Our lives are stressful. Most of the time we turn to taking prescription drugs (along with their side effects), succumbing to stressful situations, and living on-the-go lifestyles. What we aren’t always aware of is how all of these things affect our daily body rhythms and sleep patterns.
Below are some kinds of sleeping problems that negatively impact our mood.
A person suffering from insomnia has difficulty initiating or maintaining normal sleep, which can result in non-restorative sleep and impairment of daytime functioning. Insomnia includes sleeping too little, difficulty falling asleep, awakening frequently during the night, or waking up early and being unable to get back to sleep. It is a symptom of many mental and physical ailments. People with depression, for example, may experience overwhelming feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt, all of which can interrupt sleep. Hypomanics can be so aroused that getting quality sleep is virtually impossible without medication.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
This is the most common circadian-rhythm sleep disorder that results in insomnia and daytime sleepiness, or somnolence. A short circuit between a person’s biological clock and the 24-hour day causes this sleep disorder. It is commonly found in those with mild or major depression. Many prescription drugs also produce side effects which may disrupt the sleep-wake cycle.
REM Sleep Abnormalities
REM sleep abnormalities have been implicated by doctors in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, some forms of schizophrenia, and other disorders in which psychosis occurs.
Irregular Sleep-Wake Schedule
People with Irregular Sleep-Wake Schedule have sleep times that are out of alignment. Their sleep patterns do not follow the “normal” night-time sleep patterns. The sleep of patients with irregular sleep-wake rhythm is so disorganized that there is no clear sleep or wake pattern.
So, how do you know if you have a sleeping problem?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
1. Do you sleep off and on during the day and at night, taking frequent naps? In other words, is there no regular pattern of your sleep and wake times?
2. Is it hard for you to sleep well, or are you very sleepy when you are awake?
3. Add all the hours you sleep in a 24-hour period. Is it a lot more or a lot less than 8 hours?
If you find you are suffering from problems sleeping, make an appointment with your naturopath and ask for help. There are many natural solutions to help calm the body down and allow it to rest in sleep.