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Contact Our Sleep Experts: (479) 464-8727 1208 SE Walton Boulevard, Bentonville, AR 72712

Sleep Problems in Adults – You’re not Alone

Sleep Problems in Adults – You’re not Alone Header Image

Having trouble getting a good nights’ sleep?

You’re not alone! Did you know that 9 – 12% of adults have chronic insomnia? And I bet at least one person you know has said their spouse or someone they know has sleep apnea- another one of the sleep problems in adults.

Most of us have trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence, the lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your energy, emotional balance, and health.

Some of the most common sleep problems (in no particular order) are listed below, along with a few tips at the end of the list, to help you get a better nights’ sleep.

Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. It is often a symptom of another problem, such as stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, panic attacks, or an underlying health condition.

It can also be caused by lifestyle choices, including the medications you take, lack of exercise, or even the amount of coffee you drink.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly. Chronic snoring, frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, and/or gasping or choking during sleep are some of the symptoms.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apne – occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing; often associated with serious illness, such as heart disease or stroke, and more common in males and people over the age of 65.

There are various devices that help with sleep apnea; it is best to consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs when you’re resting or lying down. It is described as a tingly or creeping sensation. Common signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome include:

  • Uncomfortable sensations deep within the legs, accompanied by a strong urge to move them
  • The uncomfortable sensations temporarily get better when you move, stretch, or massage your legs

RLS is more common than previously believed, and it seems to increase with age. There isn’t a definitive test to diagnose this problem, however your doctor can provide help treating the symptoms.

Medical Illnesses

Often overlooked, many medical illnesses cause a person to have sleep problems. Chronic lung disease (e.g. COPD) may disturb sleep due to your oxygen level being affected during the night. Asthma can cause wheezing or shortness of breath during sleep, usually in the early morning hours. Heart failure and stroke are also major causes of insomnia in older adults.

Helpful Sleep Tips for Common Sleep Problems in Adults

  • If you are experiencing chronic sleep problems, it is best to consult your doctor. However, there are some steps you can take to help you get a good nights’ sleep:
  • Avoid a heavy meal 2 – 3 hours before bedtime, or being hungry
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, nicotine, or having caffeinated beverages 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
  • Design your sleep environment to conditions you need for sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule
  • Limit daytime naps
  • Manage stress
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and use pillows that are right for you

The NIH has a lot of helpful information on getting a good nights sleep. We often forget about the last tip regarding your mattress and pillows, but if you have ever had the wrong type of either, you know what we mean. The sleep associates at Cloud9 in Bentonville, Arkansas want you to have deep, restful sleep. Let them help you choose the pillows and mattress that are right for you. It is good for your health and happiness, and what’s more important than that?