Health

How to fix your sleep problems with science

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Let’s be honest, we just luuuuuurve sleeping – which is good considering we spend nearly a third of our lives asleep (yep, it really is that much!) There’s nothing better than getting in from a long day, climbing into your freshly cleaned bed sheets, getting snuggled and waking up feeling refreshed. That is if you can. There are so many people who suffer from sleeping problems that can interrupt, disrupt or completely diminish our relaxing sleep and leave us feeling tired, groggy and in pain. So how do you fix it?

Back pain

If you wake up with back pain, it can be hard to pinpoint what caused it – because you were asleep! However, keeping your spine and back comfortable during the night is essential for maintaining your health. Luckily, there are ways to combat back pain, and the first job is to chuck out your old mattress. If a mattress has springs poking out of it or is too soft, it can cause your spine to curve in unnatural ways, causing intense pain – especially the longer you leave it. Sleeping on your back can also cure back pain. Rather than twisting your body into the fetal position, or sleeping both on and off the bed, place an extra pillow or a towel underneath your knees while lying on your back to mimic the natural curve of your body and spine.

The struggle to fall asleep

Many of us find that we spend hours each night tossing and turning, unable to drift off to sleep. There are numerous reasons why you may struggle to fall asleep, and there are multiple ways to combat this. Nowadays, we heavily rely on our mobile phones, laptops, and tablets to keep us entertained before bed. Whether you always watch a film before you go to bed, or refresh your Facebook timeline, these actions will affect your ability to fall asleep. Because of the artificial light emanating from the screens, these devices affect our bodies sleep and wake cycles. So, if you can, banish these devices from your room at least an hour before you intend to sleep. If you want to do something to keep your mind occupied, why not read a book or listen to some music?

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Snoring

Ahhh, this old chestnut. Whether you’ve been told that you snore, or have been around people that do, you know that snoring can be incredibly annoying! Sleeping on your back is often associated with snoring because the positioning of your body causes your tongue to constrict your airway. So if you struggle with your snoring, try to avoid sleeping on your back and adopt another sleeping position. Your pillow can also affect your snoring, with overly soft pillows causing your tongue to slip over your windpipe. To combat your snoring, you will need to elevate your head even more by purchasing harder pillows or doubling up.

The struggle to wake up

I’m sure most of us have the same problem – we just can’t wake up in the mornings. There are some people out there who wake up with ease, but we are not those people. Why would we want to leave our lovely, cozy bed? However, there is a way to train your body to actually enjoy getting up and wake up with ease. Instead of using a different alarm for each day (especially weekends), if you set your alarm for the same time each day, your body clock will create a new routine. To get maximum impact, you need to make sure you go to bed at the same time each night. Also, don’t set multiple alarms. The temptation is to snooze all of them, thinking that you’ll just get up at the next one. If you only set one, you know that you have to get up there and then, otherwise you will oversleep.

If you struggle with any of these problems, try these at-home remedies to see if they combat your issues. If these problems still continue over time, make sure you book an appointment to see your doctor.