Are Sleep Problems and Sleep Disorders Curable?

Sleep Problems

Sleepless nights are the worst. A single night of tossing and turning can cause feelings of anger, irritability, sadness, or stress; impair concentration and judgment, and sabotage everything from fitness goals to sexual performance. But, over the long haul, persistent sleep problems may create an increased risk of well-being destroyers like depression, ADD/ADHD, panic attacks, brain fog, memory problems, and dementia. In fact, in those with stress, anxiety, or depression, insomnia co-occurs more than half of the time.

An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans who experience various types of sleep disorders know all too well the myriad ill effects that can occur with sleep deprivation. As nearly one-third of Americans suffer from short-term insomnia, and chronic insomnia affects about 1 in 10 people, this is a common concern—one that can have debilitating and even dangerous consequences.

Obtaining quality sleep is a must for maintaining optimal mental and physical health. In fact, according to sleep specialist Dr. Shane Creado, sleep is one of the most important factors in human survival—as important as food or water, it offers a chance for the brain to cleanse itself and to enable functions from immunity and circulation to memory consolidation. In other words, overcoming sleep problems should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. Luckily, sleep issues like insomnia are often treatable with some simple and effective strategies.

Just one night of poor sleep can cause feelings of anger, irritability, sadness, or stress; impair concentration and judgment; and sabotage everything from fitness goals to sexual performance. Luckily, sleep issues are often treatable. Click To Tweet

UNDERLYING PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS THAT CAN AFFECT SLEEP

Though there are many factors that could be affecting your quality of sleep, a number of underlying physical and emotional health issues may be to blame. Evaluate whether any of these may be keeping you up at night:

  • Untreated sleep apnea literally kills brain cells and can look like early Alzheimer’s disease in brain SPECT This condition briefly halts breathing throughout the night while sleeping, leading to forgetfulness and lack of focus.
  • The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that restless leg syndrome often causes fewer hours of sleep and/or poorer quality of sleep.
  • Thyroid conditions—both hypo- and hyperthyroidism—can affect sleep.
  • Chronic pain affects brain function and interrupts slumber.
  • Studies show that congestive heart failure leads to sleep-disordered breathing.
  • Untreated psychiatric conditions, such as OCD, depression, or anxiety, often co-occur with sleep disorders.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association notes that dementia patients have problems sleeping or experience “sundowning” (heightened confusion, anxiety, agitation, pacing, and disorientation that starts at dusk and continues throughout the night).
  • Chronic gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux, lead to discomfort that can prevent or interrupt sleep.
  • An enlarged prostate gland increases the need for bathroom visits throughout the night.

TOP TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP

In addition to addressing any underlying physical or mental health concerns when necessary, better sleep can be achieved through a variety of efforts that anyone can incorporate into their daily regime. However, improving sleep hygiene is often a matter of trial and error, so feel free to mix and match from this list of techniques to find what helps you enjoy an easy, peaceful night’s rest:

  • Don’t let your worries keep you up all night. Put emotional disturbances aside before hitting the sheets by sending positive messages to a friend before bedtime, writing or praying about any pressing concerns, or setting an intention to address any lingering interpersonal issues the following day.
  • Set up your sleeping space for success. Ensure that the environment is a comfortable temperature (experts suggest between 60 and 67 degrees), as well as dark and quiet. Keep any pets off the bed, or away from the bedroom altogether.
  • Set a sleep schedule and stick to it like clockwork. When you fall asleep and wake up at consistent times (yes, even on weekends), you align your body’s internal clock, helping to banish sleeplessness.
  • Create a relaxing sleep ritual. An hour or more before your appointed bedtime, switch off the TVs and tech devices, dim the lights, read a non-stimulating book, play peaceful music or nature sounds, or indulge in a warm bath or shower. You can even spritz calming lavender-scented spray, or try meditation and breathing techniques to unwind further.
  • Try sleep-inducing consumables. While traditional sleep medications can lead to problems like memory loss, you can try safer alternatives like melatonin. Even a cup of warm, unsweetened almond milk with a teaspoon of real vanilla and a few drops of stevia may help carry you to dreamland—without the damaging side effects.
  • If you do wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the clock—this unthinking habit can actually increase anxiety and keep you awake. Or, if you find yourself unable to fall or get back to sleep, don’t simply toss and turn for hours on end; get out of bed, move to another room, and return after a short time to try again.

Sleep disorders and other mental health issues can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

8 Comments »

  1. Sleep problems and have all simptoms

    Comment by RJ Miler — April 18, 2022 @ 6:08 AM

  2. Are you going to address the “curable” teaser question you asked in the title?

    Comment by Heather Hamilton — April 18, 2022 @ 6:36 AM

  3. Yes I have problems going to sleep. I sleep on a Cpap now . But I usually get in bed at 2 AM and fight pillow and head gear for an hour before I fall asleep. Awake between 8 AM and 10AM.

    Comment by Pamela Willard — April 18, 2022 @ 7:09 AM

  4. The book, breath, By Nestor explains how nose breathing stimulates the vagus nerve to bring us deeply satisfying and useful sleep. We must prevent mouth breathing with fabric tape on the mouth at night so that the nose breathing can do the job. Most of us do not breathe through the nose well enough and inhibit our sleep. He describes how that tape on the mouth can prevent snoring and sleep apnea as well as let our bodies do the job they are meant to do in the night.

    Comment by Anne Stirling Hastings — April 18, 2022 @ 8:15 AM

  5. I have had sleep issues most of my life, however even worse during menopause. Also, my brain fog and finding names for words has gotten worse.

    Comment by Breena Valente — April 18, 2022 @ 8:44 AM

  6. Clonazepam stop night time RLS 2 mg. Progesterone 200 mg hs also helps make me drowsy. Gaba 750 mg hs. and Melatonin.
    According to my Oura Ring it is the best length…..7-9 hours and most deep……1 hour: I’ve had in years. Age 71 with Tardive Dyskinesia/RLS from meds given 20 years ago to treat service connected TBI/migraines.

    Comment by William Kelso, II — April 18, 2022 @ 10:36 AM

  7. What caught my attention is when you said that depression, anxiety, and other untreated psychiatric conditions could lead to sleep disorders. With this in mind, I will see a professional check if I could be provided with sleep medicines. Since I lost my husband due to an auto accident almost 8 weeks ago, I have been experiencing trouble when trying to sleep. It is important for me to get treated since I have children to consider.

    Comment by Shammy Peterson — May 20, 2022 @ 12:46 AM

  8. Recently, my mom called and said she's been worried about my dad's sleeping habits since he can't seem to get more than a couple of hours of sleep at night. I'm glad you explained sleeping disorders and the importance of getting diagnosed before it gets worse, so I'll make sure to talk to my parents about this today. I appreciate your advice on how to deal with a sleeping disorder. https://www.ntnsc.com/

    Comment by Eli Richardson — July 4, 2022 @ 8:44 AM

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