, there are many answers that relate to lifestyle habits and specific illnesses. Sleep problems are often categorized as trouble falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, the need for too much sleep, and abnormal behaviors during sleep.
In general, sleeplessness can be caused by medical problems, such as thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain, viral illnesses, and sleep apnea. Obesity, stress, and depression can also be causes of sleep problems.2
Adults over the age of 65 tend to develop more sleep problems, and medications you take could be affecting your sleep as well. People who have sleep disorders often feel tired or irritable, have trouble staying awake during the day, have trouble controlling their emotions, and require caffeinated beverages to stay energized throughout the day. 2,3
Although people you know may not openly talk about their sleep troubles, sleeping disorders are incredibly common among adults and children of all ages. A disrupted sleep schedule can be caused by the following conditions and disorders: 1,5
Although poor sleep can be due to health conditions that are beyond your control, bad sleep habits are often to blame. These are habits that you can easily recognize in yourself and your loved ones and start making small lifestyle changes to promote better sleep.
These are a few of the worst sleep habits that you should start trying to break starting tonight.4
Many people are nervous about taking prescription sleep aid medications because of the risk of dependency and side effects. Fortunately, there are some great over the counter sleep aids available that contain melatonin, a natural hormone in the brain that is non-habit forming and controls the body’s sleep and wake cycles.6,7
These are some of the best ways to improve your sleep quality.
The Science Behind Good Sleep