Ahh, sleep! That ever elusive, precious commodity, that so few of us get enough of. We all know we need more of it, yet we wake up groggy, tired and achy even if we went to bed early and attempted all the right ‘tricks’ to get a good, restful, full night’s sleep! If you find that despite your best efforts, the time you spend in bed doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized, you may be falling prey to a few ‘good sleep’ saboteurs. Read on to discover some of the reasons why your sleep may be getting stolen.
You slept poorly, and then woke up with a ‘bad’ taste in your mouth. This could be a symptom of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as asymptomatic heartburn. Quite simply, you may have sleep related acid reflux. You can combat this by following all the recommendations for those that are aware of, and suffer from chronic heartburn or acid reflux – Try not to eat for at least two hours before going to bed and avoid acid-causing foods in your evening meals such as spicy foods, alcohol, chocolate, fatty meats, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. Check your meds, some drugs are notoriously hard on the stomach and esophageal lining. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns with regards to your nighttime meds.
You find yourself waking up often to use the bathroom. The official name for this is Nocturia – a condition that strikes over 65 percent of older adults. As we get older, we become less and less able to hold fluids for a long time due to a decline in antidiuretic hormones. Other factors include anxiety, or over consumption of liquids too close to bedtime. If this is one of your issues, consider refraining from drinking any liquids at least three hours before bed, and decrease your coffee, tea and alcohol consumption – all three of which function as both a diuretic and a bladder irritant.
Back to the Grind
This is a very common sleep disturbing mechanism that you may not even be aware of. Teeth grinding or Bruxism is a subconscious activity that interferes with the relaxation necessary for deep, relaxing and restful sleep. See your dentist if you suspect that you are a nighttime grinder to get the help you need and the full night’s sleep you deserve!
Are you the kind of sleeper that wakes up with the sheets scrunched up, thrown off the bed, or wrapped around you? You may be suffering from restless leg syndrome. That restlessness is directly related to a lack of deep, restful, REM sleep. If taking certain medications, see you doctor to find out if one of them is causing restless leg syndrome. Make sure that you are getting enough Iron and B vitamins especially folic acid which have been linked to this condition.
You get what seems to be a full night’s sleep but still wake up tired, groggy and get sleepy while performing activities like driving. Your Circadian rhythm may be out of whack. Contributors to this include getting out of sync with night and day – this is especially common in shift workers – using computers, phones or bright lights in bed, and having too much light in your bedroom. Speak to your doctor about ways to get your natural sleep cycle linked back up again.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image credit: Angel sleeps by Planet Chopstick . Used under a creative commons license.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.