A Short Brief Guide to Insomnia

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a type of disorder that is seen occurring in most of the people around us. This disorder is commonly termed as a sleep disorder under which a person is unable to fall asleep. Even if you succeed in falling asleep at your best, you will keep waking up in the middle of the night. As a result of this, you will feel tired and less energetic for the rest of the day. Although it differs from person to person as to how much sleep do they need, on average, a person should have 6 to 7 hours of sleep. 

Types of Insomnia

Different types of insomnia are seen occurring in people. They are –

Acute Insomnia – It is a state where a person may suffer extreme difficulty in falling asleep. This type of insomnia mainly occurs when a person’s life has caused an unusual event. It could be due to the following – a problem in work life, getting bad news, facing difficulty in relationships or so. Sometimes, a condition of acute insomnia may get resolved without any treatment.

Comorbid Insomnia – It is a state of wakefulness that occurs due to some other condition taking place inside your body. These conditions could be psychiatric, like – anxiety or feeling depressed. Other than this, a person who suffers from arthritis or any other pain in the body will not be able to sleep at night. 

Chronic Insomnia – It is a condition where a person faces difficulty in falling asleep for an extended period. Though the person might be able to sleep for 2-3 days in a week but not every day, when this continues for a period of a few weeks or months, it is said to be a problem of chronic insomnia

Onset Insomnia – This condition is common and may occur with a lot of people. People who suffer from onset insomnia will not be able to sleep in the first few hours of the night. This may be a cause of getting up late in the mornings or not getting enough tired in the entire day. 

Maintenance Insomnia – This is a condition where a person might sleep at first but keeps waking up in the middle of the night. After waking up in between the sleep, the person will face difficulty in falling back to sleep.

Causes of Insomnia

The origins of insomnia can be psychiatric or physical. There are many reasons as an impact of which the human body may not feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Some of the leading causes of insomnia are listed below –

Anxiety or depression Insomnia, when occurring due to anxiety or depression, can make it difficult for a person to fall asleep. There are some symptoms of insomnia that can change the way a person feels as there will be a shift in moods and other hormonal problems. People who are severely depressed may face severe insomnia. There have been studies that prove the harsh conditions of insomnia may also worsen the terms of depression. You may even say that depression and insomnia are linked with each other. At times, you may also face similar symptoms for both, like – low energy, lack of motivation, feeling sad, and hopeless. 

Eating habits – There can be certain food items that may also cause a person unable to sleep. Some of them are – alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and overeating before sleep. 

  1. Alcohol – The property of alcohol is sedative, i.e., it will make you asleep at first, but later, your sleep will be disrupted.    
  2. Caffeine – It is a stimulant, which means it will make your body stay active until its effect lasts. People often prefer having coffee in the morning, but excessive of it will make you suffer from the insomnia disorder. 
  3. Nicotine – This, too, is a stimulant, and most people who smoke will have an abundance of nicotine in their bodies. Also, the people who like to have tea are consuming nicotine, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. 
  4. Late night meals – People who have a habit of eating just before bedtime is bound to face difficulty in falling asleep. That’s the reason why it is said not to have a small or lighter meal at night. Also, try to eat at least an hour before you go to bed; this will give enough time for food digestion. 
  • Difficulty due to lifestyle – Due to a change in our daily habits and activities, there will be a direct impact on our sleep. An unhealthy lifestyle can lay great emphasis on the normal sleeping pattern. People who often use to stay asleep until late in the morning will not be able to fall asleep at the right time. Also, your work life and stressful living may emphasize the daily sleeping time. Many around us have a habit of attending slate night parties and alcohol drinking. This kind of lifestyle will not only affect your sleep, but you may start developing other health issues. 

Cure for Insomnia

The causes of insomnia that are mentioned above can be treated with a few changes in our everyday well-being. Various therapies can be performed to cope up with the problems of insomnia. Apart from this, there are different options available in the market for the treatment of insomnia. Even a person who doesn’t want to get treated with artificial methods can opt for remedies that will help in managing insomnia disorder. 

Therapy and relaxation – Insomnia can be cured with the help of therapies like – stimulus control therapy, relaxation techniques, light therapy, or so. These will help in giving a soothing and calming effect on your mind. There are several therapies performed while stimulating the impact of your brain. Under these therapies, your sleep will be restricted as per which you will only be able to sleep at the desired period.   

Prescribed Medicines – The pharmaceutical firms have also put their effort in manufacturing medicines that can help people get over the issue of sleeping at night. When you visit a doctor with your sleeping issue, you will be prescribed a drug that will calm down your mind and activities that are performed. Some of the popular medicines that are taken as a treatment for insomnia are – Ambien (Zolpidem), Eszopiclone, Zaleplon, and others. These medicines shall be consumed as per the guidelines of your health expert. However, you must remember t hat every other drug in the market has some kind of side effects.    

Home remedies – Apart from the medicines, you can also go for other treatments that will not lay any side effects on your health. Some of the tips that can help you in getting proper sleep at night are listed below –

  • Keep track of the time at which you go to bed. Do not fluctuate with the timing as it can be unmanageable.
  • Keep your body active with the help of regular exercise and keeping yourself busy throughout the day. Staying energized through the day will promote undisturbed sleep at night.
  • Keep track of the medicines that you are regularly taking. Some drugs contain caffeine or other stimulants due to which your sleep can be disturbed. 
  • Avoid taking naps in between the day. But if you can’t get through the drowsiness, do not make the rest of more than 30 minutes. Possibly do not take a nap after evening. 
  • Do not have complete meals at night, instead take a small portion and try to have it at least 1 hour before you go to bed. 

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