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Common Sleep Problems and How to Fix Them

by rmorriss

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Sleep is as essential to your health as good nutrition, yet millions of people suffer from ongoing sleep disorders. It’s common to believe that you can still function with less than seven hours of sleep, but several studies have found that physical and mental health suffers from a prolonged lack of sleep. Fortunately, there are ways to treat the most common types of sleep disorders, and some of these conditions can be alleviated with a few lifestyle changes. Keep reading to learn about how you can alleviate common sleep problems that you or your family member may suffer from.


When speaking of insomnia, it’s important to recognize that this involves an inability to stay asleep as well as experiencing difficulty in falling asleep. While this can be one of the most frustrating conditions to experience, it’s also one of the easiest sleep disorders to treat. In most cases, a few lifestyle changes can significantly improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Start by limiting your exposure to stimulants in the evening. This means drinking your last caffeinated beverage six hours before your bedtime and putting electronic devices away at least one hour before bed. You should also ensure your bedroom provides a relaxing environment. Exposure to light and noise should be reduced as much as possible. You should also turn on the air conditioner or fan to keep your bedroom between 65 and 70 degrees. Finally, make sure your bedding is soft and comfortable. If you still can’t sleep well, you may need to consult a doctor.

Sleep Apnea

Generally, sleep apnea involves an obstruction to breathing that causes the individual to awaken briefly. Once their breathing restarts, they typically fall back to sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, there’s a physical obstruction that’s caused by the relaxing of the throat muscles. In central sleep apnea, the obstruction to breathing is caused by the brain’s failure to communicate with the muscles that control breathing. There is a third condition, which is called complex sleep apnea syndrome, and this condition combines the symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea. Treatment of sleep apnea is a more complicated process that begins with undergoing tests to determine the type and severity of your condition. In many cases, you may be able to treat obstructive sleep apnea with medication. However, more severe types of sleep apnea usually require wearing devices as you sleep to help regulate your breathing. There may also be neuromuscular dysfunctions that need to be treated as the underlying cause.

Read more about Sleep Apnea and how to treat it, on pinetales.com

TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the point at which your lower jaw connects with the upper portion of your jaw. This connection forms a hinge that is partially controlled by muscle and tissue. The hinge on one side or both sides of your jaw can cause pain or discomfort as you open or close your mouth. This is especially problematic as you sleep because that pain can interrupt your sleep cycle as you breathe at night. To determine the cause of TMJ pain, a doctor or dentist may want you to undergo medical imaging, such as a CT scan or X-ray. Treatment varies for this condition and, since there isn’t a known cause for this condition, several options may need to be tried. For example, TMJ treatment in Raleigh NC often starts with medication, such as muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory medication. If you still experience TMJ problems, you may need to wear an oral device, undergo physical therapy, or have a surgical procedure to alleviate pressure in the jaw muscles.


Even though you may be getting a full night of quality sleep, you can still suffer from narcolepsy. This is a condition marked by excessive daytime sleepiness and a tendency to fall asleep without warning. This can involve falling asleep suddenly at work, while driving, or doing any other activity. For this reason, it can be a hazardous condition. There isn’t a cure for narcolepsy, but there are things you can do to control it. The first method of treatment that your doctor may try is to prescribe a stimulant. This will activate the central nervous system and help the individual stay awake and alert. Alternatively, you may be prescribed drugs that inhibit REM sleep, making it more difficult for you to suddenly fall asleep. Other treatments include antidepressants or drugs that help induce better sleep at night. Each situation is different, so you should consult your doctor if you experience uncontrolled daytime sleepiness.

Conclusion for Common Sleep Problems

If you have tried to change your lifestyle and you still suffer from a sleep disorder or other common sleep problems, visit your doctor. In some cases, another underlying health condition may be affecting your ability to sleep. At the very least, your doctor may prescribe a treatment that will allow you to catch up on your sleep.

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