Sleep Stealers

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Sleep stealersThere are many factors that can affect how long and how well you sleep at night.

Knowing what these factors are can help you understand why you may not be sleeping properly and you can then adjust your lifestyle to get the sleep you need.


Pressures related to school, work, family, and social life can cause temporary sleeping difficulties. Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep?  Do you feel like your mind is racing when you are trying to fall asleep? Do you find yourself waking up frequently during the night with worry? If that’s the case, you may be stressed, and need to manage it in order to get a good night’s rest. The good news is that sleeping problems related to stress are short-term, and you can return to your normal sleeping pattern once the stress is reduced.

Poor Habits Or Lifestyle

You may not even realize it, but some of your habits and lifestyle choices can affect how well you sleep at night. Drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages and alcohol; exercising too close to bed-time or not getting enough exercise during the day; following an irregular bed-time and morning schedule; and engaging in mentally-intense activities and working late at night in bed can impair your sleep. Watch your habits closely to determine whether they interfere with your sleep.

Work Schedule

If you do shift work, you may find it difficult to regulate your sleep and that may cause sleep difficulties. Because of an irregularity in the schedule, your body doesn’t automatically get ready to sleep at the same time every day, causing your “internal clock” to be off. People who work shifts are more likely to fall asleep on the job than those who work regular hours.

Jet Lag

Traveling across several time zones can also put your internal clock out of sync. You may find yourself fully awake at night and then falling asleep during the day. The amount of time it takes to adjust to a new time zone depends on how many hours difference there are between the zones. Sometimes it can take as long as two weeks to fully adjust to a new time zone.

Physical Factors

If you suffer from certain conditions that cause pain or discomfort, it may interfere with sleep. For example, people who have arthritis may find it difficult to sleep well because of backache or joint pains. Also, hormone imbalance may interfere with sleep. Pregnant women and women suffering from PMS or menopause may be affected by this. Sleep problems caused by these physical factors should be referred to a medical professional.


Certain prescription and non-prescription medications can cause sleeping difficulties as a side effect. Some decongestants, steroids, and medicines that treat asthma, high blood pressure and depression can cause trouble falling and staying asleep. 


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