Coping Under Quarantine: Sleeping Problems

April 8, 2020

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Problems with sleep can be very frustrating and can impact how we feel, think and behave. During the current global crisis, it is more likely to find yourself struggling with sleep due to all the external factors you may be consuming. Often sleep problems arise from several different contributing factors which you can read about below. In this guide, we outline sleep problems, healthy sleeping habits, factors that may be causing you to have trouble sleeping and how you can overcome them.
You can find a more in-depth discussion in the booklet we have created which is usually reserved for our clients, however during this difficult time we are doing as much as we can to help so you can download it for free via the link below.

 

Understanding sleep and sleep problems

 

The first thing to understand is that sleep problems are very common and are often referred to as insomnia. Sleep problems are particularly common in women, children and those over 65 – roughly half of the over 65 population have issues with insomnia. Having trouble sleeping at some point in your life is quite normal – so even though it is frustrating, there is no need to be worried.

How much sleep do we need?

 

When we have little to no sleep and we feel like we haven’t had a good rest, we can become very distressed which can then turn into a vicious cycle of finding it harder to get off to sleep every night.

 

There is no right or wrong answer as to how many hours of sleep we need each night, as people vary in their need for sleep. The most common answer is that we all need 7 to 8 hours sleep every night – but this is incorrect. While Even though 7 to 8 hours sleep is recommended for an adult, studies have shown that people can vary between needing 6 to 10 hours sleep a night. This amount can vary throughout life, gender, age and level of activity.

The different types of sleep

 

When we have little to no sleep and we feel like we haven’t had a good rest, we can become very distressed which can then turn into a vicious cycle of finding it harder to get off to sleep every night.

 

There is no right or wrong answer as to how many hours of sleep we need each night, as people vary in their need for sleep. The most common answer is that we all need 7 to 8 hours sleep every night – but this is incorrect. While Even though 7 to 8 hours sleep is recommended for an adult, studies have shown that people can vary between needing 6 to 10 hours sleep a night. This amount can vary throughout life, gender, age and level of activity.

Similar to the amount of sleep we need, the type of sleep we need changes as we get older. Sleep in people over 65 tends to be lighter and more broken, with more frequent wakening.

As well as becoming lighter and more broken as we get older, the pattern of when we sleep can change too. It starts to be more likely that we will go to bed sooner, wake up earlier or fall asleep during the day, so the natural rhythm of sleep can be disturbed as a result of this.

What causes sleep problems?

 

 

There are several factors in life that can contribute to causing sleep patterns, like the ones you can see in the chart above. We go more depth with these in the booklet you can access for free below. Sometimes, it can be a combination of a few different causes rather than just one thing, but it helps to know exactly what is making you suffer with sleep problems because that’s the first step in being able to find a solution.

 

There is a misconception that sleeping problems are just not being able to fall asleep at night, however there are actually a few more types such as waking too early, sleeping too much, poor quality sleep and staying asleep. It’s likely that you could have a mixture of these without realising, but by identifying the kind of sleep problems you are having will help to begin to deal with them.

Overcoming your sleep problem

 

One of the first and most important steps in starting to manage and overcome sleep problems is finding out anything that is causing them and trying to find solutions. We have gone into this in more detail in our free downloadable booklet below on how you can get into the habit of identifying a problem and looking at a solution for it.

Good sleep habits

When a sleep problem starts, it is helpful to try and eliminate any bad sleep habits you may have. The following diagram shows a few good sleep habits you can try and utilise.

The methods mentioned above can really help to improve your sleep. If you follow the booklet but still feel as though you are having sleep problems, please contact a doctor.

 

For more wellbeing advice, visit our Covid-19 Resource Hub

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