With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, more and more people are being diagnosed with sleeping disorders. However, you shouldn’t let one or two restless nights get you running to your doctor. You should first evaluate your situation to see if you just had a couple of bad nights or if you need to see someone regarding a sleep disorder.

Causes of sleeping disorders

There are many factors that can cause sleeping issues. Some of them are:

  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Poor diet
  • Too much caffeine
  • Weight gain
  • Physical/Mental ailments
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Aging.

Sleep Journal

The first thing to do when trying to see if you have a sleep disorder is to keep a sleep journal. Keep a notebook by your bed with all of the details about your sleep patterns. Write down what time you go to bed and whether or not you toss and turn before falling asleep. Include details such as if your mattress is comfortable. Many people blame their beds and uncomfortable pillows for their lack of sleep. Also, what is the temperature in the room?

Make note of what time you wake up in the morning and how you feel upon arising. Do you feel rested or was it a chore to get out of bed? You should also keep the journal with you during the day. Write down what you eat, how many caffeinated beverages you drank and at what times, as well as if you consumed any alcoholic beverages. All of these things can affect your sleep.

Exercise

Getting regular exercise will help your sleep patterns as well. Getting 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a minimum of three times per week will make many positive changes in your life. It relieves stress, helps purge toxins, and burns more calories so they are not stored in the body. Increased physical exertion also wears you out faster so you’re more tired when you go to bed.

Symptoms

After you have kept a sleep journal for at least two weeks, you can look for signs and symptoms that you may have a sleep disorder. Some common indicators are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Mental fogginess
  • Easily angered
  • Slow reflexes
  • Dozing off during the day
  • Depression
  • Nightmares (common with kids too)

What to do next

Now that you have an idea of what is going on, you can take action. If comfort while you are in bed is a problem, consider replacing your mattress. Or perhaps you simply need some therapeutic pillows. Begin some cardiovascular exercise after getting clearance from your physician.

Eat healthier, which means less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables. You may also try reading or dimming your lights for an hour or so before bed. This will relax your mind and your body. Lastly, cut back on your caffeine and alcohol consumption.

If applying these changes to your lifestyle doesn’t show any improvements after a few weeks, you may need to see your physician. You may have a more serious condition that will need to be evaluated by a professional. Still, continue on with the lifestyle changes as they are positive changes that will only aid in your wellbeing.