Environmental Interferences: A distracting sleep environment such as a room that’s too hot or cold, too noisy or too brightly lit can disrupt your ability to get a restful sleep. According to researchers the ideal temperature for sleep should range between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooling Down your sleep environment is helpful. Cool Flash Pads for pillows or your body are recommended and have helped with sleep.
Psychological Factors: Stress is considered by most sleep experts to be the No. 1 cause of short-term sleeping difficulties. Common triggers include school or job-related pressures, a family or marriage problem, and a serious illness or death in the family. Usually, the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes. However, if short-term sleep problems such as insomnia aren’t managed properly from the beginning, they can persist long after the original stress has passed. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to a physician about any sleeping problem that recurs or persists for longer than one week. Your doctor can help you take steps early to control or prevent poor sleep. Since insomnia can also be brought on by depression, evaluation by a healthcare professional is essential.
Lifestyle Stressors: Without realizing it, you may be doing things during the day or night that can work against getting a good night’s sleep. These include drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening, exercising close to bedtime, following an irregular morning and nighttime schedule, and working or doing other mentally intense activities right before or after getting into bed.
Shift Work: If you are among the 17 percent of employees in the United States who are shift workers, sleep may be particularly elusive. Shift work forces you to try to sleep when activity is around you – and your own “biological rhythms” – signal you to be awake. One study shows that shift workers are two to five times more likely than employees with regular, daytime hours to fall asleep on the job. Still another sleep stealer is jet lag, an inability to sleep caused when you travel across several time zones and your biological rhythms get “out of sync.”
Physical Factors: A number of physical problems can interfere with your ability to fall or stay asleep. For example, arthritis and other conditions that cause pain, backache, or discomfort can make it difficult to sleep well. Sleep apnea, which is recognized by snoring and interrupted breathing, causes brief awakenings (often unnoticed) and excessive daytime sleepiness. If suspected, a person having signs of sleep apnea should see a doctor. Disorders that cause involuntary limb movements during sleep, such as Restless Legs Syndrome, break up the normal sleep pattern and are also likely to make sleep less refreshing and result in daytime sleepiness. For women, pregnancy and hormonal shifts including those that cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause and its accompanying hot flashes can also intrude on sleep. Medications In addition, certain medications such as decongestants, steroids and some medicines for high blood pressure, asthma, or depression can cause sleeping difficulties as a side effect.
*Sources: National Sleep Foundation, Hot Flashes Journal, Cool Care Technologies