Author Archive for mrskitt

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

Sleep rhythmic movement disorder is a neurological disorder common in children manifest before and during sleep. Learn the types, symptoms, and treatment of RMD.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

I know you are probably asking yourself, “What is rhythmic movement disorder?” Well, it is a neurological condition where the patient will rock his or her body in repetitive motion just before falling asleep or during sleep.

The body will include moving the following body parts: neck, arms or head. It is experienced mostly by children who seem to outgrow it by the age of 5. Some of these patients may also exhibit rhythmic humming along with body movements.

Types of RMD

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, rhythmic movement disorder (RMD), manifests in the three different ways listed below:

  • Body rocking

Here the child may rock only the upper body while he/she is sitting down or even go on hands and knees and rock the whole body.

  • Headbanging

Here the child will lie face down and then lift his or her head and bang it on the mattress or pillow. In some cases, the child may even lift his or her entire body and then forcibly bang it on the pillow or mattress.

The child will usually do this action repetitively. The child can even do it while sitting down on a sofa or floor and the bang the head against the wall or headboard.

  • Head rolling

In this case, the child in question will be laying on his or her back and then roll the head back and forth. This poses very little danger, especially to toddlers and infants.

Most of these RMD types occur when the child feels most sleepy. There are instances in which it occurs at different points during the night as the child is sleeping. Some children experience RMD when they are engaging in quiet activities during the day such as listening to music.

The rate of the RMD episodes may vary from one child to the next but the actions are usually very rapid with even two motions occurring every one or two seconds. 1 episode can last for as long as 15 minutes with motion stopping when something distracts the child. Most children who have reached the age of talking tend to forget the RMD events in the morning.

RMD is common in normal infants and toddlers and just having these motions do not qualify your child to have a disorder. A disorder is when the actions the child takes to result in him/her getting seriously injured or they disturb his/her sleeping greatly.

Symptoms of RMD in children

Symptoms of RMD in children

If you have a child with RMD he or she may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • The child may make repetitive movements with his/her body such as head rolling, head banging or body rocking.
  • The body motions mentioned above tend to occur when your child is feeling most sleepy or when he or she is actually asleep.
  • The child may experience sleep interruption and he/she may be very grumpy during the day.
  • The child can sometimes get hurt and suffer an injury that will require medical attention.

As a parent, you should try and find out whether there are other factors that are causing your child’s sleeping problems. The following are some other factors that could affect your child’s sleep:

  • The child might be having another medical condition.
  • The child might be suffering from another sleeping disorder.
  • The child might have a mental health disorder.
  • The child might be using medication that is affecting his or her sleep.

RMD has been recorded to occur at the same rate in both boys and girls. Studies show that this condition is likely to occur among family members and the children with this condition have higher anxiety levels.

This is a rare condition among adults and teens and those of these age groups suffering from RMD usually have an injury to the central nervous system, autism, pervasive development disorder or mental retardation. In such cases, the motions will occur when the person is awake.

Most children that experience RMD do not require medical assistance as it is a common part of how they develop their sleep process. It is, however, advisable to talk to your child’s physician about your concerns or you can take your child to a sleep specialist in case the motions caused bodily harm.

The doctor will need to know when the motions began and what else is happening in your child’s life before making a diagnosis. You will also be required to keep a sleep journal for your child for at least two weeks. This will help the professional to get an idea of what might be causing the motions.

There are no medical tests that can be used to detect whether your child has MRD. The only thing doctors can do is make the child do an overnight sleep monitoring in the event that the child exhibits severe motions. This study will check the child’s brain waves, breathing, and heartbeat.

Treatment

The doctor may prescribe medication for the child if the movements are causing disturbance to the child or if they are causing the child to lose sleep or even causing injuries.

You should also install extra padding to the child’s bed and add railings to the bed or crib so as to protect the child from getting injured or falling off.

RMD in adults

This is not a common condition in adults but in the rare occasions that it does occur, it can be quite embarrassing for the patient. As long as it is not causing any bodily harm the patient should ensure that they use extra padding to protect him or her and also notify their sleeping partners so as not to alarm them when the motions start.

Most adults that have this condition usually suffer from it since they were children. If the symptoms only manifest once the person is an adult then there is a strong likelihood that he or she has suffered an injury to the central nervous system.

Conclusion 

Rhythmic movement disorder is a condition that does not last for a long time as the child would have outgrown it by the age of 5. All you can do as a parent is to ensure that you provide the protection needed to ensure that child will not get hurt during the motion episodes.

You can make sure that you provide your child with a soft mattress and also give them head and neck pillows to provide the child with comfort as well as protecting them while they roll their heads.

It is important to pay attention to those adults who suffer from RMD and not shame them because it is not something that they chose.

How to Stop Sleep Talking?

Are you, or do you know someone who talks while sleeping? Do you want to stop somniloquy? Find here the causes, symptoms, and learn how to stop sleep talking.

Stop Sleep Talking

Sleep talking is also known as somniloquy. This is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the individual talking in his or her sleep without being aware of what is happening. This can include complicated monologues, dialogues or even be gibberish mumbling which leaves many of them wondering how to stop sleep talking.

Most, who suffer from this condition, usually have it for a short time period. It is more commonly observed in males and children.

Most times these patients may not be aware of their behavior or speech and thus may sound totally different from how they sound when they are awake. There are times when the person can even use different languages that they normally wouldn’t know if they were awake.

Sleep talking may occur spontaneously or it could be influenced by someone having a conversation with the sleeper. It has been proven that sleep talking is not a product of a conscious mind that is rational and thus anything said while one is sleep talking cannot hold in court.

Sleep talking does not cause any physical harm but it can cause a lot of embarrassment to the person who experiences it. It can sometimes also be very annoying for a patient’s bed partner or roommate(s). This can make it very difficult for a sleep talker to fall asleep and can even bring about insomnia for those sleeping near him/her.

Sleep talking episodes will normally occur for a period of just 30 seconds but there are those who will talk very many times during the night.

Who is likely to experience sleep talking?

Sleep talking can happen to anyone regardless of gender or age. Most kids between the ages of 3 and 10 will carry on conversations while they are asleep. About 5% percent of adults will continue to converse even when they have already fallen asleep.

Sleep talking can occur on occasion or happen every night. Girls and boys will sleep talk almost at the same rate and it usually runs in the family.

Signs of sleep talking

This condition does not usually give an individual sign that it is going to occur. Most times when you sleep talk you will be notified about it by your friends or family.

What causes sleep talking?

Most people believe that sleep talking is directly related to dreams but this has not yet been scientifically proven, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep talking can occur at any stage of sleep even the dreamless stage.

Sleep talk will often occur on its own and it does not cause any physical or mental harm to a person. It can sometimes be a sign that someone is suffering from a particular sleeping disorder or mental health condition.

There are times in which sleep talking can occur together with sleepwalking and sleep eating disorders. This will require those living with such a person to be very cautious so as to prevent this person from getting hurt.

Other causes that might cause sleep talking include the following: fever, some types of medication, substance abuse, emotional stress or even mental disorder.

How to treat sleep talking?

treat sleep talking

Now that you know what sleep talking is and what causes it you are interested to know how to stop sleep talking.

It is advisable that a person suffering from sleep talking should visit a sleep professional. This is especially necessary for someone whose sleep talking started suddenly when they are adults or it the episodes involve a lot of screaming, violent actions or intense fear.

In the case of a child, the parent should book an appointment for the child to see a pediatrician who will be able to prescribe treatment.

When you visit a sleep specialist you will be required to tell him/her when you started sleep talking and for how long you have been doing it. This information can be gathered from parents, siblings, roommates or bedmate.

There are no tests required to diagnose that a person is a sleep talker. The doctor can, however, order you to get a sleep study if he/she suspects that you have another sleep disorder.

Sleep talking does not require treatment but if you have any other sleeping disorder it may require you to seek medical treatment.

The following tips will help reduce the number of sleep talking episodes you have:

  • Avoid stress

Most sleep disorders are directly associated with stress. You can avoid sleep talking by mastering stress reduction techniques such as listening to soothing music and meditation.

  • Schedule your sleep

If you are deprived of enough sleep it may cause you to talk in your sleep. A healthy individual requires an average of 8 hours of sleep each night.

You should ensure that you adopt a regular sleep and wake pattern so as to ensure you get enough quality sleep during the night. You should ensure that you practice good sleeping hygiene by ensuring that your environment is conducive. This can be achieved by ensuring that your bed is comfortable by using soft pillows and a comfortable mattress.

Conclusion

Sleep talking is a condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. There are those who sleep talk on a regular basis which can be quite embarrassing as people will usually laugh about it in the morning.

It is a sleeping disorder that does not really have a cure or treatment. The individual has to find ways to avoid situations that will force them to sleep talk. If you are a sleep talker then it would benefit you to avoid stress and alcohol.

There are no tips to tell you how to stop sleep talking because as we have already mentioned there is no cure for it but visiting a doctor will help get treat any underlying sleep disorders that may be making your sleep talking worse.

It always helps to know that you are not alone in this; there are many sleep talkers out there.

Why Alzheimer’s Patients Sleep So Much

Has your loved one been sleeping more since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Know why Alzheimer’s patients sleep so much, the causes and how to help them cope.

Why Alzheimer’s Patients Sleep So Much

If you have come across an Alzheimer’s patient whether it is a loved one or a friend you may notice that they tend to sleep a lot. Here we will discuss why Alzheimer’s patients sleep so much and how to help them.

People suffering from Alzheimer’s usually sleep a lot during the day and then find it very difficult to fall asleep at night. They tend to wander the house at night while people are asleep.

Most dementia diseases including Alzheimer’s tend to have a negative impact on the patient’s sleep/wake patterns. The longer the patient has suffered from the disease the sleepier they will be during the day. This will cause the patient to experience disrupted sleep at night which is not healthy for them.

Most patients with Alzheimer’s will experience a condition normally referred to as sundowning. It is a state where the patient gets agitated and exhibits behavior such as yelling, getting violent or pacing. This usually occurs when the sun goes down.

Most Alzheimer’s patients get institutionalized because of exhibiting incontinence and night wondering behavior. This is not necessarily because the family does not care but it’s because they find it difficult to care for someone who is unpredictable with their actions.

There are some patients who will experience sundowning throughout the day. The condition usually gets worse between 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm. In this case, a family member is able to handle such a patient as the wondering occurs during the day when everyone is awake and they are aware of what is going on.

Factors contributing to Alzheimer’s patients sleeping too much

The following are some of the factors that can lead to a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to sleep so much:

1. Common sleep changes 

Many patients with this disease will experience changes in their sleep patterns, this according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It has not yet been proven why this occurs but it is suspected to occur from the impact of the Alzheimer’s on the brain.

Most sleep changes will occur in later stages of the disease but in some cases, they have been found to occur in the early stages of the disease. The common sleep changes experienced include:

  • Difficulty sleeping

It is common for Alzheimer’s patients to wake up often and find difficulty in falling back asleep during the night. Studies done on brain waves of such patients have shown a decrease in both non-dreaming and dreaming stages of sleep.

It is common for those who cannot sleep to wonder the house or call out thus disrupting the sleep of their caregivers.

  • Daytime napping and shifts in sleep/wake patterns

In this case, the patient tends to feel very drowsy during the day and then they cannot sleep through the night. Individuals tend to become very agitated during late afternoon or early evenings which is normally referred to as sundowning.

Most patients will spend at least 40% of the nighttime in bed awake and most of their day asleep and in extreme cases, the person may stay asleep all day and stay awake all night.

Because of this shift in sleep times, and the fact that they will spend a lot of time on the bed, ensure that they have a good and long lasting mattress and pillow on the bed.

1. Contributing medical factors 

The changes in sleep patterns in Alzheimer’s patients can be caused by other underlying medical conditions. Examples of such conditions include:

  • Depression 

Depression can sometimes cause patients to stay in bed for longer especially during the day. It also causes the individual to lose sleep especially at night which can cause him/her to feel tired and drowsy during the day.

  • Restless leg syndrome

The tingling sensation brought about by this condition will make the patient want to move the legs thus cause them to wonder.

  • Sleep apnea

This usually causes an abnormal breathing pattern when the patient is asleep. The patient tends to stop breathing many times during the night thus resulting in very poor sleep quality.

When dealing with Alzheimer’s only related sleep changes there are both drug and non-drug treatments that the patient can be placed on to help them deal with this issue. The non-drug approach is highly encouraged because different studies have shown that sleep medication does not improve sleep quality in adults in general.

Non-drug treatments for sleep changes in Alzheimer’s patients

Non-drug treatments for sleep changes in Alzheimer’s patients

These types of treatments are aimed at improving the sleep environment and sleep routine. You should always try non-drug coping methods first before decided to place the patient on sleep medication.

The following will help you create a conducive sleep environment and also promote rest for a person with Alzheimer’s:

  • Make and maintain a regular schedule for meals, going to bed and waking up.
  • Encourage the patient to have a regular exercise which should be done at least 4 hours before bed and never any later.
  • Ensure that you treat any pain the patient might have so as to ensure that they sleep peacefully throughout the night.
  • As the caregiver, make sure you take the patient out during the morning so as to receive morning sunlight exposure.
  • Ensure the patient avoids taking any alcohol, nicotine or caffeine.
  • In the event that the patient is taking a cholinesterase inhibitor, you should avoid giving him/her the medication right before bed.
  • Ensure that the patient’s room has nightlights as well as other security objects.
  • As the caregiver, you should make sure that the patient’s room temperature is comfortable enough to ensure that they get quality sleep during the night.
  • Discourage the patient from watching television when they are experiencing periods of wakefulness.
  • When the patient wakes up during the night, encourage him/her to stay in bed where they are likely to fall back to sleep.

Drug treatment for sleep changes in Alzheimer’s patients

There are cases in which non-drug treatments for sleep pattern changes can fail to work and thus you are forced to seek medical intervention. If your patient requires medication, it is recommended that the treatment begins with low dosages and go slow.

The risks that may occur in older patients who have cognitive impairment are many. They include confusion, increased risk of falling and fractures and a decline in their ability to take care of themselves.

It is important that the medication is discontinued for such patients once a regular sleep pattern has been established.

The meds that are prescribed are usually determined by the behaviors that accompany the sleep pattern changes. Using antipsychotic drugs should be considered with extreme caution as they can lead to stroke or even death.

Conclusion

It is clear to understand that changes in sleep patterns are not healthy for both Alzheimer’s patients and healthy people. It is the job of the caregiver to help the patient to establish a healthier sleep pattern by either using non-drug methods or sleeping medication.

It is not always the right choice to have an Alzheimer’s patient committed just because they have issues with sleep because from the information we have provided it is clear to see that this condition can be changed.

I hope we were able to answer the question of why Alzheimer’s patients sleep so much.

Choking While Sleeping

It may not be known to many but choking while sleeping is a common sleep disorder attributed to conditions like apnea and GERD. Here are the causes, symptoms, and ways of dealing with sleep choking.

Choking While Sleeping

It can be very terrifying choking while you are deep in sleep. There are even cases in which this condition is life-threatening.

There are different factors that can cause this condition and various signs to indicate an impending occurrence. We are going to explore different aspects of why there are people choking while sleeping and how you can be able to know it is about to start to help you avoid it.

Physical Symptoms of night time choking

The following are some of the common symptoms experienced when a nighttime choking is about to occur:

  • Increase in heart rate
  • The patient may find it very difficult to breath
  • There may be gasping or panic-style coughing
  • You may experience a horrible taste in your through
  • There may be a burning sensation experienced in your chest
  • You may feel the contents of your stomach rise to your throat which may cause a burning sensation in your throat
  •  In some cases the patient may vomit
  • There may be severe sweating
  • Fever may occur
  • You may experience pain while breathing which diminishes within a few days
  • There may be swelling in the back of the throat
  • You may experience sharp chest pains
  • The teeth and gums may become painful
  • Your sinuses may burn or even become painful
  • You may suffer from a sore throat

Psychological symptoms of night time choking

The following are some of the common psychological signs that you are experiencing nighttime choking:

  • Easy irritability or you experience erratic mood swings
  • You may experience panic, terror or even intense fear
  • Sometimes one might experience mental fatigue

You should make a list of the symptoms that you are experiencing so as to help you know what conditions might be affecting your sleep. Giving a medical professional a list of the symptoms you experience during nighttime choking will help him/her know what medical condition might be causing you to choke in your sleep.

Who experiences night time choking?

The answer to this question is that anyone can experience nighttime choking regardless of the age or gender. The ones who have a higher likelihood of suffering from this condition are people with obesity and the elderly. Infants have been reported to have a high occurrence of sleep choking as well as people above the age of 30.

Why does sleep choking occur?

sleep choking occur

Nighttime choking in adults is commonly caused by two conditions which are sleep apnea and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD). If you are suffering from any of these two conditions it is important to get it treated immediately as their complication can be severe.

The most common minor conditions that cause nighttime choking include post-nasal drip from common colds or allergies. Allergies can sometimes cause choking because of irritated respiratory paths.

Pneumonia and sinusitis can also cause choking when you are asleep but this is usually temporary. Other respiratory conditions to cause this problem include upper respiratory tract infections

The above mentioned minor conditions are not likely to cause choking unless the person experiences the worst symptoms of the infections. This can be dealt with by taking over the counter meds or prescribed antibiotics.

Tonsillitis is a condition that does cause choking thought not common. If the tonsils swell large enough they can cause blockage thus cause choking. You should check your tonsils after experiencing a choking episode so as to rule out this condition.

Heart failure and pulmonary embolisms are severe but uncommon causes of nighttime choking. They have similar symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, swelling legs, pain in the chest and fatigue. You should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you are suffering from any of these two conditions as they are very dangerous to your health.

Studies by institutions like the Mayo Clinic indicate that GERD and sleep apnea cause the repeated occurrence of sleep choking. GERD is a disorder that causes excess acid to flow back into the esophagus instead of being neutralized as is normally expected. People suffering from this condition often experience heartburn and in severe cases, they may experience vomiting.

GERD sufferers may sometimes experience panic which causes coughing and increased heart rate. This affects their sleep causing them to experience fatigue and sleep deprivation. It can even cause pain in gums and teeth and on rare occasion sinuses.

Sleep Apnea is a condition that disrupts reflexive breathing when one is asleep thus causing the patients to gasp for breath while they are asleep. The cause is usually blocked breathing passages and it can cause fatigue due to sleep deprivation.

How to prevent choking while sleeping?

You can prevent sleep choking by implementing the following changes in your life:

  • Sleep with your upper body raised so as to ensure your airways remain open
  • You can try and lose some weight
  • Avoid taking alcohol, antidepressants, sleeping pills or stimulants before going to bed
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid falling asleep on your back
  • Avoid eating acid causing food before you go to bed

Conclusion 

It is a traumatizing experience for anyone to start choking while they are sleeping. You should try and change your lifestyle to help you prevent such occurrences because they can sometimes become fatal.

The causes of nighttime choking are common enough that anyone can suffer from it. It is important to always ensure that you take care of yourself. If you are suffering from a common cold or any other respiratory infection, always visit a doctor and get treated to avoid it causing you to choke in your sleep.

The best way to ensure you sleep soundly through the night is by using a mattress wedge to incline your mattress to ensure that you sleep with your upper body raised. If you don’t have access to a mattress wedge you should ensure that you sleep on a pillow.

Sleep Restriction Therapy

Insomnia is the leading sleep disorder among Americans. Sleep restriction disorder is a behavioral therapy to deal with insomnia. Learn how SRT can help you to beat insomnia and to sleep better.

Sleep Restriction Therapy

This is one of the foremost treatments that are being used in the management of insomnia. Sleep restriction therapy is aimed at limiting the time that an individual spends in bed to just the time the individual spends sleeping. It is also aimed at increasing sleep efficiency by prolonging your sleeping time.

When you restrict the time you spend in bed it will create mild sleep deprivation that can create an earlier onset of sleep. The sleep that you will experience will be more effective and even deeper. You will also experience less night-by-night variation in the quality and quantity of sleep.

This therapy does not use any drugs and it has proven to be very effective in dealing with different types of insomnia. It will require a lot of dedication from the patient because it will prove very easy for him/her to fall off the treatment wagon.

The typical sleep restriction protocol

  • The first step that is taken when starting this therapy is determining the patient’s average total sleep time (ATST) per night. This can be calculated from a sleep diary that has been kept for a week thus representing the individual’s daily routine.
  • The next thing is restricting the patient’s time spent in bed to the ATST by establishing a fixed bedtime based on the preferred waking time in the morning. It is important that no sleep is allowed outside of the allocated sleep time and ensure that the sleep time is not less than 4 and ½ hours.
  • The next step is monitoring the efficiency of sleep on a daily basis which is calculated by multiplying the total sleep time (TST) by 100.
  • Once you find that the weekly average sleep efficiency exceeds 90%, you should increase the time spent in bed b 15 minutes. If the average weekly sleep efficiency falls below 80% you should decrease the time spent in bed by 15 minutes.

The main idea behind sleep restriction therapy

main idea behind sleep restriction therapy

This type of therapy aims at ensuring that the patient sleeps the entire time he/she is in bed. The patient will be required to set a strict sleeping and waking time that he/she has to follow.

With at least 30% of Americans found to be suffering from chronic insomnia by a National Sleep Foundation study, sleep restriction therapy is a welcome remedy.

The time allocated for sleep will be determined by estimating how long the patient has actually been sleeping during the night and not the time he/she has been spending in bed.

For example, a patient might spend approximately 7 hours in bed but only sleeps for 5 hours. The Sleep restriction therapy (SRT) will be restricted to 5 hours and the patient will only be allowed to spend this amount of time in bed no more, no less.

The time allocated for bed can be slowly increased if the patient still feels sleepy during the day. The increase is usually done by adding 15 minutes at a time.

Side effects of SRT

All treatments usually have side effects even this one despite the fact that it does not use meds.

The side effects exhibited by patients who underwent this trial in Scotland include the following:

  • A constant headache
  • Excessive sleepiness during the daytime
  • A lot of fatigue

The SRT treatment in a way may be soliciting these side effects on purpose when you consider that the people who are having their sleeping time reduced are those suffering from insomnia. With time these side effects will disappear and thus render the treatment successful.

Who should conduct this therapy?

A normal physician is not allowed to conduct this treatment as they have not been properly trained. You should see a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you through this therapy though you can still do it all on your own if you are a person who has a strong will.

When SRT is conducted effectively it will only take a few weeks to retrain an insomnia patient to have a regular sleeping schedule.

SRT in the treatment of depression

When someone is suffering from insomnia it can mean that he/she is suffering from depression as well.

You may find people who suffer from both depression and insomnia will usually fall asleep at the right time but they will probably wake up during the night and find it hard to go back to sleep.

SRT has proven to work as a short-term treatment for depression. When you do not allow people to sleep for the time they want it can help to reduce depression though it does not work for everyone.

Conclusion

SRT has been used for a long time now and it has been effective in helping very many people suffering from insomnia.

Most people would run to getting drugs to help them fall asleep at night but this therapy is a great alternative that does not use any chemicals. It is a type of behavioral therapy that will be sure to work long-term as long as the person remains focused for a few weeks.

Since this therapy will require you to spend time in bed, it is important to ensure that your environment is conducive. This includes getting a comfortable mattress and pillows to ensure that you get quality sleep during the night.

If you are suffering from insomnia and you don’t want to take medication this is the treatment for you.

How to Tell If You Have Insomnia?

Sleeping disorders have become prevalent and insomnia is the leading sleep disorder. But, how to tell if you have insomnia? Get insights into the symptoms and causes of this sleep disorder.

Very many people suffer from a number of different sleeping disorders the most common one being insomnia. We will do our best to enlighten you on how to tell if you have insomnia so as to enable you to stay ahead of the disorder.

How to Tell If You Have Insomnia

There are two types of insomnia: acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia occurs for a night or lasts for a few weeks while chronic insomnia will occur for 3 nights a week for about a month or even last longer.

Causes of insomnia

According to reliable studies and research by organizations like The National Sleep Foundation, there are a number of things that can cause acute insomnia. The following are some of these factors:

  • A major life’s stress: These include events such as the loss of a job, divorce, moving from your current living location or even the death of a loved one.
  • Medications which can cause loss of sleep: These include some high blood pressure meds, depression meds etc.
  • When your normal sleep schedule is interrupted either by changing your works shift or traveling
  • When you are suffering from physical or emotional discomfort such as pain or a strain in a relationship or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow.
  • If you are sick you may be unable to fall asleep easily.

The following are some of the factors that can cause chronic insomnia:

  • If you are suffering from anxiety or depression
  • If you are under constant stress
  • When you are plagued with a constant pain or discomfort during the night

Symptoms of insomnia

The following are signs that you may be suffering from a type of insomnia:

  • Having difficulty in falling asleep or having to wake up many times in the middle of the night.
  • When you wake up at night and then you find it hard to go back to sleep
  • Feeling tired and sleepy during the day because you were unable to sleep at night.
  • Being irritable and sometimes even feeling depressed during the day.
  • You may suffer from poor concentration or even have very poor memory.
  • Feeling drowsy in the morning once you wake up.
  • You have a higher risk of accidents at work or even in traffic due to lack of focus.
  • You may suffer from restless legs syndrome which is a painful, tingling feeling in your legs.

Effects of insomnia

Effects of insomnia

Not getting enough sleep can have some very negative effects on both your health and social life. The following are some of the side-effects you may be faced with due to insomnia:

  • Some people may suffer from obesity
  • It can lead to premature aging
  • You may suffer from stomach problems such as indigestion and ulcers
  • You may be at a higher risk of getting diseases search as diabetes and heart diseases
  • You may suffer from chronic memory loss
  • Your immune system may be compromised if you don’t get enough sleep

Treatment for insomnia

The treatment you will be put on will depend on the type of insomnia that you suffer from.

If you are suffering from acute insomnia then there is a probability that you may not require any treatment.

Mild insomnia, on the other hand, can be prevented by just practicing some good sleeping habits. Sometimes your healthcare provider may decide to prescribe you sleeping pills if the insomnia is interrupting your normal day to day activities.

When it comes to chronic insomnia, the underlying health conditions that may be causing it will have to be treated first and if the condition persists then you will be put under behavioral therapy. These may include sleep restriction therapy, relaxation exercises and even reconditioning.

Sleeping habits that will help treat insomnia

The following are some of the good sleeping habits that will help you combat insomnia and ensure that you are able to get your sleeping under control.

  • Try and go to bed at the same time every night and also wake up at the same time every morning. You can even decide to use an alarm clock to help you with this and also avoid taking naps during the days so as to prevent you from having less sleep at night
  • Avoid taking a lot of caffeine during the day as this may cause you to have difficulty getting sleep at night.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol late in the day as it may cause you to wake up frequently during the night thus lowering the quality of sleep you get.
  • Avoid using electronic devices such as phones and e-books at night as they emit a lot of light that can make it hard for you to fall asleep
  • Ensure that your sleep environment is comfortable enough by dimming the lights, adjusting the temperature so that it is neither too hot or too cold, and eliminating all noise

Conclusion

As we have been able to learn, insomnia is a condition that can affect anyone. The factors that bring about insomnia are things that we face on a daily basis but as long as we learn to manage them we can avoid insomnia.

Insomnia is mostly brought about by practicing poor sleeping habits. This is something that we can all avoid by just implementing a few changes in our life that will surely reduce our stress levels and ensure that we give our minds and bodies the rest they require.

The symptoms and effects of insomnia we have given will guide you on how to tell if you have insomnia. If you suspect that you are suffering from insomnia it is advisable to notify your physician so that you can start on treatment right away.

Don’t let your life or health suffer because you cannot sleep for a few hours and allow your body and mind to recharge. As you now know sleep is very important.

Great Tips on How to Stop Nightmares

Scary sweaty dreams do not have to interrupt your sleep any longer. Beat scary dreams with these great tips on how to stop nightmares for better, comfy, and uninterrupted sleep. Did you know that your personality may be the cause of your nightmares? Get insights on how to deal with, and prevent nightmares.

cant-sleep-at-night

You already know what nightmares are if you are reading this. There are so many people who suffer from nightmares and they don’t know what to do to get rid of them. Don’t worry; we have great tips on how to stop nightmares that are sure to help you out.

Causes of nightmares

Nightmares are more common in children than in adults. At least one out of every two adults experiences a nightmare on occasion. There are a number of things that can be causing your nightmares that you may not even be aware of.

The following are some of the factors that can cause nightmares in adults:

  • Having a late-night snack

Having a snack very late in the night can cause an increase in metabolism and signal the brain to become active. This can cause you to keep waking up during the night and cause increased heart rate.

  • Taking specific drugs 

When you take drugs which act on the chemicals in the brain they can cause you to have nightmares. These drugs include antidepressants, some blood pressure medication, and narcotics.

  • Withdrawal from drugs 

The process of withdrawal from narcotics as well as some medication can cause you to get nightmares. This may include withdrawal from tranquilizers and alcohol. It is important that you contact your doctor if you start having frequent nightmares when you stop taking some specific medication.

  • Sleep deprivation 

If you don’t get enough sleep or you choose to go for a few days without sleep you may get nightmares. This is not a proven cause but it is considered one factor that contributes to this condition.

  •  Personality 

If you are an adult with personality traits such as emotional estrangement, distrustfulness, and alienation, you may suffer from nightmares. Ernest Hartmann, an established dream researcher, suggested that those people who have a thinner personality boundary and exceptionally high creativity might be more perceptible to experiencing nightmares.

  • Traumatic experiences 

If you have had a traumatic experience it may cause you to get nightmares. The nightmares may be the reliving of the exact experience or events that are related to it. This is one of the causes of chronic nightmares.

  • Pain 

It is common to find that if you are experiencing physical pain it may also manifest in your dreams. If the pain is too severe, it may cause you to experience a nightmare which will make you wake abruptly from sleep.

  • Psychological disorders 

There are a number of psychological triggers that can cause adults to experience nightmares.  Such conditions may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

  • Sleep disorders 

There are some sleep disorders that can cause nightmares in adults. These include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. If your nightmares are chronic then they may be a sleep disorder.

Health effects of nightmares

Health effects of nightmares

There are a number of health effects that can be caused by frequent nightmares. Those people who suffer from depression and anxiety are the ones who are most likely to suffer from psychological distress from experiencing nightmares.

  • For a while now, nightmares have been associated with suicide. It is very important that you consult a professional if you are having frequent nightmares as they have a direct effect on the quality of life.
  • Nightmares can cause sleep deprivation which also causes a number of different medical problems. The conditions may include the following obesity, heart disease, and depression.
  • Since nightmares may be the sign of an underlying sleep disorder such as apnea and PTSD, there may be a number of negative health and physical effects that may be caused by the underlying problems.

 How to avoid getting nightmares

Most times our dreams will incorporate some aspects of the activities we undertake while awake. This can either be a literal or abstract representation of your day activities. These dreams may occur between one to seven days from the occurrence of the stressful situation.

The following are some of the great tips on how to stop nightmares:

  • Good hygiene when sleeping 

It is very important to ensure that your sleep environment is properly prepared. You should check to ensure that both your sleeping habits and sleep environment are ideal enough to give you some quality sleep.

You can achieve this by ensuring that the beddings are clean and smelling fresh. You can even choose to spray on some sweet but mild fragrance on your pillow and mattress to create a calming vibe.

You should also make sure that the pillow you choose is soft and it’s comfortable enough for your neck. This will help greatly in ensuring that you rest properly and help you to reach the deep sleep phase faster.

You should also make sure that you get a sleeping routine that you follow daily. This will go a long way in increasing the quality of your sleep.

  • Play some calming video games before bed 

A study on the former American and Canadian male soldiers with PTSD showed that most of the PTSD patients who played video games before bed ended up having less frightening dreams. This only works on males as those women suffering from nightmares and who play games before bed tend to have a hard time getting rid of nightmares.

  • Talk or write it out 

It is important to share the traumatic experience you had with a professional. Talking about the bad dreams you are having can help you to get a clearer perspective of what might be causing them. This may go a long way in eradicating the problem from the source.

You can choose to write the dream down in a journal if you don’t want to talk to anyone about it. There is a very effective therapy called Image Rehearsal Therapy which involves the recalling of a nightmare and then writing down a new version of the dream which is more positive. You are then required to rehears the positive version of the dream until it replaces the nightmare.

  • Don’t eat immediately before bed 

As we already established above, eating before bed can sometimes cause you to have nightmares. This is because there may be indigestion when you eat before falling asleep which can also affect metabolism and cause your brain to become active.

There are some dishes that are believed to cause nightmares such as sugary snacks and spicy foods before bed.

  • Get professional help if needed 

If your nightmares recur or they are chronic, then it’s advisable to seek out a professional. As we said earlier, nightmares can cause a number of health and mental problems if they are left unchecked. Nightmares can even affect your day to day life.

You can choose to visit a psychiatrist to help you get to the root of the problem so you can deal with it once and for all. This can help you get rid of the nightmares once and for all or you could be given medication to help deal with the problem.

Conclusion

I hope that these tips on how to stop nightmares have given you deeper insights to understanding the causes of nightmares and how to circumvent them for peaceful nights. Ensure that you check on the contributing factors to your nightmares and avoid them as much as possible.