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不眠症の4大症状から、早期覚醒の症状と原因

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不眠症の代表的な症状には、入眠障害、熟睡障害、中途覚醒、早期覚醒という4つの症状がありますが、本記事では早期覚醒について触れていきたいと思います。

予定していたよりもずっと早く目が覚めてしまい、それが原因で睡眠不足に陥ってしまうケースや、早くに目が覚めてしまったがために二度寝をして結果起床予定時間に起きる事が出来ないなど、人によって悩みも様々です。

この早期覚醒はうつ病と大きく関係があると言われていいます。早期覚醒の原因考えていきたいと思います。

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老人性早期覚醒

夜

まず初めに区別をつけたいのがこの老人性早期覚醒です。お年寄りは早起きと言うイメージがありますが、人間の睡眠の傾向は30代の後半から徐々に切り替わります。

脳内からの睡眠物質であるメラトニンは加齢と共に分泌量も少なくなっていきます。よって睡眠力は徐々に落ちていき、これが原因で中途覚醒や早期覚醒が起こりやすくなります。

しかしある程度の年齢を重ねている方が少し早く目が覚めてしまったところで、ある程度の熟睡感さえあれば問題はありません。老人性の早期覚醒はごく自然な事なのです。

うつ病による早期覚醒

問題はこのうつ病を原因とする早期覚醒です。うつ病の初期段階では本人にうつ病の自覚はありません、しかしこの早期覚醒をはじめ睡眠状況はどんどん変化していきます。それにともなう睡眠不足と気分の上下動で精神的に混乱が生じ、更にうつ病を助長してしまう原因にもなります。

この早期覚醒や中途覚醒が頻繁に起こるようになると睡眠時間はもちろん普段の生活のパターンが変化してしまう為に、さらなる入眠障害や熟睡障害を引き起こす原因となってしまいます。

早期覚醒の原因

このうつ病を原因とする早期覚醒ですが、やはり問題は日頃のストレスである事が多いようです。

子供のころ朝が苦手だったのに、何故か遠足の朝だけは早くに目が覚めてしまったという経験をお持ちの方もいらっしゃると思います。
非常に楽しみな事、逆に非常に緊張してしまう事が次の日に控えているような場合、期待や不安、興奮はストレスとなり体や脳をリラックスしきれない状態にしてしまいます。

子供のころはその対象が遠足や運動会、友達との海水浴など笑って楽しめるような事が、大半だったと思いますが、これが社会人になるとそうは行きません。

会社でのストレス、進行中のプロジェクトに対する重い責任、通勤ラッシュに対するストレスなど、自分が思っている以上にストレスは多いものです。

これらが原因となりうつ病から早期覚醒に至ってしまう事が多いようです。

早期覚醒の対策

原因がストレスによるうつという事なので、頻繁に早期覚醒が起こってしまう人や、うつ病の認識が既に本人にある場合は速やかに病院へ行くのが良いかもしれません。睡眠障害、うつ病などは聞き慣れてしまった言葉ではありますが、精神疾患に変わりはありません。

ただし睡眠導入剤や精神安定剤は医者に勧められても必ず後遺症や禁断症状、最後の断薬までを理解したうえで服用するのが賢明でしょう。

睡眠導入剤や精神安定剤への依存症で苦しむ患者さんは後を絶ちません。

リラックスした状態で睡眠へ

睡眠障害の原因がストレスであるという事は、就寝時までストレスを持ちこまないようにするのが賢明でしょう。

日々会社で大きなストレスを抱える方には難しいかもしれませんが、これは本人が自ら根本的に直さなければどうにもなりません。

ストレスをなるべく解消していく方法として、太陽の光を出来るだけ浴びる、運動を行うなどがあります。生活に昼夜の区別をしっかりつけ、体を疲れさせる事によって早期覚醒などの睡眠障害を緩和する事が出来るのではないでしょうか。

早期覚醒防止に、睡眠環境を整える

ストレスや心配事が多くて早く起きてしまいがちの方の睡眠環境が悪ければ、事態は更に悪化してしまいます。会社でのストレスはどうにもならなくても、睡眠時の部屋の温度や寝具はどうにかなります。

リラックスして眠れる環境は最低限整えましょう。

自分では気がつかない原因で起きている可能性もある!?

ストレスをそんなに感じていなくても早期覚醒で起きてしまう人も中には居るでしょう。そういった方は歯ぎしりやいびき、寝相が悪くないか周囲の人に一度訪ねてみるのも良いかもしれません、意外なところに原因が潜んでいる可能性もあります。

朝昼夕3つのことを心がければOK!  あなたの人生を変える睡眠の法則
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早期覚醒の症状と原因のまとめ

  • 早期覚醒には老人性の早期覚醒とストレスやうつ病を原因とする早期覚醒がある。
  • うつ病が原因の場合は一度医師の診断を受けるのが賢明。
  • なるべく安眠できるようにリラックスした状態で睡眠へ、また睡眠の環境も快適にしておこう。
  • 普段ストレスをあまり感じていなくても、歯ぎしりやいびきなどで目が覚めてしまっている可能性もある。

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