So, on those occasions when they have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep they chalk it up to stress, a sick child or working long hours. But it could be something more than that; it could be a sleep problem or a sleep disorder.
Most adults need at least eight hours of sleep every night to be well rested. Not everyone gets the sleep they need.
About 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep problems every year. Not getting enough sleep for a long time can cause health problems.
Many of us suffer from insomnia which includes:
• Trouble falling asleep
• Having trouble getting back to sleep
• Waking up too early
Insomnia is called chronic when it lasts most nights for a few weeks or more. When this happens it may be time to see your doctor.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers the following tips for better sleep:
• Go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine, beer, wine, and liquor four to six hours before bedtime.
• Don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime.
• Don’t eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.
• Don’t nap later than 3 p.m.
• Sleep in a dark, quiet room that isn’t too hot or cold for you.
• If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something quiet.
• Wind down in the 30 minutes before bedtime by doing something relaxing.
How long should it take to fall asleep? It is normal to take between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep. People who fall asleep in less than five minutes may have a serious sleep disorder.
Feeling sleepy during the day
According to the FDA, feeling tired every now and then is normal. It is not normal for sleepiness to interfere with your daily life. Watch for signs like:
• Slowed thinking • Feeling cranky
• Trouble paying attention
• Heavy eyelids
Several sleep disorders can make you sleepy during the day. One of these is narcolepsy. People with narcolepsy feel very sleepy even after a full night’s sleep.
Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It is caused by vibrating in the throat. Some people can make changes that will stop snoring. These include:
• Losing weight
• Cutting down on smoking and alcohol
• Sleeping on your side instead of on your back
Source: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)