How to get to sleep: everything you need to know

From identifying a sleep disorder to the countless remedies that can treat them, here's everything you need to know about how to get to sleep...

Sleep is absolutely essential to a healthy lifestyle but with work, children and life’s everyday pressures, too many of us struggle to get the seven hours of shut-eye that we’re supposed to.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep plays a vital role in our general well-being and is considered fundamental for maintaining both our mental and physical health. Sleep is proven to relieve stress, improve memory, sharpen attention, enhance creativity, reduce the chances of depression and boost your general mood. Not to mention, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, a good night’s sleep is crucial, with metabolism and shut-eye going hand in hand. So, now that we’ve worked out how important sleep is, the next question is why are we finding it so difficult?

How to get to sleep

What are sleep disorders?

A sleep disorder is simply put, a problem sleeping. It may sound minor but if you’re not getting some much needed shut-eye, the long terms effects can be harmful. Common sleep disorders causing sleep deprivation are insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.

Other sleep disorders can occur depending on situation, with sleep regression occurring in families with newborn babies, jet lag occurring after crossing two or more time zones and sleep paralysis typically stemming from stress. There are numerous other factors that can affect the amount of kip you get – everything from sleep hygiene and bed bugs to snoring.

If you’re unsure what’s stopping you from getting to sleep, mobile sleep trackers are an efficient way of recording your sleep patterns and sleep cycles, helping you to identify where the problem lies.

How to get to sleep

How can I help myself sleep?

Sleep aids come in many forms and the best remedies differ from person to person, depending on preference, the sleep condition in question and the severity of each case. For some, the problem is something as minor as room brightness, in which case sleep masks would be sufficient, sleep meditation is recommended for those who struggle to fall asleep and for people having problems with their sleeping patterns, a sleep calculator is the best bet. In the more severe cases of sleep deprivation like insomnia, people tend to resort to more extreme measures, everything from sleeping pills to sleep therapy.

Should I see my doctor about sleep problems?

Most sleep disorders are temporary and will go away naturally as your situation changes. If however you have been suffering with a sleep disorder for an extended period of time or think that it could be a bigger problem, consult your doctor.

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