Sleep and Family

Family problems can cause sleep deprivation in many forms.

Some are obvious:

• You’re too worried about something going on in your family to fall asleep.

• You found out about a family money problem and are too scared to tell your spouse, so you lie awake and worry about it.

• Some family stress has you so wrapped up and worried that you have nightmares that wake you in the middle of the night. Then you find you cannot fall back to sleep.

Some are less obvious:

• Dust mites are running rampant on a pillow you haven’t washed or replaced in ages. This causes you to be unable to fall asleep, thus giving you more time to worry about whatever is going on in your family at the time.

• You have a mattress that hasn’t been flipped or replaced in years. As a result the springs aren’t supporting your back and you aren’t able to sleep peacefully.

• Your pillow isn’t giving you the support you need and you wake up in the middle of the night with a stiff neck, thinking it is caused by stress when really it is caused by using the wrong pillow.

Adult sleep disorders are not common, but they aren’t exactly rare either, from sleep apnea, which can make you feel like you only got half the sleep you really did, to insomnia, which can keep you from sleeping for days at a time. If you feel you have a potential sleep disorder, seek medical advice from your family doctor. You may only need a new pillow, though, so check out what you’re sleeping on between the time you schedule that doctor appointment and the time you actually go.

You may occasionally ask yourself, “Adults need how much sleep?” Most adults hear that they need eight hours but really, that number can differ. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep, but you need the number of hours that makes you feel rested and awake in the morning. If that number is more or less than eight, that’s okay. Do some experimentation and find the number that is right for you.

Are family problems at the heart of your sleep deprivation? If so, you may not be getting to sleep until you find the underlying problem and get it taken care of before you can increase your sleep time. Sometimes there can be a worry about sleep disorder in adults that turns out to be stress related. Once the stress is gone, so is the problem with sleep.

Here are some better sleep tips:

• Sleeping habits for adults should be as regular as possible. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Sleeping in a little isn’t a problem, but don’t spend your day off from work in bed or you won’t feel rested the next day.

• Sleep problems in adults can have little to do with sleep and everything to do with something else. Examine your life for causes of sleep issues before they happen. Unhealthy diet, eating before bed, high carbohydrate foods, and other poor dietary choices can ruin your sleep before it starts.

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