Do you suffer from lack of sleep? article image

Do you suffer from lack of sleep?

Sleep problems are very common these days and are usually nothing you need to worry about as long as they only happen once in a while. If, on the other hand, sleep is regularly affected and you feel that it affects your everyday life negatively, then it is time to do something. Generally, adults need between 6-9 hours of sleep per night to feel good, but this is of course individual. Sleep problems usually mean that you either have difficulty falling asleep at night, that you fall asleep but then have several awakenings during the night, or that you wake up very early in the morning. Some have problems with several parts which can be really troublesome and cause frustration and of course fatigue.

Why do we need sleep?

We need sleep so that the body and brain can rest, recover, process impressions and store knowledge and memories. While we sleep, emotions and experiences are processed so that in the morning we are ready to take on the next day's challenges. When we sleep, the memory is strengthened and the brain is cleared of harmful substances. During sleep, the brain is cleaned of "rubbish" that has formed during the day and nerve connections are expanded and strengthened. Blood pressure, heart rate and even body temperature drop when we sleep, our breathing becomes calmer and our muscles relax. Sleep is a basic biological function that exists in all living beings and is controlled by, among other things, heredity, light and environment.

Signs of sleep deprivation

One way to evaluate whether you suffer from a lack of sleep is to feel how alert you feel and how you function in your everyday life. If you suffer from a lack of sleep, you may, for example, experience that you cope with your everyday tasks worse than usual, you have difficulty remembering things, poorer concentration and reduced reaction time. Many also fall asleep during passive activities such as watching television, meetings, lectures and the like. Lack of sleep can also be felt through mood swings and that emotions go from high to low. It can also lead to depression, anxiety and worry.

Poor sleep can have many causes

The most common cause of sleep problems is stress. In case of stress, the entire nervous system adjusts to alertness and it becomes difficult to relax and fall asleep. Sleep can become shallower due to stress and you may wake up early in the morning and have difficulty falling back asleep. Why we feel stress is individual, but common causes can be the classic everyday puzzle with high demands at the workplace, family life, everyday chores, relationships, etc. Unprocessed experiences from the past as well as negative thoughts and feelings can also be causes of stress. Other common causes are disturbing noises in the environment such as traffic noise, a snoring partner or if you have small children. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can also affect sleep negatively. Circadian rhythm is also an important factor where irregular or shifted circadian rhythm or activities and meals late at night can negatively affect sleep.

Tips for good sleep!

  • Create regular sleep routines
  • Avoid sleeping during the day
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool room
  • Reduce the stress in your everyday life
  • Shut down all screens an hour before you want to sleep
  • Do relaxation exercises in the evening
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get daylight every day
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening
  • Dietary supplements or over-the-counter medicines