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7 Top Causes of Restless Sleep

SLEEP WELL. LIVE WELL. Now more than ever sleep is the most important part of life. It has been observed during this pandemic that there has been an increase in insomnia. Just at a time when we need sleep the most, since lack of sleep decreases our immune function and ability to deal with stress that we may encounter at this time. One third of our life is spent sleeping, so wouldn't it be helpful to get the best night’s sleep possible. In this article, we will discover some of the reasons why we experience restless sleep and what we can do about it.

What does Restless Sleep Mean? Restless sleep has no concrete definition. It is not an identified sleep disorder according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which means that its meaning is subjective. Despite this, there’s a general sense of what it looks or feels like to have restless sleep. Restless sleep is in the eye of the beholder; how it is perceived depends on whether you’re the one trying to sleep the one sleeping next to them. Common signs of restless sleep are:

  • Frequent tossing and turning or waking up without wanting to

  • Loud snoring that involves gasping or choking noises

  • Notable movement of the limbs, getting out of bed, or even sleepwalking

  • Talking or yelling while still sleeping

  • Teeth grinding (sleep-related bruxism)

With some of these signs of restlessness, such as talking or moving during sleep, the person is likely to be totally unaware of their behavior and will not remember it when they wake up. As a result, they may not perceive their sleep to have been restless. Insomnia vs. Restless Sleep Unlike restless sleep, insomnia is a formally defined sleep disorder diagnosed by a health professional according to specific criteria. Even though some people use the word insomnia colloquially to refer to general sleeping problems, the term has a precise meaning in sleep medicine. Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking frequently and not able to go back to sleep easily. Whereas with restless sleep you may be able to fall asleep easily but it is a disturbed sleep and often not deep enough to be sufficiently rested. In practice, the majority of people with insomnia probably experience restless sleep; however, not all people who have restless sleep, especially if it happens only occasionally, have insomnia.

What Are the Top 7 Causes of Restless Sleep?

1. Racing Mind:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Feelings of excitement

  • Stress

  • Worry

2. Lifestyle choices:

  • Alcohol

  • Consuming too much caffeine

  • Diet

  • Nicotine

  • Too much stimulation before bedtime

3. Sleeping habits:

  • Inconsistent sleep schedule

  • Poor Sleep Hygiene

4. Medical Conditions:

  • Hormones

  • Restless Legs Syndrome

  • Sleep Apnea

5. Environment:

  • Excess heat or cold

  • Excess noise or light

  • Noise disturbances

  • Uncomfortable mattress

6. Physical:

  • Chronic physical pain

  • Frequent need to urinate

  • Lack of exposure to sunlight

7. Outside influences:

  • Jet lag

  • Misaligned circadian rhythm

  • Work schedules

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