In a 2003 report released by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders, it was found that over $150 billion was lost each year due to decreased worker productivity and other related issues due to a lack of adequate sleep. Now, five years after the release of the study, it seems that thousands of people are still having trouble sleeping. Trouble sleeping can stem from a wide range of problems and can make for a restless night or lead to major sleep deprivation which can be quite serious. Here are some of the common reasons why people are having trouble sleeping and what you need to know to deal with those problems (2).
Problem #1: Inability to Get Comfortable
Many people simply cannot fall asleep because they can never seem to get comfortable at night or they toss and turn a lot through the night. This can be due to a poor bed, inappropriate pillows, or pain.
Solution: If this seems to be your problem there are a couple of things that you can do to improve our quality of sleep. First, if you cannot seem to get comfortable due to back or neck pain, this may be due to the type of pillow that you are using. Try switching to something that gives you more support and a natural alignment during sleep such as a contoured memory foam pillow or adjusting the height and firmness of your pillows. If your pain does not subside or there seems to be other pain that is causing you to have trouble sleeping it may be a sign of a more serious problem that you may want to speak to your health care provider about.
Problem # 2: Stress and Anxiety
Stress is one of the most common contributors to why people have trouble sleeping. Stress causes a wide range of effects on your health from headaches to a lower immune system and many of the problems that result from stress can interfere with your sleep.
Solution: If you are having trouble sleeping due to stress or anxiety there are a few simple things that you can do. Learning stress management and stress reduction techniques can help you to reduce the amount of stress in your life that is causing you to have trouble sleeping. Meditating before bed can help you to unwind (1). And using aromatherapy is a natural way to help you to relax and soothe you off to sleep (3). Using bath oils or aromatic bath salts in a warm bath before bedtime, spraying your bed sheets with a lavender sleep mist, or using aromatherapy pillows are all great was to promote a relaxing night of sleep.
Problem # 3: Sleep Disorders
There are dozens of sleep disorders that can range from mild annoyances to serious, life-threatening conditions. If you have trouble sleeping that is continuous and ongoing and that does not subside when you try any of the other remedies, then your trouble sleeping could be a sign of something more.
Solution: Speak to your doctor or a local sleep center who can test for sleep disorders.
Problem # 4: Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause or PMS can also give you trouble sleeping.
Solution: Speak with your doctor about ways to balance your hormones and to see which herbal remedies may be safe for you to try. Also, any of the great aromatherapy choices mentioned above can also be helpful.