Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Iden­ti­fy­ing health con­di­tions or other is­sues that could be dis­turb­ing your sleep will help you get to the bot­tom of the prob­lem.

1. Medicines: Some over­the-counter medicines like an­ti­his­tamines and de­con­ges­tants can dis­turb sleep. Pre­scrip­tion medicines that can af­fect sleep qual­ity are those used to treat high blood pres­sure and heart dis­ease. Sleep­ing pills can be use­ful as a short-term fix, for in­stance when a spe­cific life event is mak­ing it hard to sleep, but they can make you feel sleepy dur­ing the day. Us­ing them reg­u­larly can mean they will stop work­ing, and when you stop tak­ing them, you might find it harder to get to sleep.

2. Al­ler­gic rhini­tis: Sleep prob­lems are com­mon in peo­ple with al­ler­gic rhini­tis, which oc­curs when al­ler­gens in the air are breathed in, ir­ri­tat­ing and in­flam­ing the nasal pas­sages.

Dust mites, pollen, mould and pet dan­der are all com­mon al­lergy trig­gers that cause nasal con­ges­tion, sneez­ing, wa­tery eyes and a runny nose. Tak­ing steps to limit your ex­po­sure, such as us­ing dust-mite cov­ers on your pil­low and mat­tresses and keep­ing pets out of the bed­room, will help.

3. Asthma: Peo­ple with asthma of­ten suf­fer from night-time cough­ing, wheez­ing and breath­less­ness that dis­turbs their sleep. Talk to your doc­tor to de­velop a treat­ment plan to ad­dress this.

4. Depression: Depression may cause sleep prob­lems and sleep prob­lems may cause or con­trib­ute to de­pres­sive dis­or­ders. If you suf­fer from depression, you could have dif­fi­culty fall­ing asleep or stay­ing asleep and ex­pe­ri­ence day­time sleepi­ness. Speak to your GP, who may rec­om­mend a ther­a­pist.

5. Pain: Chronic or acute pain can lead to shorter sleep or poor sleep qual­ity. Fac­tors like noise, light, tem­per­a­ture and mat­tress com­fort are more likely to af­fect those who suf­fer from pain.

6. Rest­less legs syn­drome: Peo­ple with rest­less legs syn­drome suf­fer from un­com­fort­able feel­ings in the legs – thought to be caused by a mag­ne­sium and/or iron de­fi­ciency – usu­ally from the evening through to the early hours of the morn­ing. The only way to stop them is to move your legs, which can dis­rupt your sleep. Speak to your doc­tor or natur­opath for so­lu­tions.

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