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天高く馬肥ゆる秋!過ごしやすくても、意外なかくれ不眠には要注意

犬

すっかり秋になりました。過ごしやすい天気が続くし、ご飯は美味しいし、もういうこと無しの季節です。一年で一番秋が好き、なんていう方もたくさんおられるのではないでしょうか? 

しかし、体は夏の猛暑から突然冷え込むようになって負担が大きい時期でもあります。そんな時になりがちなのが「かくれ不眠」と呼ばれる症状。なんだか最近調子が悪いなぁ、こんなに昼間眠かったっけ? と思ったらこれを疑ってみる必要があります。

今回は知られざるかくれ不眠とその原因、対処法などをご説明します。

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かくれ不眠とは?

居眠り男

あまり聞きなれない詞ですが「かくれ不眠」という症状があります。

睡眠改善委員会の「かくれ不眠ラボ」によれば「慢性的な不眠ではなく、専門的な治療をする必要はないけれど、睡眠に悩みや不満を抱え、日常生活に影響がある。そんな状態にもかかわらず睡眠の重要性に対して認識が低い状態を示す言葉」とされています。

つまり、「不眠症」というほどには睡眠に不満があるわけではないのだけれど、いつのまにか眠りにつきにくくなっている症状です。慢性的なものではないので、病院などにいっても発見されたり指摘されたりしないことが多いのです。寝不足と不眠症の中間といったところでしょうか。言い方をかえれば「不眠症予備軍」とも言えるでしょう。

もし少しでも「かくれ不眠」かもと思ったらすぐに対策を立てて安眠できるように工夫してみましょう。

かくれ不眠の意外な原因

かくれ不眠の原因は様々です。直接不眠症に繋がるようなストレスやオーバーワーク、緊張や不規則な生活などはもとより、運動のしすぎやお風呂の入りすぎなどによる交感神経系の興奮、それに昼夜逆転生活なども原因に考えられます。

意外に思われるかもしれない原因として、性格からくる隠れストレスなどもあります。几帳面な方は仕事を完璧にこなすために注意を払い続けていて眠れなくなってしまったり、寝付きが悪いことを極度に意識してしまうことでますます眠れなくなってしまったりします。

仕事のために睡眠時間を犠牲にするといった方も、かくれ不眠を抱えやすいようです。

かくれ不眠のタイプ

「かくれ不眠ラボ」では、かくれ不眠を「生活不規則タイプ」「自分は大丈夫タイプ」「高ストレスタイプ」「眠りが浅いタイプ」「初期かくれ不眠タイプ」に分類しています。

この中で注意したいのは「自分は大丈夫タイプ」と「眠りが浅いタイプ」の方です。「自分は大丈夫タイプ」の方は、睡眠環境上様々な問題を抱えているのにも関わらず、本格的な不眠症に最も近い危険なタイプです。バリバリと仕事をするような方で、短い睡眠時間でも自分は大丈夫、寝る間が惜しい……という方に多いものです。無意識のうちに睡眠時間を削っていたり、あるいは「寝なくても大丈夫だ」と思っているその状態自体が不眠症である可能性もあるのです。

「眠りが浅いタイプ」は、十分出ているはずでも良質な睡眠になっておらず、自分は十分寝たはずだから……と自己暗示をかけてしまうタイプです。高年齢の方に多いのですが、生真面目な性格のかたもなりやすい傾向にあるようです。

これらのタイプは単純に不眠症の前駆症状として見られるものばかりではありません。かくれ不眠は季節の変わり目や無意識に体が疲れるときなどにも見られますので、少しでも睡眠に不安がある場合には「かくれ不眠かも」を疑ってみてください。

脱かくれ不眠!

そんなかくれ不眠ですが、症状が軽い内には簡単に治すこともできます。

まず「食事を工夫する」ことが重要です。朝食をしっかりとって夕食は睡眠2時間前までにとるようにしましょう。「軽い運動をする」ことも効果的です。朝は太陽の光を浴びながら散歩し、夕方は日が落ちる前に軽い運動(ジョギング等)をしてみましょう。「ぬるめのお湯で入浴」することも効果的です。40度前後のお湯で、30分ぐらいゆっくり浸かるようにしましょう。

また、睡眠環境を整えることも重要です「寝る前の寝室の明かりをけし、湿度や温度にも気をつける」。その上で、パソコンやスマホなどの使用も就寝二時間前には終えておきましょう。

もしそれでも眠れないようであれば「睡眠改善薬」を読んでみましょう。ドラッグストアで簡単に買えます。眠りの悪循環に陥ってしまう方はこれで正しい睡眠サイクルに入ることが出来ます。

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まとめ:かくれ不眠にならないように

かくれ不眠が疑われる時には、すぐに対処しましょう。病院などにかかっても病気というわけではないので特効薬を貰えるわけではありません。生活習慣の乱れや、季節の変わり目の疲労やストレスなど、自分自身の生活に目を向けて、適切な対応をとることでかくれ不眠はすぐに解消することができます。寝る前の、ほんの一工夫をあなたなりに考えてみてください。

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