Verified on 09/09/2022 by PasseportSanté
Good sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. However, more and more French people suffer from nocturnal awakenings.
Because lack of sleep can be harmful, here are some ways to remedy it.
What is a nocturnal awakening?
Sleep breaks down into different cycles at the end of which there is always a micro-awakening, which may or may not be felt. This phenomenon is physiological, and therefore perfectly normal.
When no difficulty getting back to sleep is felt and it has no impact on the day after, there is no need to worry. On the other hand, when it becomes difficult to go back to sleep, we speak of nocturnal awakenings. These unwanted awakenings that disturb sleep can be transient or recurrent, and can occur once or several times a night. It is generally difficult to go back to sleep, in particular because ruminations invite themselves and turn in a loop.
According to an Ipsos survey conducted for the Adova Foundation, nearly 8 out of 10 French people are interrupted in their sleep each night and take an average of 39 minutes to get back to sleep.
What are the causes of nocturnal awakenings?
Several factors can lead to nocturnal awakenings: stress, anguish, anxiety, nightmares, which can be linked to romantic, friendly or family concerns, health problems, overwork at work or even depression.
We start to dwell on the thoughts or events that bother us, which delays our sleep. Little by little, a vicious circle sets in: the fear of not being able to fall back to sleep invades us, becomes a source of anxiety and keeps us awake.
Other causes, which are not psychological, can also be the cause of nocturnal nocturnal awakenings. Let us mention in particular:
- Poor regulation of body temperature, due to hormonal upheaval (periods, menopause) or excessive ambient temperature;
- cough caused by untreated gastroesophageal reflux disease;
- obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS);
- or restless leg syndrome;
- in men, prostate dysfunction, causing frequent urges to urinate, can also cause nocturnal awakenings.
What are the consequences of nocturnal awakenings?
Nocturnal awakenings alter the quality and quantity of sleep, which has an impact on daily life.
- Persistent fatigue;
- concentration and memory problems;
- a lack of motivation to work;
- decreased alertness;
- migraines and appetite disorders.
In the long term, nocturnal awakenings can lead to a weakening of the immune system, making the body less resistant to infections.
In a report, the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance states that sleep debt increases the risk of cancer, multiplies by 4 the risk of contracting a cold and is the cause of cardiovascular disorders such as stroke, diabetes , high blood pressure and weight gain.
To remedy unwanted nocturnal awakenings, it is essential to observe good sleep hygiene. Beyond the fact of adopting a varied and balanced diet and practicing a regular sporting activity, several ways can help you fall asleep and limit nocturnal awakenings:
- Get up and go to bed at the same times;
- exposure to daylight;
- do not try to struggle in the presence of signs of fatigue;
- take short naps when tired;
- turn off screens at least two hours before going to bed;
- limit the consumption of stimulants (tea, coffee) after 5 p.m.;
- immerse the room in darkness, quiet, with a temperature not exceeding 19 degrees;
- favor quiet activities;
- light dinner to aid digestion;
- when you can’t get back to sleep after waking up at night, practicing heart coherence can be very effective. This technique consists of performing 6 breaths per minute for at least 5 minutes. In general, the effects are felt after about twenty minutes. Another proven method is mindfulness meditation. The idea is to focus on your breathing and your physical sensations, which helps you not to focus on what disturbs you.
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Nocturnal awakenings: how to fix it?
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