What is PMS and what can I do about it?

Do you suffer from sleep deprivation?

Sleep problems are very common today and are usually nothing to worry about as long as they only happen once in a while. However, if your sleep is regularly affected and you feel it's negatively impacting your daily life, it's time to do something about it. Typically, adults need between 6-9 hours of sleep per night to feel well, but this is of course individual. Sleep problems usually mean that you either find it difficult to fall asleep in the evenings, that you fall asleep but then have several awakenings during the night, or that you wake up very early in the morning. Some people have problems with several parts which can be really troublesome and cause frustration and of course fatigue.

Why do we need sleep?

We need sleep to allow our bodies and brains to rest, recover, process impressions and store knowledge and memories. While we sleep, emotions and experiences are processed so that in the morning we are ready to take on the challenges of the next day. Sleeping strengthens memory and cleanses the brain of harmful substances. This is because during sleep, the brain clears/cleans out the "junk" formed during the day and nerve connections are expanded and strengthened. Blood pressure, heart rate and even body temperature drop when we sleep, our breathing becomes calmer and our muscles relax. Sleep is a fundamental biological function of all living beings, controlled by factors such as genetics, light and environment.

Signs of sleep deprivation

One way to assess whether you are suffering from sleep deprivation is to feel how alert you feel and how you function in your daily life. For example, if you suffer from sleep deprivation, you may find that you are less able than usual to carry out your everyday tasks, have difficulty remembering things, have less concentration and have a reduced ability to react. Many people also fall asleep during passive activities such as watching TV, attending meetings, lectures and the like. Sleep deprivation can also be noticed through mood swings and emotions going from high to low. It can also lead to depression, anxiety and worry.

Poor sleep can have many causes

The most common cause of sleep problems is stress. When you're stressed, your whole nervous system goes into a state of wakefulness, making it difficult to unwind and fall asleep. Stress can make sleep more shallow and you may wake up in the early hours of the morning and find it difficult to go back to sleep. Why we feel stressed is individual, but common causes can be the classic daily grind of high demands at work, family life, daily chores, relationships, etc. Unresolved experiences from the past and negative thoughts and feelings can also be causes of stress. Other common causes are disturbing noises in the environment such as traffic noise, a snoring partner or if you have young children. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can also have a negative impact on sleep. Circadian rhythms are also an important factor, with irregular or shifted circadian rhythms or activities and meals late at night having a negative impact on sleep.

Tips for good sleep!

  • Create regular sleep routines
  • Avoid sleeping during the day
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool room
  • Reduce the stress in your everyday life
  • Turn off all screens an hour before you want to sleep
  • Do relaxation exercises in the evening
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get daylight every day
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening
  • Dietary supplements or over-the-counter medicines