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What keeps us awake at night may be more than that noisy neighbor or a spicy meal too close to bedtime.

For many people, sleep disorders are common and are caused by physical problems like aches and pains, things related to medicine or other treatments, and cognitive issues like anxiety or depression. Each of these may also be linked with or increased by environmental factors, such as using drugs, smoking, or drinking alcohol.

Below we’ll look at some of the major contributors to sleep problems, tips for tracking your sleep, and a few changes you can make in your lifestyle to see if it helps you to get the sleep you need. Additionally, we’ll see how complementing your efforts with the Metagenics and Premier Research Labs supplement brands may provide additional sleep support.

Major Causes of Sleep Problems

Sleep problems may be temporary and go away after recovering from a major life change and stress; or they can be chronic. The Mayo Clinic states that there are several broad categories to describe sleep disorders that affect people. Before looking for ways to overcome sleep problems, it may help to understand these categories and if you fall into one of them.

  • Insomnia – The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night.
  • Sleep apnea – Abnormal breathing patterns that cause you to wake, sometimes gasping for air.
  • Restless legs syndrome – A movement disorder characterized by sensations in the legs that result in unwanted movement as you try to fall asleep.
  • Narcolepsy – Sudden or extreme sleepiness during the day that may result in falling asleep during normal activities, such as driving.
  • Uncategorized disorders – Anything related to sleepwalking, night terrors, paralysis, and other conditions that are less understood and may not fall into any major category.

A sleep specialist may be able to diagnose your condition with enough information. If you think you experience a sleep disorder, keeping a sleep journal may help in diagnosing your exact disorder more quickly. In the next section you’ll learn what information you should jot down before seeing your doctor.

How to Track Sleep Habits

Tracking sleep habits with a sleep diary is easy. You can buy specialized journals for this purpose, but all you really need is a small, inexpensive notebook and pen or pencil. Keep these on your bedside table. Here is what you should keep track of:

  • The precise time you lay down for bed and when you wake up (in the morning, write down how long you think it took to fall asleep after laying down.)
  • The duration of sleep and how you would rate the quality of sleep on a 1-10 scale or similar grading system
  • If you drink caffeine or alcohol, how much and when.
  • When and what you ate or drank close to bedtime (dinner and late night snacks, plus drinks.)
  • Your emotional state before bed and your stress level on a 1-10 scale or similar grading system.
  • Did you take any drugs or medications? What are they and what is the dosage?
  • Did you exercise, at what time of day, duration, and intensity?

After a few weeks, this information should start to paint a clearer picture of our needs. In addition to this information, a specialist may send you home with a sleep tracker or perform other tests to determine a future course of action.

Try These Things to Get More Sleep

Issues that affect sleep come in all levels of severity and affect all of us regardless of race, gender, and social status. While you should never rely solely on home remedies to solve serious issues related to sleep, making a few changes may ease the problems you have experienced up until this point.The National Sleep Foundation and the Mayo Clinic recommend these options to change how you approach sleep:

  • Relaxation training – A progressive muscle relaxation technique that guides you to isolate and tense and relax specific muscles groups, one at a time, to help calm the body and naturally induce sleep. Combine this with meditation you can do while laying in bed for additional support.
  • Stimulus control – The goal is to remove things that can cause your mind to resist sleep. For example, you should only use the bedroom for sleep and sex; if you have been awake for 20 minutes, get out of bed and leave the room; and finally, set strict sleep and wake times, even if you’re still tired in the morning.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy – This complicated option seeks to remove unhealthy beliefs and fears related to sleep, and instead promotes rational and positive thinking. Consultation with a professional may be needed to understand this better.
  • Remaining passively awake – Worrying about not getting to sleep can cause anxiety and further disrupt sleep. Instead, try to stay awake by focusing on positive thoughts, achievements, or other interests that don’t cause stress or anxiety.
  • Light therapy – Involves using a lightbox or dedicated light device to control when you fall asleep and wake up.

Before moving forward with any of the above suggestions, Google them or talk with a sleep specialist and get a more detailed description of how they work and how you can introduce them into your daily life. In addition to these options, you may want to consider a supplement.

Supplements for Sleep Support

Metagenics and Premier Research Labs are both professional brands. While every brand on NHC.com must adhere to the highest standards, both Metagenics and Premier Research Labs exceed those standards by taking additional steps to make the best supplement possible.The result? These supplements provide optimal potency and purity, backed by independent, third-party research and clinical testing.

When shopping for sleep support supplements from either brand, look for ingredients that include melatonin (a sleep hormone found in the body), compounds that interact with neurotransmitters in the brain, herbs, vitamins, and minerals. These available formulas are non-habit forming and work to promote the natural sleep processes found in the body.

Supplements that support sleep from these brands include:

  • Metagenics – Benesom Relief for Occasional SleeplessnessMyoCalm Plus Enhanced Support for Muscle Relaxation, and MetaRelax
  • Premier Research Labs – MyoCalm Plus Enhanced Support for Muscle Relaxation and Melatonin-ND Melatonin 2 Mg

Make sure to speak with a specialist about your sleep problems; then ask about other changes to your lifestyle and whether supplements may provide the additional sleep support you need.