Everything You Need to Know About Insomnia
What amount of sleep and with which pattern is appropriate? Lack of sleep and disturbance of your sleeping routine can have an adverse effect on your daily activities. Insomnia, in particular, affects millions of people globally, triggered by psychological and physical distress, among other causes. To correct this disorder, you need to comprehend it fully. Hence the information below has been tailored with everything you need to know about it.
What is Insomnia?
This is a sleeping disorder, familiar to many people, where one finds it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. In some cases, people find it hard to go back to sleep when they wake up too early. It can be classified according to its duration, cause, and severity. The types of this disorder include:
Transient – does not repeat, lasts less than a week
Acute – continues for a few weeks.
Chronic – regularly disturbs your sleep pattern thrice a week and has a probability of lasting for months, even years.
Sleep-onset – trouble in falling asleep
Sleep-maintenance – difficulty staying asleep for a significant amount of time
Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
This condition is not only characterized by difficulty in sleeping, as many presume. The following are also symptoms of insomnia:
- Straining to fall asleep
- Failing to maintain or stay asleep through your sleep time (night)
- Often waking up significantly earlier than usual and trouble falling back asleep
- Feeling devitalized after sleep or like you did not sleep at all
Sleeping for a significant duration is crucial for day-to-day productivity. Hence, failing to do so will cause you to be tired most of the day, experience mood changes (easily irritable), and have difficulty being productive. These are all consequential effects and symptoms of this sleeping disorder.
What causes insomnia?
1) Poor sleeping habits – Sleeping and waking up at irregular times, constant naps, and using the bed for other activities such as work impedes your sleep cycle.
2) Stress – Worries about issues such as finances or your work can cause your mind to stay active overnight, making it hard to find sleep
3) Anxiety – With anxiety, you constantly experience worry. This makes it hard for you to catch sleep.
4) Depression – People suffering from depression tend to get lost in their thoughts, and the situation worsens at night, leading to an increased risk of insomnia. In addition, people with this condition have low energy levels, thus fewer activities during the day. This often causes lower sleep drive, making it hard to fall or stay asleep.
5) Lack of exercise – Exercise helps improve your overall body health and functions. Failure to do so reduces your quality of sleep. We need less sleep as we age, but to achieve that good sleep quality we still need exercise so it’s important to adapt as we get older. If you find you can no longer run marathons or go for the burn at the gym, find lower impact exercises that help you to use your muscles, balance hormones and improve your mental health which all improve sleep. From yoga and pilates to golf- the senior tee age is seventy so there are activities that can be enjoyed later in life. So if you’re still able to get out there and move your body, it will do you the world of good when your head hits the pillow at night.
6) Illnesses – Conditions such as acid reflux and sleep apnea (breathing interruption during sleep) cause sleeplessness at night due to discomfort.
7) Medication – Some drugs have this sleeplessness as a side effect. If you experience a sleeping disorder after taking a certain prescription, you may need to seek the doctor’s opinion.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Sometimes referred to as CBT-I, this therapy is an ideal treatment for the chronic level of this disorder. It works by helping you find and analyze the behaviors and thoughts that source or aggravate your sleeping disorder. Then, with the therapist’s help, you can replace or control these problems. This can be done through sleep restriction, hygiene, and environmental improvement. In addition, your doctor can recommend stimulus control therapy or relaxation training to help you sleep better.
For you to beat this condition, you need to improve contributing factors in the following ways:
- Regularly wake up at the same designated time
- Often do exercises and stretches
- Avoid eating just before bed to avoid discomfort due to digestion
- Enhance your sleeping space for comfort
- Practice relaxation techniques that reduce stress, such as meditation and deep breathing
A medical expert will first diagnose the cause of your sleeplessness. In some cases, you may have to get medication to help you sleep better, such as sleeping pills and antidepressants. This is dependent on the severity and cause of your condition.
Irregularities in your ability to sleep are something you can try to correct through a better lifestyle. However, if you do not improve after correcting the possible causes, it is advisable to see a doctor for treatment. Do not simply prescribe yourself sleeping pills, as they can be addictive.