Sleep disturbances can take various forms, such as not sleeping enough, or sleeping enough but not waking up refreshed, or having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep…or all of the above!
Common Sleep Problems: Do you have one of these?
When people talk about having trouble sleeping, they’re usually concerned about not getting enough sleep or that the poor quality of their sleep makes them feel too tired to function or enjoy life during the day.
Sleep troubles can be very personal issue with experience varying from person to person. Which of these sleep problems can you identify with?
How much sleep do I need?
Some people need more sleep than others. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours a night but some of us can manage on 5 while others need 10 hours. Sleep needs also change as we get older.
- Babies: up to 14 hours a day
- Teenagers: 8 to 10 hours
- Adults: 7 to 8 hours
- In old age you need less sleep. You may also sleep more lightly.
What causes sleep problems?
Caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks, smoking cigarettes
Pain and other health related conditions that make you uncomfortable or wake you up at night
Worrying about things – including not getting enough sleep!
Stress, low mood and anxiety
Sleep and ageing
- The body’s circadian rhythms can desynchronise, so that our bodily rhythms, such as melatonin release, are not aligned with the day/night cycle
- We are more likely to wake up during the night
- We are more likely to feel that our sleep is restless, light or of poor quality, and wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning
- We are more likely to take daytime naps
- It can take longer to get over changes to our normal sleep patterns
Many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Others feel that their sleep is restless, light or of poor quality. They wake up feeling unrefreshed. Everyone’s idea of a ‘good night’s sleep’ varies, so the amount of sleep considered ‘a problem’ for one person may not be an issue for someone else. However, sleep problems can start to arise when:
- You’re concerned about the lack of sleep, or your sleep quality
- It starts making you feel tired or sleepy during the daytime
- It’s affecting how well you function at work or when doing everyday activities.
If you are unsure about how well you sleep, try keeping a sleep diary to help keep track of your sleep patterns and how you are feeling.
Click here to download a sleep diary.
If you’re concerned about the amount or the quality of your sleep, it’s important to seek advice from your doctor or your pharmacist.
Poor sleep hygiene (sleep habits) is a common cause of sleep problems.
One of the most important steps in improving your sleep hygiene is to establish a regular sleep routine. This can involve maintaining regular pre-bed activities, keeping your bedroom surroundings relatively constant, and waking up at the same time each day. However, you should avoid going to bed if you aren’t tired, even if it means going to bed at irregular times.
Here are a few steps you could try:
- Avoid caffeinated drinks before going to bed
- Avoid napping during the day
- Limit your alcohol and cigarette use before bedtime
Learn more about sleep hygiene.
Click here to download a sleep hygiene fact sheet.
Sleep hygiene refers to a range of everyday habits that can help you sleep better, such as avoiding alcohol or caffeinated drinks (like tea, coffee, or cola) close to bedtime, waking up at the same time each morning, and ensuring your room is at a comfortable temperature.
Circadin has a specific, prolonged release formulation which means the melatonin is slowly released over the course of 8 to 10 hours and mimics the body’s natural pattern of melatonin release.1
Circadin is a pharmaceutical grade melatonin product – which means it has been carefully assessed for quality, efficacy and consistency, and has been approved for use in Australia.
What is Circadin used for?
CIRCADIN is indicated for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia* characterised by poor quality of sleep, in adults aged 55 or older.
*Primary insomnia is insomnia without an underlying medical cause or any other clear cause.
Good sleep habits and lifestyle changes should always be tried first to improve sleep.
Make more of every day.
¥Wade AG, et al. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007; 23(10):2597-2605; supported by Neurim.