What Are the Causes of Poor Sleep?

Medically Reviewed on 1/25/2022
sleep problems
Some of the major reasons that may result in poor sleep include sleep disorders, mental health disorders, certain medications, and poor lifestyle choices.

Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of life due to its obvious health benefits. 

Sleep deprivation can be one of the major reasons behind most chronic diseases. Besides medical conditions, sleep deprivation can lower immunity against most infectious diseases. 

Sleep helps improve the overall performance of an individual at work or school. Hence, sleeping should be given as much importance as exercise and a healthy diet.

Some major reasons that may result in poor sleep are as follows:

  1. Sleepiness caused by sleep deprivation: Sleep deprivation is the major cause of daytime sleepiness in times of social media. Sleep deprivations may be short term or chronic and can be caused by various medical conditions, which include:
    • Failure to prioritize sleep: Staying up late to watch a Netflix series or waking up early without getting enough sleep can all lead to sleep deprivation. As a result, you can feel drowsy the next day, and the problem can accumulate over time. Lack of sleep over an extended period can lead to insufficient sleep syndrome.
    • Lack of sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to healthy sleep habits or behaviors that can help improve your night’s sleep. Poor sleep hygiene includes:
      • Looking at electronic gadgets before going to sleep
      • Taking excess coffee or tea during the evening or nighttime
      • Consuming large meals right before bedtime
      • Consuming excess fluid during nighttime
    • Insomnia: Insomnia due to stress, uncomfortable surroundings and lack of sleep can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep for as long as you want. It can give rise to excessive daytime sleepiness.
    • Sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by obstruction of the air passage, resulting in the cessation of breath during sleep. It can typically cause daytime drowsiness and may affect up to 20 percent of adults.
    • Restless leg syndrome: Refers to a strong sensation of needing to move one’s leg, disrupting total sleep time and sleep quality.
    • Poor sleep quality: Poor sleep quality refers to a condition where the person doesn’t get enough deep sleep. As a result, the person may not wake up feeling refreshed even after sleeping for the recommended number of hours. It is often associated with poor lifestyle habits.
    • Pain: Pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or herniated disks can complicate sleep and make a person sleepy during the day.
    • Frequent nighttime urination: Also known as nocturia, it can lead a person to wake up during the night to urinate.
    • Sleeping alone: Sleeping alone can be daunting for some, as they are used to a co-sleeper or having someone in the house sleeping in a different room.
  2. Sleepiness caused by other medical and brain conditions: Medications, mental health disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, and other health problems can also cause daytime drowsiness.
  3. Other conditions leading to drowsiness:
    • Sedentary lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle can diminish your energy level and make you feel exhausted and sleepy. According to a study, highly active women had a significantly lower level of fatigue. Increased physical activity contributes to more energy and vigor.
    • Stress: Stress can take a toll on your energy and leave you exhausted and drowsy. Controlling stress may improve your energy level.

How can you improve your sleep quality?

During the daytime, follow these tips to get peaceful night sleep:

  • Get enough exercise during the day
  • Get enough sunlight exposure during the day
  • Avoid smoking as nicotine disrupts sleep
  • Moderate alcohol consumption

Optimize your bedroom by:

  • Choosing a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  • Using excellent quality sheets and blankets.
  • Using a heavy-curtain or an eye mask to prevent light from disturbing your sleep.
  • Cutting out noise by using earplugs or a white noise machine.
  • Trying calming scents to induce a calmer state of mind.

Avoid these things before bedtime:

  • Large meals with high-fat content and alcohol
  • Undertaking stressful activities
  • Caffeine intake
  • Excess fluid intake
  • Using electronic gadgets such as laptops and smartphones
Medically Reviewed on 1/25/2022
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