Not sleeping? See if one of these 10 reasons is the culprit.

Are you having trouble sleeping? If so, you are not alone. It’s believed that approximately 70% of American adults have difficulty getting enough sleep at night. And when we don’t get enough sleep, we pay the price. A lack of sleep is strongly correlated with memory issues, trouble with thinking and concentrating, mood changes, a weakened immune system, a heightened risk of accidents, weight gain, and more. While just one of those outcomes can undoubtedly wreak havoc on your daily life, chances are if you are experiencing sleep deprivation, your body is experiencing one or more of those consequences.

Before you can determine how to get more sleep, you need to start by understanding why you can’t seem to get enough in the first place. Check out this list of 10 common reasons why you’re not getting enough z’s.

1. Insomnia

This is one of the most common reasons people can’t catch a wink. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble either falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. The most frequent causes of insomnia include stress, an erratic or unpredictable sleep schedule where your sleep starts and ends at varying times, poor sleeping habits in general, physical illnesses and pain, anxiety and depression, certain prescription medications and supplements, and neurological disorders.

2. Sleep Apnea

This potentially severe disorder is associated with breathing that repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in adults is obesity and excess weight, which impacts the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. When adults with sleep apnea try to sleep, the throat and tongue muscles relax, and these soft tissues can create a blockage in the airway. Symptoms of this condition include loud snoring, gasping for air when sleeping, awakening with a dry mouth, excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability, and difficulty paying attention during wakeful hours.

3. Stress

We all know that stress can be harmful to our health. If you are feeling stressed, you must take steps to better manage your daily stress. Not only does stress mess with our ability to catch some shut-eye, but it can cause other health concerns too, such as headaches, skin conditions, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, depression, and anxiety.

4. Diabetes

When your blood sugar levels are higher than average due to diabetes, the kidneys respond by overcompensating. This may cause you to urinate more often. These frequent trips to the bathroom mean disrupted rest. And if you have trouble falling asleep as it is, you can only imagine how much this can impact both the quality and amount of sleep you can get.

5. Heart Problems or Heart Failure

If you have high blood pressure, are dealing with congestive heart failure, or have another heart condition, you may find it difficult to sleep. Many people with heart problems feel out of breath when lying in bed. Further, there is a link between heart problems and frequent urination, and we already know that those frequent trips to the bathroom are disruptive to our sleep schedules. Finally, chest pain and the related discomfort can make it challenging to relax and stay asleep.

6. Caffeine

We all know that a boost of caffeine early in the day can make us feel a bit more awake and energetic. And though that daily coffee run can awaken the senses, too much caffeine is not so good. As a rule of thumb, more than four cups of brewed coffee a day is too much. But adults should pay attention to their bodies and adjust their caffeine levels to ensure they aren’t taking in more than they should.

7. Protein

While protein is excellent for building muscle and maintaining a healthy weight, it’s not too good to consume right before bed. Protein requires significant energy to digest, which means your tummy can keep turning when you are trying to sleep. If you are hungry before bed, it is better to stick to a light carbohydrate snack before beginning your evening tooth brushing and flossing routine.

8. Smoking

Tobacco can provide a rush that accelerates the heart rate. This should come as no surprise as cigarettes are a stimulant. Thus, smoking at bedtime is an unfavorable combination.

9. Alcohol

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not help induce sleep. Instead, alcohol interferes with REM sleep, leaving you more tired in the morning. Though alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it is essential to note that this is only a short-term effect.

10. Temperature

Though it can vary from person to person, the best bedroom temperature for sleep is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). A room that is too cold will leave you seeking more covers during the night. And a room that is too warm will cause excessive sweating and discomfort. So pay attention to your thermostat and set it to a comfortable temperature to ensure you can sleep through the night.

Is sleep apnea keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?

You might not realize that the best dentists can help you get a better night’s rest. In particular, your dentist can help with sleep apnea, which means you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. The Barr & Diachenko, DDS, team can help adults in the Chicago, Illinois, area who need more sleep. Please request an appointment by using our convenient online form or give our office a call. Not only will we help with your sleep apnea, but we can offer suggestions on how to mitigate several of these other reasons you can’t seem to get enough sleep.