Have you been having sleeping problems?

sleeping problems
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Every living thing needs to set aside a time for rest, so also humans. Human being require adequate sleep in order to function normally. The brain must go into a state of rest for it to be efficient and productive.

However when an individual has problems with sleeping, the effect is usually seen on all the systems of the body. Inadequate sleep can go a long way to affect the physical, mental and social health of an individual.

What does adequate sleep mean?

Adequate sleep does not only mean sleeping for a lot of hours, rather you are said to have adequate sleep when you sleep for the required number of hours for your age and do not have problem with falling asleep. Also, an individual who does not have too much awakenings in between sleep but can maintain his sleep for a long time is said to have adequate sleep.

 Someone who has been having adequate sleep will not wake up in the early hours of the morning and be on the lookout for another opportunity to sleep. With adequate sleep, you feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.

Duration of hours required to sleep according to age is as below:

Newborn: 16-18hours

Preschool: 11-12hours

School Aged: At least 10hours

Teens: 9-10hours

Adults: 7-8hours

Middle Aged: 5-7hours


Why do you need to have adequate sleep?

When an individual sleeps, some processes goes on in the brain. This is to ensure this individual feel refreshed. Also the heart tends to rest when you fall asleep and some of the body systems relaxes. This help you stay healthy and also energetic. Adequate sleep also helps boost your sexual life.

Furthermore in children, some hormones are released when they sleep, this helps them grow and build their muscle mass.

When is an individual said to have sleeping problems?

Sleeping problems can mean a lot of things to different people experiencing this. To some, it is problem falling asleep as it takes them a number of hours to do so although when they eventually do, they sleep for significant number of hours.

Some people fall asleep easily though for a very short time. They wake up at intervals thereby interrupting the sleep process. Some complain of waking up too early in the morning and finds it difficult to fall asleep again.

In others there is no experience of the above, rather they do not feel refreshed after sleeping for a significant number of hours.  

It doesn’t matter the type of sleeping problem an individual is experiencing, it must be looked into.

Who then is at risk of having sleeping problems?

  • Anyone can have sleeping problems although it’s said to be commoner in females than males. This has been linked to different hormonal surge females do experience.
  • Older people are at higher risk than younger people. The hours spent sleeping tends to be shorter in them and they usually have light sleep.
  • A depressed individual is also at risk. Sleeping problems and depression usually goes hand in hand.
  • Individual who runs night shift can also have sleeping problems.
  • If you wake up frequently to urinate, you may end up having sleeping problems.
  • An individual who has had sleeping problems in the past may be at risk of having another.
  • Inactive individual may develop sleeping problems.
  • Girls that are just starting menstruation can be at risk.
  • An individual who has been under stress may be at risk.
  • Some medical problems can tilt an individual to sleeping problems.

What causes sleeping problems?

The factors below has been linked to sleeping problems:

  • Taking of naps late in the afternoon or evening. Also, having naps for a long duration in the afternoon can lead to this.
  • Sleeping in a noisy environment.
  • Sleeping in a too hot or too cold environment
  • Use of phones, computer or television while lying on bed.
  • Exercising too late in the evening.
  • Eating heavy meals close to bed time.
  • Use of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.

What will you notice if you are having sleeping problems?

People who have not been having enough sleep usually have trouble getting up from bed in the morning. Also, they doze off while carrying out their activity during the day time. They also have problem with focusing.

What complications can arise from inadequate sleep?

Inadequate sleep can have effect on the physical, mental and social health of an individual. It affects the way an individual relates with those in his environment. It also affect his performance and productivity.

An individual who has been having inadequate sleep tends to be irritable, anxious and feels tired easily. They also have trouble focusing and paying attention. They do have difficulty in remembering things.

Medically, they can develop high blood pressure, stroke kidney disease and diabetes. It can also affect children’s health and growth.

What to do if you are having problems staying or falling asleep

  • Sleep in a dark and quiet room.
  • Ensure you sleep on a comfortable bed and use a comfortable pillow.
  • Ensure your room is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Do not eat heavy meals before going to bed.
  • Do not take alcohol or anything with caffeine before going to bed.
  • Do not use your phone, computer or watch television while on bed.
  • Try as much as possible to go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Avoid taking naps late in the afternoon or evening.
  • Do not exercise too late in the day.
  • If sleeping problems persist, see you doctor.


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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.

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