'Orthosomnia' is a lesser-known disorder that is causing people to have sleeping problems
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A sleep expert has given a few tips to deal with a problem that you might never have heard of but could be affected by.
In short, orthosomnia is when you can’t sleep or stress yourself out over how much sleep you’re getting, how good the quality of that sleep is, or how often you are disturbed or woken up in the night.
While admitting that these apps can be very helpful and beneficial, physiotherapist and Dreams sleep expert Sammy Margo admits that there can be problems, too.
She defines orthosomnia as: “An obsession with trying to obtain a perfect night’s sleep could actually be keeping us up at nighttime.
“To help improve our quality and quantity of sleep, we shouldn’t obsess over sleep tracking but be extra mindful of how it can help increase our awareness of sleep issues.’’
So, symptoms of orthosomnia include fatigue - obviously - as well as irritability, stress, anxiety, and problems with concentration and memory.
In order to combat this problem, Sammy has a few helpful tips, and one particularly bizarre idea that could help you drift off with no problems.
To start with, you need to disavow yourself of the anxiety and stress over these apps.
Margo is keen to stress that they’re not 100 percent accurate and aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to sleep quality.
If you can avoid getting fixated on the stats, you’ll have a better night’s sleep.
What’s more, she reminds anyone using these devices that they’re not classified as medical devices at all.
Margo said: “Sleep trackers should be considered as lifestyle or entertainment devices, as they’re not regulated by any organisations in the UK.
“The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human factors (TCIEA) have not been able to clarify the requirements needed to consider a sleep device as accurate, and there are no set of criteria that all sleep devices must follow to be deemed as precise.”
So, if you want to sleep a bit easier at night, here’s some advice.
First off - and you’ll have heard this before - get your face out of the devices before bed.
Reducing screen time before bed is well-known to help sleep, and sleeping with it in another room - while not always practical - you could even try sleeping with it in another room.
Here’s a bit of an out-there tip, though.
Margo suggests that getting into a headstand and spending a bit of time upside down might even be beneficial before bed.
The expert explained: “Try doing a headstand before bedtime instead of phone scrolling, as contrary to popular belief, it may help circulate refreshed blood to your brain, and detoxify your adrenal glands.
“The posture is an advanced yoga inversion and has been practised by many since the 15th century, allowing you to feel more positive and freer before bedtime.
“This posture may be very helpful if you suffer from anxiety, stress, and fear.
“Combining a headstand with long, slow breathing creates the ultimate stress reliever.
"Take your time when you first try out this move, practising against the wall will allow you to support yourself gently and gradually until you’re comfortable enough to do the move freestanding.”
Fair enough, you’re the expert.
Lastly, and possibly the most important one, is to listen to what your body tells you, and remember that you are usually best placed to know what is good and what isn’t.
Margo concluded: “You know what works best for you, take a note of how you feel when you wake up.
“If you wake up feeling energised and prepared for the upcoming day, it's likely that you are receiving enough quality and quantity of sleep, and don’t necessarily need a tracker to tell you that.”
There you have it - while the sleep tracking stuff is interesting and can be useful, don’t get too carried away with it all.