Up to 45% of Australians have a sleep disorder, according to statistics from the Sleep Health Foundation, while 30% of New Zealanders report having insomnia.
With research finding a strong correlation between sleep disorders and the onset of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, it’s crucial that you get to the root cause of your sleep deprivation. And while the common causes of insomnia are well documented, these lesser-known reasons are just as likely to be stopping you getting enough shut-eye.
Dental health issues
There’s no denying that the average Australian has poor dental health. The typical individual in the country has more than 12 teeth which have been filled, are decayed, or are missing. Whereas, 20% of New Zealanders report having poor or average dental health. Decayed teeth can be the result of a poor diet, but breathing through your mouth at night can be problematic too, due to the excess bacteria that can get into your mouth. This can lead to pain inside your mouth and around your jaw which will make sleep difficult to come by. Sleep-related surgery for mouth breathing will alleviate your orthodontic pain as it will eliminate obstructions in the mouth. Meanwhile, avoiding as much sugar as possible and adopting a thorough dental cleaning routine is a must.
Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most commonly seen in females. 50% of all women in Australia and New Zealand are likely to get one over the course of their lifetime. UTIs typically cause frequent visits to the bathroom and pain in the abdomen, so they make it difficult to fall into a deep sleep. What’s more, fearing that your UTI will travel to your kidneys can make you feel excessively anxious and impact your sleep even further. As such, as soon as symptoms of a UTI occur, including having a strong urge to urinate frequently and pain while urinating, book an appointment with your GP as you’ll likely need antibiotics to clear up the infection.
100,000 Australians and 10,000 New Zealanders have Parkinson’s disease, according to latest statistics. As Parkinson’s is a progressive disease it’s common for patients to experience depression as they worry about how the future will pan out. And while this can result in poor quality sleep, so can the disease itself. 81% of individuals with Parkinson’s complain of maintenance insomnia. So, adjusting your daily routine to ensure you maximise your sleep is crucial. The National Sleep Foundation suggests using sedatives late in the day and sticking to a strict sleep schedule. Meanwhile, taking non-benzodiazepine hypnotics under the advice of your GP may also help.
A large proportion of Australians and New Zealanders are experiencing sleep disorders. This is causing their mental health to decline as the only way to stay mentally healthy is to get quality sleep night after night. It’s, therefore, crucial that you investigate all the possible reasons behind your sleep disorder, including these lesser-known ones.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Cassie Steele