Sleeping Difficulties May Be Reflecting Your Health

A study has revealed that Singaporeans get lesser amount of sleep compared to the global average. 7 in 10 Singaporeans described their sleep as “somewhat well” or “not well at all”, with 65 per cent of respondents saying that they experienced several episodes of daytime sleepiness throughout the week, according to a study by Philip’s.

Stress and worry are well-known factors that snatch your sleeping time. Among other causes are, sleeping environments, health conditions, caffeine, and other lifestyle choices. Unfortunately for us, lack of sleep can lead to serious health issues such as, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.

What are sleep disorders?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where there’s a blockage in the upper airways. This results in pauses in breathing throughout the night that may cause you to abruptly wake up, often with a choking sound. Snoring commonly occurs in this disorder.

Restless legs syndrome may also trigger sleeping difficulty. This condition causes uncomfortable sensations in your legs, such as tingling or aching. These sensations give you the urge to make your legs move frequently, including while resting, which can interrupt your sleep.

Delayed sleep phase disorder is another condition that can affect sleep. This condition causes a delay in the 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness. You may not feel sleepy or fall asleep until the middle of the night. This sleep cycle makes it harder for you to wake up in the early morning and leads to daytime fatigue.

Sleeping disorders deserve medical attention. Many people take it lightly and just accept their troubled sleeping routine. It is important to get diagnosed to treat the underlying condition.  For example, if your sleep is affected by anxiety disorder or depression, your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication to help you cope with worry, stress, and feelings of hopelessness.

Lifestyle Tips

Less serious causes of sleeplessness may be averted with a few lifestyle changes. Avoiding caffeine, and smart devices before bed can relax your mind and body before bed. A hot shower and caffeine-free tea like chamomile also have calming benefits on your body. Keep your room cool and dark to set an ideal sleeping environment. These are instant solutions to help you go to sleep.

On the other hand, long term lifestyle habits are also important. Daily nutrition and diet contribute to your sleep quality. Alcohol, spicy foods and high-protein meals when taken near bedtime can affect your sleep quality.

A diet rich in Omega-3 can enrich one’s sleeping quality including pregnant ladies and infants. Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids. They’re what’s known as essential fats. Your body can’t produce them; your supply of omega 3s must come from dietary and supplement sources.

How Omega-3 Affects Sleep

Vitamin D
These types of fatty fish are also good sources of Vitamin D, which is important for sleep. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with disrupted sleep patterns. Fatty fish is one source of Vitamin D to consider, but don’t overlook the very best source–the sun!

DHA

  • Melatonin is a key hormone that facilitates sleep by putting your body at resting mode. Research shows low levels of the omega 3 DHA cause melatonin deficiency—and that increasing levels of DHA cause melatonin levels to rise.
  • Low levels of the omega 3 DHA are associated with greater severity of obstructive sleep apnea, and that increasing levels of DHA reduces the risks for severe sleep apnea. The ability of omega 3s to reduce inflammation may be especially helpful to people with OSA.

  • Recent research showed a significant link between low levels of DHA and poor sleep in pregnant women. This can also cause higher inflammation and shorter lengths of gestation. Omega 3 fatty acids are as critically important to fetal development, particularly to the development of the brain and central nervous system.

The benefits of omega 3s during pregnancy don’t only include mom, but baby as well: studies show greater consumption of DHA during pregnancy is linked to stronger sleep patterns in new-borns.

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