Waking Unrefreshed Treatment

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Do you need waking unrefreshed treatment? Do you feel as though you’re not getting as much sleep as you need?

When you consistently wake up in the morning feeling unrefreshed, it can feel concerning. After all, the likely explanation is that you’re not getting enough sleep. However, there are actions you can take in order to improve your sleep, both with the help of experienced sleep doctors and independently.

In this article, we will discuss waking unrefreshed treatment, so you can take back control of your sleeping patterns.

What is waking unrefreshed?

Waking unrefreshed is the act of waking up from sleep and still feeling tired. This can be for various reasons, but all of those reasons stem from a lack of adequate sleep.

Different types of sleep problems that lead to waking unrefreshed include:

  • short sleep: getting less sleep than recommended for your age group;
  • long sleep: sleeping longer than recommended for your age group;
  • poor sleep quality, which includes taking too long to fall asleep, waking frequently or for long periods, and poor sleep efficiency;
  • doctor-diagnosed sleep disorders, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or obstructive sleep apnoea.

What are the sleep stages?

When you are asleep, your eyes are closed, most of your muscles are relaxed and your consciousness is practically suspended. While your body is mostly still, your brain is quite active.

Your body’s circadian rhythm (or internal biological clock) controls when you feel sleepy and when you’re typically awake. If this system is disrupted (for reasons such as shift work or jet lag) you can experience sleep problems.

Sleep has 2 main phases:

  • rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
  • non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep

When you are in non-REM sleep, you go through 3 stages:

  • During stage 1, you are transitioning between being awake and asleep, and waking easily.
  • During stages 2 and 3, your eye movements stop, your body temperature drops and you are deeply asleep.

In REM sleep, your eyes move rapidly, your blood pressure and heart rate go up, and your brain becomes very active. REM sleep is when most dreaming occurs and is thought to be important for learning and creating new memories.

REM sleep happens about every 90 minutes during the night. Adults usually spend about one-fifth of the night in REM sleep and the remaining four-fifths in non-REM sleep. Babies spend at least half of the time they’re asleep in REM sleep.

Why is sleep important?

Sleep is essential to support good health. Getting enough sleep can help with regulating appetite, metabolism and mood, as well as immune, hormonal and cardiovascular functioning.

Sleep is also essential for healthy growth, learning and development in children, and for cognitive functioning and workplace performance in adults.

Both the length and quality of sleep are associated with self-reported life satisfaction. For most Australian adults, getting 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is recommended.

(Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

How much sleep is needed?

The general rules when it comes to sleep are that adults should get seven to eight hours’ sleep per night. Because they’re growing so fast, children, teenagers and young adults require at least nine hours of sleep per night. The extra hours allow for a healthy development of the brain and body.

When it comes to sleep, it is important to remember that everyone is different. Some people need more than the recommended amount of sleep, while others can function just fine on less.

How can Manse Medical treat sleep disorders?

Manse Medical offers multiple treatments for sleep disorders (such as all forms of sleep apnoea) that result in waking unrefreshed. These treatments include:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

CPAP therapy is a common treatment for sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine delivers constant and steady air pressure via a mask connected to a hose to a sleeping patient. This is to help you breathe consistently as you sleep.

The continuous stream of pressurised air that a CPAP machine delivers to you helps to hold the upper airway open, ensuring that the lungs have a consistent flow of oxygen. Because your breathing is no longer interrupted, you can sleep soundly.

Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS)

A mandibular advancement splint (or sometimes referred to as an oral or dental device) is used to treat snoring and mild-to-moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

A MAS is essentially a “mouthguard” which is worn while asleep. The fitting on the top teeth is connected to the fitting on the bottom teeth. The bottom fitting of the device is aligned to hold your jaw slightly forward, resulting in the airway opening more than at the resting point and stopping the tongue from slipping back and obstructing the back of the throat. This can help avoid airway collapse during sleep and dampen OSA and snoring.​

MAS is usually considered for patients who have a lesser severity of OSA or simply snoring however, some studies have shown a MAS can be effective for treating a range of severities of OSA. Some considerations need to be made before choosing to treat OSA with a MAS, these should be discussed with your Sleep Physician.

How can I improve my sleep on my own?

If you are looking to improve your “sleep hygiene” on your own, there are certain steps you can take in your own home at your discretion.

Good sleep hygiene describes habits that will help you sleep well. While you can’t make yourself sleep, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting a good night’s rest, such as;

Calibrate Your Body Clock

The body’s alternating sleep-wake cycle is partly controlled by an internal ‘clock’ within the brain. Most bodily processes (such as body temperature and the secretion of certain hormones like melatonin) are synchronised to this 24-hour physiological clock. Getting a good sleep means working with your body clock, not against it.

But how do you do that? Suggestions include:

  • Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ and maintain the timing of your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
  • Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready.
  • Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake.
  • Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.
  • Some people may need to take Melatonin, a naturally occurring sleep hormone, or use artificial light therapy to help get their internal body clock back into rhythm.

Optimise Your Sleeping Environment

Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Ways to achieve this include:

  • Make sure the room is at the right temperature. For most people this is between 17 to 19°C.
  • Ensure the room is dark enough. An eye mask may be helpful if you are a shift worker and need to sleep during the day.
  • If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), buy a pair of earplugs.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy. If you treat your bed like a second lounge room – for watching television or talking to friends on the phone, for example – your mind will associate your bedroom with activity.
  • Avoid using technology; such as a computer, gaming system or a mobile phone for at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Invest in a mattress and pillow that is comfortable and provides you with the correct level of support.

Avoid Drugs

Some people resort to medications or ‘social drugs’ in the mistaken belief that sleep will be more likely. This is not the case, however. Each of these drugs negatively affect a person’s sleeping pattern in a variety of ways.

  • Cigarettes contain nicotine, a stimulant. The side effects, including accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure, are likely to keep you awake for longer. Ideally, cigarettes should be avoided altogether, and certainly in the 2-hours before you go to bed.
  • Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows the workings of the nervous system. Drinking before bed may help you doze off but, since alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns, you won’t feel refreshed in the morning. Other drawbacks include waking frequently to go to the toilet.
  • Sleeping pills might be a temporary solution, but their drawbacks can include daytime sleepiness, failure to address the underlying causes of sleeping problems, and the ‘rebound’ effect (in which, after a stint of using sleeping pills, falling asleep without them tends to be even harder). These drugs should only be used as a temporary last resort and under strict medical advice.

Relax Your Mind

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterised by ongoing difficulties with falling to sleep and/or staying asleep. Anxiety and worrying, such as worrying about not getting enough sleep, may contribute to insomnia.

  • If you are a chronic bedtime worrier, try scheduling a half hour of ‘worry time’ well before bed. Once you retire, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.
  • Try relaxation exercises. You could consciously relax every part of your body, starting with your toes and working up to your scalp. Or you could think of a restful scene, concentrate on the rhythmic rise and fall of your breathing, or focus on a mantra (repeating a word or phrase constantly). If you are still having difficulties relaxing and calming your thoughts, it is best if you go out of the bedroom and wait until you are feeling sleepy and tired before trying to go to sleep again.

Exercise Regularly

Aim to exercise every day, morning exercise is best as the morning light helps us to wake up. Evening exercise is also beneficial as long as it’s not too vigorous close to bedtime as your body needs time to wind down.

Use Your Pre-Bedtime Wisely

Try not to engage in mentally stimulating activities close to bedtime. Use the last hour or so before sleep to relax your mind. Some things that you might find relaxing include having a warm bath, reading quietly, or having a warm milky drink, since milk contains a sleep-enhancing amino acid.

Avoid Long Naps

Don’t take long naps (e.g. greater than 30 minutes), especially in the evening, as these can make it harder to fall asleep.

Turn Your Alarm Clock Away

Turn your alarm clock to the wall. Watching the minutes tick by is a sure way to keep yourself awake.

How do I get in touch with Manse Medical for Waking Unrefreshed Treatment?

If you are looking for effective treatment and advice for waking unrefreshed, book your appointment online by selecting your preferred sleep clinic and choosing from the list of available sleep specialists.

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