Are you having trouble sleeping? You're in good company. As many as 45 percent of Americans suffer from poor sleep, reports the National Sleep Foundation. When it comes to sleep, there is no one-stop solution. We've broken down 7 of the most common reasons behind insufficient or inadequate sleep and given you solutions tailor made to your issues.
1. Insomnia. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology has a surprising solution for insomnia. It does not require any funky equipment or elixirs. Simply put all electronics (including your phone) away an hour before bedtime. You're likely to sleep better on night one, as your sleep cycle will no longer be disrupted by the LED backlights.
2. Back pain. Back pain is the number one cause of disability in Americans under the age of 45, says the American Academy of Pain Medicine. While some back pain is certainly chronic and severe, sometimes the solution is as simple as moving around a few pillows. Mayo Clinic recommends sleeping on your stomach with a pillow between the thighs to alleviate pressure. You may also benefit from a full body pillow.
3. Neck pain. The type of pillow you use can make a significant difference. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pain Research found firmer pillows made from latex are best for people who suffer from neck pain. A feather pillow is the worst.
4. Snoring. There are a number of underlying causes for snoring. According to Harvard Health Publications, medications like Ativan and Valium, as well as body weight, smoking, and alcohol can lead to snoring. Sleeping on your back is another culprit. Try cutting out booze and sleeping on your side to alleviate snoring.
5. Acid reflux. If you suffer from acid reflux, try sleeping on the left side with your head raised. You can either pile up a few pillows or try a wedge shaped pillow, as recommended by Cleveland Clinic, to prevent stomach acid from traveling back up the esophagus.
6. Can't wake up. If you're tempted to sleep in on the weekends, don't. Before you groan and close this page, consider a 2006 study published in Chronobiology International, which found making up "sleep debt" from the week by sleeping in on the weekends is wildly disruptive to the overall sleep cycle. To stay on track and feel fresh every day of the week, set your alarm for the same time 7 days a week.
7. Leg cramps. Leg cramps are among the most painful sleep disruptors. To prevent them, Cleveland Clinic recommends gentle stretching before bed. If you have access to a stationary bike, spending a few minutes cycling right before bed can have fantastic results.
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