Look Out for These Causes of Sleep Loss
A list of common causes resulting in sleep loss are identified below:
Not going to bed at a reasonable hour
Pursuing activities late into the evening. Examples of these activities include:
Reading a book
Working towards educational goals
Working on making money
Consistently going to bed late
Consistently waking up too early
Shift work – People who work shifts, regularly disrupt their sleep-wake cycle. In addition, frequent travelers and airline crews also tend to have erratic sleeping patterns.
Demanding jobs that extend work into the evening and even into the night
Jobs that require lots of overtime
Bedroom is too hot or too cold
Bed partner who snores
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Drinking coffee, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes close to bedtime stimulates the nervous system making sleep unlikely
Instead of relaxing, lying in bed and worrying
Parents almost always experience sleep deprivation because their babies, older babies, and toddlers wake frequently in the night for feeding or comfort
Restless leg syndrome – This is a neurological condition where a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move his or her legs. As a result, the person’s sleep is disturbed during the night. Also, patients with restless leg syndrome typically experience worse symptoms in the transition from wake to sleep. As a result, falling asleep and staying asleep is difficult. Most of all, an estimated 10 percent of the population has restless leg syndrome.
Some drugs used to treat disorders such as epilepsy or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects sleep.
By the same token, drugs taken for the common cold, nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can affect sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes partial or complete obstruction of the airway during sleep. As a result, breathing pauses and oxygen levels drop. And, this causes a person to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night.
Nasal or sinus allergies
Colds and tonsillitis – which can cause snoring
Frequently waking up in the night
Gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux
Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
Low back pain
Many of these causes may be beyond your control. However, the sleep loss they cause has adverse effects on your health (see infographic) requiring you to take remedial action.