Sleep is a vital bodily function. Sleep is not just about the length that we sleep, sometimes more important is the quality of that sleep. Our sleep is a very fragile part of us, it is the first thing that gets disrupted, by a wide range of issues from stress to bedrooms being too hot or cold and is the lastn thing to re balance itself. Many of the conditions that are noted on my other pages all have an impact on our sleep.
I explain sleep in its simplest form as : When you are awake, it is as if youe are sat in front of a filing cabinate with the drawers open, and we are pulling out various pieces of paper and files. These papers and files represent our habits, thoughts, feelings, memories, actions. Many of these you are unware of as they are ran from your subconscious. When you have good restful sleep, all those papers and files are put back. When you have poor quality or disrupted sleep, that slows the refiling, and over time there is paper all over = overwhelm
Poor sleep has an impact on our mood, cogniative functions, appetite, energy levels, motivation to name but a few.
For most people, poor sleep is a symptom of something else, sleep is not the problem, but there is something causing a problem to your sleep.
Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more. There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary.
- Primary insomnia: This means your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem.
- Secondary insomnia: This means you have trouble sleeping because of a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication; or substance use (like alcohol).
Whether it is that you can drift off to sleep easily, but then wake during the night and struggle to re settle, or maybe you wake several times during the night. Or you struggles to get to sleep and can spend hours tossing and turning, or not wanting to move so you do not disturb others in the house.
Your sleep can naturally eb and flow, then it usually settles again, this can be over a few nights or a week. Taking a warm bath, reducing screen time, avoiding caffeine/alcohol etc, creating a healthy bedtime routine, addressing any stress related issues can all help. If it continues to persist, speaking with your GP should be your first point of call. From there with a clearer understanding of what is happening we can form a plan to help you improve that vital sleep.