10 common problems that could be disturbing your sleep

Qualified Life Coach
Ask Marianna

20 May 2019

1. Acid reflux

Reflux is an extremely common problem that often causes sufferers to wake up coughing during the night. It occurs when your digestive juices start to travel upwards into your oesophagus, irritating the delicate tissues there. This can then trigger symptoms like a dry cough, heartburn, nausea and hiccups which, understandably, can have an impact on your quality of sleep.

What can you do? 

When it comes to acid reflux, first take a look at the types of food you’re eating before bedtime. If your diet is rich in fatty foods, spicy foods or caffeinated drinks then this could be a trigger that you might need to address. It’s worth considering your sleeping position too – are you sleeping on your back or your right side? If so, consider switching to your left side as this can help to prevent your digestive juices from escaping your stomach. You could even sleep at an incline as gravity will help here to reduce your reflux symptoms. 

Finally, it might be worth trying a bitter complex like Yarrow, which contains a combination of bitter herbs to help balance your gastric secretions, thereby easing the symptoms of acid reflux. 

2. Your partner

It’s a sad, but common, truth that, often, the main cause of our sleep disturbances is the person we share our bed with. If your partner snores during the night, talks in their sleep, has restless legs or spends their time tossing and turning, then this will, naturally, have an impact on your own sleep patterns. It could even be that they work late shifts and, when they do eventually come to bed, they wake you up.

What can you do?

It might be difficult, but the best thing you can do in this situation is to talk to your partner. You might be worried about hurting their feelings, but they would probably prefer to know if they’re having this impact on your sleep. It could be that they are being affected by an underlying problem, such as sleep apnoea, an enlarged prostate or stress that needs to be addressed. Once you have this frank conversation, you can then start to look at how to treat the issue, giving you both a better night’s sleep.

3. Enlarged prostate

It’s estimated that more than 3.2 million men in the UK over the age of 50 suffer from an enlarged prostate which can result in symptoms such as the frequent, urgent need urinate, particularly during the night. This will, naturally, disrupt your sleep patterns, as you will wake often during the night and might find it difficult to get back to sleep.

What can you do?

If you suspect that your prostate is enlarged then the first and most important step would be to speak to your doctor. You shouldn’t ignore your symptoms or procrastinate due to embarrassment – trust me, your doctor has seen it all and your problems probably aren’t even a blip on the radar. They will be able to speak to you more about treatment and, once your diagnosis is confirmed, you can look at treatment options like our Prostasan Saw Palmetto remedy

My Top Tip:

Great for treating the urinary symptoms of BPH, our Prostasan remedy is made from the extracts of the Saw Palmetto berry. Just one tablet a day with food is all you need to help get relief from your symptoms.

“The product works remarkably well for my husband.”


Read what other people are saying about Prostasan.

For more tips and information, please check out this blog by our Men’s Health advisor, Dr Jen Tan: ‘Frequent toilet trips – causes and treatments for men’.

4. Fluctuating blood glucose levels

Believe it, or not, fluctuating blood glucose levels can have an impact on your sleep. For example, if you go to bed and your blood glucose levels are quite high, then you might find it more difficult to drift off to sleep.

However, as the night progresses and your blood glucose levels drop, you might enter a lighter phase of sleep where you’re more prone to disturbances. It also doesn’t help that, if your blood glucose levels are high, your kidneys will step in and try to filter some of this excess glucose out of your body via urination, meaning you may wake up more frequently needing to go to the loo.

What can you do?

Unsurprisingly, the main culprit of high blood glucose levels is your diet. If you’re eating sugary foods right before bed, this will cause your blood glucose levels to fluctuate quite dramatically during the night.

However, it’s also important to acknowledge that other issues, such as stress, can play a role, so this is worth considering too. Finally, if you’re sleeping poorly, this can also affect your blood glucose levels, thus causing a vicious cycle to emerge. The best thing you can do here is to avoid sugary foods at least three hours before bed and, if you’re feeling stressed, address this issue by incorporating some of my top stress-busting tips into your daily routine.

5. Night sweats

Night sweats can be a big contributor to a broken night’s sleep, particularly if you’re menopausal. Often, you can wake up feeling flushed, extremely warm and covered in a damp sweat. You may need to change pyjamas or even bed-sheets, which will hinder how much sleep you’re actually getting during the night. Depending on how much you’re sweating, you could also put yourself at risk of becoming dehydrated which, in and of itself, can lead to problems with your energy levels and mood. 

What can you do?

When it comes to night sweats, it’s important to be aware of the triggers, such as stress, caffeine, spicy foods or even the medication you are taking. If you know that your sweats are linked to an underlying condition, like menopause or hyperthyroidism, then treating this will, naturally, have a positive impact on your symptoms. This could mean speaking to your doctor about treatment options or, in the case of menopause, taking steps to gently balance your oestrogen levels. We do also offer a hot flush and night sweat remedy, Menoforce, which could  be a useful addition too.

My Top Tip:

One of our most popular menopausal remedies, our Menoforce Sage tablets are a good option if you're suffering from hot flushes and night sweats. Simple and convenient, just one tablet a day is all that is needed.

“Excellent product, they are working for me and have reduced my hot flushes dramatically..”


Read what other people are saying about Menoforce.

6. Restless legs syndrome

As the name may suggest, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that can make the sufferer feel as though their legs are really uncomfortable, causing them to constantly twitch, move and kick during the night. This problem can be related to a number of issues, from poor circulation to nutritional deficiencies such as low iron or magnesium levels. If you want more information about the reasons behind RLS, please take a look at my blog, ‘7 reasons for restless legs at night’.

What can you do?

So, what can you do to ease the effects of RLS? You can start by increasing your intake of minerals like magnesium and iron. Magnesium, in particular, can help to relax your muscles so this  can be very useful for easing muscle spasms and twitches. Taking steps to improve your circulation can also be helpful here – if you’re on a long trip or spend lots of time during the day being sedentary, then you could try to boost your circulation by doing some simple stretches at your desk and applying our Venagel tired leg remedy.

7. Medication

Certain medications are capable of disrupting our sleep. Diuretics, beta-blockers, SSRI’s and corticosteroids are just a few examples here; the list is extensive. That’s why, if you are on any medication, it’s extremely important to always check the patient information leaflet.

What can you do?

If your medication is affecting your sleep, the best thing you can do here  is speak to your doctor. They should be able to work with you to find a different medication or dose that does not have this effect on your sleep patterns.

8. Sleep apnoea 

Undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, also known as OSA, is thought to affect over a million people here in the UK. As the name may suggest, it can be tricky to diagnose this particular sleep problem as many of the symptoms occur whilst you are asleep. If you find that you are frequently waking up suddenly during the night, or experience other symptoms such as dry mouth or snoring, then it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor about your concerns. If the sleep problem is left undiagnosed then it could potentially lead into other, more serious health complaints such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.

What can you do?

Well, as I’ve mentioned, speaking to your doctor is an important first step here, but there are certain factors that can put you at risk of developing the condition, such as nasal congestion, smoking, drinking alcohol excessively or being overweight. In order to overcome OSA, you will need to address these triggers, either by adjusting your diet or trying to include more exercise into your daily regime. 

9. Alcohol

We all know that bingeing on alcohol is never a good idea as far as your health goes but, while most people associate excessive alcohol consumption with pubs and clubs, more often than not it occurs at home. If you’ve gotten into the habit of having a glass of wine, or two, in the evening to unwind before going to bed, then this too could be perceived as a form of addiction. This can have just as bad an impact on your sleep, affecting the amount of REM sleep you actually get and causing you to wake up more during the night.

What can you do? 

Try not to use alcohol as a crutch to unwind or relax and, instead, cultivate healthier habits. These days, when it comes to de-stressing, there are plenty of options out there: you could try mindful meditation, a gentle, low impact form of exercise like tai chi or yoga, or even try reading a good book or having a long soak in the bath in the hour leading up to bed. Think outside the box and try to find something that works for you – just make sure you avoid spending too much time in front of screens and devices as these may exacerbate issues like insomnia and prevent you from getting a restful sleep.

10. Anxiety

Anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society and it is a growing concern for many people. Whether it’s work-related stress, family problems or financial woes, anxiety can definitely be enough to keep you up at night as this particular emotion triggers the nervous system, increasing your production of cortisol and, thus, reducing your levels of melatonin. This means you will feel more awake, find it more difficult to drift off and may not enter a proper deep sleep phase. 

What can you do?

When it comes to anxiety, I always recommend trying to speak to those around you about how you’re feeling. Of course, addressing the root of your anxiety is always an important first step, but sharing how you’re feeling with others can help to give you room to vent rather than bottling these feelings up. I talk a bit more about anxiety over at A.Vogel Talks Anxiety, where I have blogs on the specific causes and solutions to the problem. In the meantime, you could also look at a gentle sleep remedy like Dormeasan.

My Top Tip:

Prepared using a combination of Valerian and Hops, our Dormeasan tincture is best taken 30 minutes before going to bed to help relax your nervous system and allow you to drift into a deep, untroubled sleep.

“Has really helped me to sleep especially with the advice on the site as to how best to take it for the best results.”


Read what other people are saying about Dormeasan.

Dormeasan® Valerian & Hops

Herbal sleep remedy containing organically grown valerian root and hops. Fresh herb tincture.
More info

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Here's what I recommend

As the A. Vogel Sleep advisor, I recommend Dormeasan®, a natural sleep remedy made from fresh extracts of Valerian root and Hops.

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Did you know?

The wrong sleep position can not only negatively impact the quality of your sleep, it can also have an impact your posture, your joints, your digestion and even your face by making wrinkles worse!

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