Do you ever feel like however long you sleep for you still keep waking up feeling tired?
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. But for those who suffer from sleep fragmentation, this can prove difficult.
Also known as sleep maintenance insomnia (difficulty staying asleep), sleep fragmentation can lead to depression, weight gain, and an inability to perform everyday tasks. Longer-term it can trigger high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
Think you might be suffering from sleep fragmentation? You’ve come to the right place.
From causes to treatments, read on to discover everything you need to know about fragmented sleep.
1. What is Sleep Fragmentation?
Sleep fragmentation is multiple short interruptions to your sleep during the night which disrupt your natural sleep cycles. If you often suffer from excessive tiredness in the daytime it is a clear sign that you may have a fragmented sleep pattern.
While those who have fragmented sleep generally find it easy to fall asleep quickly, they repeatedly wake up for a few seconds or minutes during the night. Sleep fragmentation itself is not a disorder, but it is often a symptom that points to you having a sleep disorder.
2. What Causes Fragmented Sleep?
Fragmented sleep can either be a short-term or long-term condition. Short-term fragmented sleep causes are temporary disturbances that interrupt your sleep but aren’t symptomatic of a wider problem.
A crying newborn or suffering from a cough or cold are some examples of short-term disturbances. Once the specific interruption stops, you will return to normal sleep.
Longer-term causes include lifestyle habits such as taking long naps during the day or drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. Fragmented sleep can also be caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea or snoring.
3. How to Stop Fragmented Sleep
The first step in preventing fragmented sleep is a simple one. Make sure you are tired when you go to bed. Avoid napping during the day and regulate the time you wake up every day. If you are really sleepy you will find it easier to stay asleep.
Remove any potential distractions before bedtime. Avoid scrolling on electronic devices, make the room as dark as possible, and don’t drink anything close to bedtime to avoid midnight bathroom trips.
You could also try using some essential oils or melatonin sleep gummies which are designed to help regulate your sleep cycle and relax your body.
4. When Should You Speak to a Doctor?
It is normal to have some trouble sleeping from time to time. But if you have a permanent fragmented sleep pattern then it is a good idea to consult a doctor. They will be able to advise you on treatments and tell you if you have any underlying medical conditions.
Try keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep quality. Make a note whenever you experience significant daytime sleepiness so you can see if the issue is worsening.
Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Fragmentation
Living with sleep fragmentation can be difficult, but by understanding what it is, what causes it, and how to treat it, you can start to work towards managing and improving your sleep quality.