Insomnia is one of the most common disorders known to man all over the world. In some cases, it is mild and in others, severe. Either way, here’s all you need to know about the common health issue.
The first question to ask is, what is insomnia? Insomnia can simply be qualified as difficulty sleeping. As far as tracing it back to where it all began, it really has no roots, as sleep problems and difficulty sleeping have been present since the beginning of human existence.
Insomnia isn’t just when you can’t sleep, there’s more to it, as it can defined as not being able to get the sleep you require to get up rested and ready to take on daily activities. Thus, if you fall asleep quickly but toss and turn until you eventually roll out of bed, just as tired as you were when you laid down, you may have insomnia.
Insomnia can be difficult to place because it is both a sleep disorder and a symptom of a sleep disorder. Therefore, you may have insomnia, the sleep disorder, or you may have insomnia as a result of a sleep disorder.
There are two types of sleep disorder, acute and chronic, some call it temporary and persistent. If you are battling for days to get your required amount of sleep, your insomnia is most likely acute and you don’t have to worry. One of the major types of acute disorders is called, “middle of the night” insomnia, which is when one long awakening occurs in the middle of the night and then is taken over by anxiety, making it hard to fall back asleep.
However, if you see that you’re struggling with sleep more frequently or if it lasts for more than a month, your insomnia would be diagnosed as chronic. The common difference between acute and chronic insomnia is the amount of interrupted sleep episodes that happen over a given period of time. Also, acute insomnia is more about the piled up sleep debt over a time period, while persistent insomnia is more about huge sleep loss and very high sleep debt.
Chronic insomnia is discovered more in elders and is more present in females. A survey found that chronic insomnia is 1.2-2.0 times greater in women than in men. Also, chronic insomnia is really rare among young people.
It’s also important to note that chronic insomnia must have at least one daytime consequence as a result of increasing sleep debt. Thus, someone who cannot sleep but feels great, alert, and energetic all day long does not have chronic insomnia.
It is very rare, but occasionally people who sleep very little but feel alert have a condition called “normal short sleepers.” They have no sleep problems but can function at very high levels off very little sleep.
Temporary insomnia, regards no gender or age. A recent survey of high school and university students found that 50% of them have disrupted sleep as a result of stress and anxiety or hormonal imbalance.
The consequences of insomnia make it hard for us to be alert in the daytime, causing issues like, daytime fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating during the day or remembering things, restlessness, inability to accomplish simple tasks, stressed relationships with friends and family, unusual sleep episodes, depression, and frequent automobile accidents. Daytime sleepiness doesn’t always mean you have insomnia.
Regardless of whether you believe your insomnia is acute or chronic, you should discuss it with your doctor. There are a few methods of getting rid of insomnia:
Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are most commonly recommended because they are good for a wide variety of causes of insomnia. This approach involves techniques such as stimulus control instructions, sleep restriction therapy, and addressing the cognitive aspects of sleep problems such as the ability to worry about insomnia and misconceptions about sleep.
Medications are also useful, since there are many on the market that are safe and efficient. Sleeping pills or sedating antidepressant medications vary in speed and the duration of their action. Thus, getting the right medication, the dose and timing for use will depend on the details of the sleep problem.
READ: 5 causes of insomnia
If you are taking daily medication for a chronic condition, check with your doctor to see if your insomnia is related to the medication. You may be able to switch to a comparable medication with less side effects or the doctor may offer you some tips on how to get the sleep you need without stopping the medication.
There are circadian rhythm treatments such as exposure to bright light or taking Melatonin, which realigns the body clock to allow you to sleep better at night and function during the day.
For others, the cause of insomnia could be a mood disorder or living situation, and they it is advisable to seek psychotherapy where they can discuss these issues. There are psychiatric drugs that are good in treating mood disorders and anxiety disorders.
Also, try practicing good sleep hygiene. For instance, wake up every day at the same time and don’t nap during the day. Avoid stimulants that may cause insomnia like coffee or tea. Prepare yourself for bed with a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid insomnia by creating a safe, comfortable sleep environment .
If you are witnessing frequent or continuous issues getting the sleep you need to feel alert and awake during the day, make sure you check in with your doctor. What you may think is insomnia may be the result of an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder.