One of the most common complaints from people is that they don’t get good enough sleep – even when they’re sleeping for seven hours or more.
When this happens over and over again this can signify a problem with your quality of sleep and may warrant further attention. A common sleeping condition that can cause fatigue is obstructive sleep apnoea, although it’s important not to rule out other possible problems as well.
1. Minimise electronic use before bed
Electronic screens like those on your iPad, tablet or smartphone can keep you awake for longer thus reducing your quality of sleep. The reason for this is quite a technical process.
First of all your body’s ability to feel ‘awake’ is due to a place in your brain called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus which is responsible for responding to light (like the sun rising). When it is dark (bedtime) your body will respond by releasing a ‘sleep chemical’ known as melatonin. If you keep looking at screens on your gadgets before you sleep you could disturb this process – thus keeping your body awake for longer.
2. Watch your diet
Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime is a common problem. This is because caffeine binds to cells within the body and speeds their processes up which means that you will feel awake and energised. Caffeine can block a sleep chemical from slowing nerve responses meaning that you’ll feel awake for longer.
What not to eat before bed
First of all, you shouldn’t be eating any time close to your bedtime. It’s recommended to have dinner early at around six o’clock. You should also try to avoid fatty food which stimulates acids in your stomach which can give you heartburn.
3. Try to keep abnormal working hours to a minimum
Changing your sleep pattern too often will throw your body out of sync and result in your sleep becoming disturbed. This is common for people who have careers that require them to change their sleeping times frequently like nurses and other shift workers.
4. Make sure your environment is right
Your body is extremely responsive when it comes to light and temperature. As it gets later at night you should begin to dim the lights or just have a lamp on so your body can adjust and also get into the habit of getting sleepy when it’s dark. You should also make sure that your room is a cool temperature when you’re sleeping as being too hot can cause you to wake repeatedly.
5. Get sleep problems like sleep apnoea treated professionally
If your partner notices that you snore or wake up suddenly gasping in your sleep do not disregard it as a minor issue. These symptoms can actually signify sleep apnoea which is a potentially harmful condition that starves your body of oxygen while you sleep due to tissue that obstructs the airway.
Here at Hyde Park Dental Care in Sydney, we can treat sleep apnoea with oral appliance therapy – which is different to CPAP therapy. You will be provided with a custom-made mouthguard designed to improve the posture of your throat and mouth to put the tissue in the right place.
Make an enquiry about our sleep apnoea treatment below: