It’s common knowledge at this point that we should all strive towards eight hours of sleep a day, but the reality is this is a goal that’s often easier said than done.
There are many different reasons a person may have trouble sleeping, whether it be due to an irregular schedule, stress, poor pre-bedtime habits, or a sleep disorder such as insomnia.
Sleep is vital to your wellbeing, and it is important not to ignore chronic sleep issues. Should your sleep levels persist, you should visit a specialist or even see a doctor at a walk-in clinic. After all, just like you need food and water to survive, you also need sleep. Being sleep deprived can lead to long-term health issues and short-term effects like blurred vision, disorientation, slower cognitive function and delayed reaction.
If your sleep problems are or are on the way to becoming an emergency or dire concern, you can compare wait times with Medimap to identify a walk-in clinic or even a specialized clinic that can see you at a time best suited for your schedule.
If you sense you are on your way to some substantial sleep problems, consider some ways you can help to improve your sleeping patterns:
Treating Sleep Patterns at Home
Many sleep-related issues can be treated by small changes in your daily and nightly routine, such as the following:
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a consistent daily routine of going to bed at the same time every night can gradually help your body naturally relax and ready itself around this time. Similarly, setting the alarm to wake up at the same time every day helps to make getting out of bed an easier experience.
Physical activity has been proven to help promote a better night’s sleep. Make sure to schedule any exercise earlier in the day or at least a few hours before bed. Otherwise, your body may be too stimulated from the activity to fall asleep properly.
If you’ve had a lousy night of sleep, it can be tempting to make up for it during the day. However, napping can make it harder to fall asleep at the end of the day and create a more interrupted sleep.
If you must nap, try not to make it longer than 15-30 minutes, as that is enough time for a quick reset without delving too much further into a deeper sleep. Additionally, try to avoid napping past 3 pm, as any later may be too close to an adequate bedtime.
While it can be tempting to go on a coffee binge throughout the day to keep the fumes running, it’s best to avoid substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine before bed. These substances can make it harder to fall asleep, even if consumed hours before bed.
When to See a Doctor
Chronic insomnia is classified as having difficulty sleeping more than three nights a week over the course of three months.
Chronic insomnia can come with an array of other issues such as anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of focus, and more. However, you shouldn’t wait until you exhibit all these symptoms to see a doctor. If you find your sleep patterns interfere with your social life, work, or overall daily routine, you should see a health professional.
Even a walk-in clinic can help recommend you treatment or recommend further sleep specialists to help get your sleep back on track.