Some people might get defensive or embarrassed when someone tells them that they move in their sleep. They might let you know because they are either annoyed by it, concerned about you, or both. It is normal to worry about sleep — it is when you are unaware of what your body is doing for you. You are also unable to control any action you might make, whether snoring or kicking the air.
Restless sleep is the result of evolution. It is a natural indicator of physical and emotional problems you might have. Moving around can also keep you from getting bruised while you are fast asleep. Here are some brief explanations on how knowing that you are a fidgety sleeper is a good thing.
Prevents Bed Sores
If you live with an elderly person, you probably already know what bedsores are. They result from too much weight on a certain part of your body for a long period. Your blood supply to that area gets restricted, causing sores on those areas. When you move around in your sleep, you prevent pressure build-up on a particular portion of your skin. These can occur just about anywhere in your body. That is why they are now medically termed as pressure injuries.
Unfortunately, this is quite common in the elderly. People have to adjust their position every two hours. Otherwise, not enough blood might reach that part of the body. If you know someone who is unable to move around on their own, or if they already have bedsores, you should contact a home care agency so that they can get the help and assistance they need. Note that these sores can also happen from sitting in one position for too long. That means that even if they are not on bed rest and spend some time in a wheelchair, they will still need assistance to move around a bit.
Bedsores can get infected when they are not treated with care. Prevention is better than cure, as they say, so it must be a good thing that restlessness in sleep is a normal occurrence. Your body is still working hard to keep you alive, even in your sleep.
Indicate Anxiety or Stress
Researchers have found that sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder, result from stress or anxiety. The correlation between the two creates a positive feedback loop where a person’s sleep can get worse. This is because someone with a lot of mental burden will already have difficulty falling asleep. At the same time, moving around in bed could prevent them from getting the rest they need to feel better.
Once someone knows that they are moving around in bed or that they suffer from a sleep disorder, they have the option of taking the steps toward feeling better. Going for a run might help release some anxiety and stress since running usually releases the right hormones that your body needs. Self-awareness is an evolutionary skill that can provide someone with the proper information to become a better version of themselves. When someone informs you that you move around in your sleep, you could take it as a signal to find outlets to relieve yourself of worry.
Signs of Health Issues
Considering the relationship between stress and health issues, it is likely that someone who experiences restless sleep might have underlying conditions. The best move will be trying to get some insights on which illness is affecting their sleep. Again, self-awareness is the best way of surviving, and this is a perfect example of that.
For instance, in the aforementioned study, sleep apnea and heart disease were a concern of the researchers. They found that their subjects were suffering from these diseases, along with a few other kinds. Getting a check-up and informing a doctor of any sleep disorders you think you might have or heard someone tell you about could give you an opportunity for early detection and a better chance of survival.
It may not be easy to hear what you do in your sleep. After all, it is out of your control. You cannot simply tell your body to stop performing involuntary actions. But at least now you know that these are comments that should not be shrugged off and that you or someone you know might need some medical attention. The next time someone tells you about being restless in your sleep, tell them, “Thanks.” They might have just saved your life.