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Common Health Conditions that Disrupt Sleep

Catharine Willett May 27, 2016 0 comments 0

[su_dropcap style=”default” size=”3″ class=””]L[/su_dropcap]iving with a health condition can make everyday activities difficult. Those who are experiencing depression may find it challenging to leave the house every morning. Diabetics must be mindful of their blood sugar by closely monitoring their diets and individuals with asthma cannot go without their inhalers.

Not only do health conditions affect an individual’s day-to-day activities, but nightly sleep can be greatly impacted as well. Health experts have concluded that sleep disorders, such as insomnia, are a product of particular health conditions. Even the most common health conditions such as depression, menopause, or asthma are contributors. Here is a list of the most common conditions responsible for disturbed sleep:


Depression and insomnia are often a coupled condition. Prolonged depression can make falling asleep and staying asleep a challenge. Occasional sleep disruption will not necessarily create persistent sleep troubles, but frequent restlessness throughout the night can develop into insomnia, which has become a trademark symptom of depression. Ironically, waking up too early is also a common symptom of depression. From sleepless nights and early rising, it comes as no shock that 90 percent of depressed individuals experience sleep difficulties. Depression’s effects on sleep can be treated though. Practicing meditation can increase the secretion of the hormone serotonin, which is responsible for elevated mood. Regular practice can help lessen symptoms of depression and result in better sleep. Certain medications prescribed by a care physician can also aid with prolonged depression and insufficient sleep.



The relationship between diabetes and sleep disorders is reciprocal. Diabetics often experience restless nights due to fluctuations in blood sugar. When blood sugar is high, the body works to rid excessive sugar by frequently urinating; thus constant waking throughout the night. Another common symptom of diabetes are night sweats, which lead to discomfort during the night. Although diabetes worsens sleep disorders, the reverse can be true as well. In a study involving 1,741 adults, those who slept less than six hours were at a higher risk of developing Type II Diabetes than those who received around eight hours. To avoid sleep difficulties, it is recommended that diabetics work to avoid high blood sugar levels before going to bed in order to receive a full night’s rest.



During the day, asthma’s symptoms are most commonly felt during exercise or intense activity. However, at night, wheezing and coughing become more persistent. This may be due to a sleeper’s reclined position or increased exposure to allergens; there are many possible causes for an asthmatic’s inability to breathe properly at night. With a lack of airflow, asthma attacks are more common during the night, which can make sleep elusive. Meditation is also an effective method of treatment for asthma as well. Research has shown that mindful meditation can help sooth symptoms chronic inflammation, which is the behavior responsible for asthma attacks. There are also certain medications that assist with asthma and insomnia. If you are struggling with asthma and a lack of sleep, ask your primary care physician for more information.



Women who begin experiencing symptoms of menopause are usually first aware of newly established hot flashes and night sweats. The body becomes more sensitive to heat due to a change in estrogen levels, which can make sleeping under covers or in certain climates unbearable. Another common symptom of menopause is insomnia, as indicated by the 61 percent of women undergoing menopause who experience a sleep disorder. When the body changes from regular menstruation to menopause, there is a decrease in the hormone Progesterone. This hormone is responsible for the promotion of sleep. Sleep-disruptive symptoms of menopause are mostly temporary, however, if symptoms persist, see a health professional for possible solutions.



Heartburn is a sensation many adults experience at some point in their lifetime. Heartburn results in stomach acid flowing back to the esophagus, which results in a painful and irritating burning feeling. The pain itself can make sleep difficult, but the pain often worsens when the individual is in a reclined position. The symptoms of heartburn can be avoided by refraining from coffee, alcohol, and large, greasy meals before bed. Exercise, including meditation, is also a positive way to prevent heartburn.


The above health conditions are five of the most common condition faced by adults, particularly working adults. In order to lead a successful day in the office and experience an elevated mood, sleep is a vital component. When sleep problems are a result of a medical condition, obtaining treatment for the condition itself often resolves the disturbances in one’s sleep cycle. Meditation can also be an effective exercise to reduce symptoms that hinder proper sleep.  If medication from a care physician or meditation do not aid in your sleeping difficulties, a sleep specialist is your next best move.

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