Did you get enough sleep last night? If you answered no, you are not alone. For those of us who do not get enough rest, the obvious solution is to go to bed earlier each night. For others, however, it is not that simple. Insomnia affects approximately 70 million individuals in the U.S. alone and can last a night or two, or, in chronic cases, for months or years.
Daytime sleepiness can have a variety of effects. According to a conservative estimate by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 100,000 auto accidents each year are caused by drowsiness, resulting in at least 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
Lack of mental concentration and the frequency of mistakes made on the job by insomniacs have also proven to be quite costly. U.S. employers estimate that they lose approximately $18 billion each year due to lowered productivity caused by sleep-deprived workers.
Furthermore, chronic drowsiness can contribute to a variety of health conditions:
• High blood pressure
• Heart attack
• Mood and psychiatric disorders
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Growth retardation in fetuses and children
While there are many factors that can cause sleepless nights – such as stress, worry, illness, or excitement about an upcoming event -- there are some causes that you may be unaware of.
Here are five surprising reasons you may not be sleeping well at night.
1. Supplements – While it is true that we often need supplements to enhance our overall health and well-being, there are certain supplements that can cause you to have vivid dreams and awaken during the night. Vitamins B6 and B12 can cause sleep disturbances in some individuals, especially when taken close to bedtime. If you take melatonin to regulate your sleep cycle, be sure to take the proper dosage: 0.3 - 1.0 mg. Otherwise, if the dosage is too high, you may experience vivid dreams and nightmares that interfere with your sleep cycle.
2. Nutritional Deficiencies – Vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of insomnia. The solution? Regularly spend time in the sun or take vitamin D supplements. Although less common, a vitamin B12 deficiency can also interfere with a good night’s rest.
Vegetarians and vegans have a much higher prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency than the rest of the population and, therefore, should supplement their diets with plenty of B12. If you’re supplementing with B-complex vitamins for any reason, however, take them in the morning to curtail any possible sleep disturbances they may cause at night.
3. Electronic devices – Electronic gadgets – like cell phones, video games, and computers – emit an artificial light that can cause sleep disturbances. Melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep – is affected when the body is exposed to prolonged periods of artificial light. If you spend your evening in front of a computer screen or other similar device, you may have a difficult time falling asleep. Also, avoid the temptation to send text messages or check social media via your phone after you’ve gone to bed for the night.
4. Pets – Many of us like to cuddle next to our pets as we settle for a good night’s rest; however, we may be sabotaging our ability to get all the sleep we need. Why? Because animals have different sleep cycles, they often wake us during the night as they move around the bed or in the bedroom. If your pet is waking you during the night, the solution to getting more sleep may be to sleep without your cat or dog by your side.
5. Undiagnosed GERD – It’s possible to have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) without knowing it. If you awaken during the night due to coughing or choking, it’s possible that you may be regurgitating stomach acid. GERD may also contribute to sleep apnea – a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing repeatedly during the sleep cycle.
As we have mentioned before, these tips can provide you with a short-term solution that can help you fall asleep but if you are suffering from pro-longed bouts of insomnia there is likely something much deeper going on. We have discovered a wonderful technique that can help to heal deeper rooted issues that may be causing your insomnia and once you have mastered it, you will be able to fall asleep in 15 minutes or less each and every night.
We strongly encourage that if you want to get to sleep quickly, stay asleep, and actually sleep deeply enough that you wake up feeling refreshed, and avoid the life-threatening dangers that lurk ahead - WITHOUT PILLS.
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