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Insomnia is the condition of acute sleeplessness, and it takes a heavy toll on your mood, your energy levels, and your ability to concentrate and work during the day. Some of the most common symptoms of the condition are:
- You find it difficult to fall asleep even if you are tired
- Once you wake up in the middle of the night, you cannot get back to sleep
- You cannot work or concentrate on anything during the day
- You stay mostly fatigued, or irritated throughout the day
- You have to depend on pills or alcohol to fall asleep.
- You wake up very early in the morning, no matter how late you sleep
What could be the causes for insomnia?
Insomnia might last just a few days if it is induced by some temporary cause, like stress at your workplace, or any other personal issue you can be facing. However, when the cause is a long rooted one, insomnia might persist for a long time. There can be a mix of many causes for that to happen:
- Psychological stress or other emotional discomforts - Common psychological problems like anxiety, depression, chronic work stress, grief, and also bipolar disorder can be the causes for insomnia.
- Illness or other medical problems - There can be many medical causes or other illnesses at the root of insomnia like allergies, acute asthma, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, kidney related diseases and cancer as well.
- Medications - There can be many drugs, which might be prescribed by your doctor, but still be responsible for insomnia. These include antidepressants, corticosteroids like thyroid hormone medicines, few blood pressure medications, certain contraceptives and stimulants for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
- Sleep Disorders - Insomnia, though in itself is a sleep disorder, can also be the symptoms for other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and other disorders related to jet lag or if you are working on a late night shift.
In addition to these causes, some daily lifestyle habits might act as triggers to insomnia, which include:
- Consumption of large amounts of caffeine on a regular basis
- Developing irregular sleep schedules
- Taking your smartphone to bed and ending up spending a lot of time with it in the night
- Eating late in the evening
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.
10 tips for how to sleep better:
- Rest in cozy comfort: quality mattress, soft blankets and cool temperature will reduce annoying distractions (too hot! achy back!) and help you relax.
- Turn on some soothing sounds: use a sound machine or a fan to drown out what may be preventing you from falling asleep within 15 minutes of laying down.
- Complete darkness: If your room isn’t completely dark, consider a sleep mask—this will also increase your natural production of melatonin, which is not only a great sleep inducer but a great cancer fighter as well (study).
- Snooze-inducing smells: wearing lavender lotion or using a diffuser with lavender essential oil may help you hit deep sleep sooner. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of lavender? ahhh…
- Turn off tech and meditate: Turn off tech at least 1 hour before going to bed. Then, keep lights dim and read or meditate to let your body naturally make some sleepy melatonin (the hormone that is produced as it gets dark out, and regulates sleep and wake cycles).
- Skip or reduce caffeine: Caffeine not only prevents many folks from falling asleep at night initially, but it can also decrease the amount of restful sleep that happens at night (study). If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try decaf, herbal tea or keep it to one cup very early in the morning.
- Go easy on the alcohol: Alcohol feels like a sedative at first because it slows down motor and brain function, leaving us feeling relaxed and worry-free. But, as it’s metabolized, acetaldehyde is produced, which acts like a stimulant in our bodies. This is what wakes us up in the wee hours of the morning unable to get the rest we need. So for a good night’s sleep, peel back on the alcohol and drink it earlier and with food (or not at all).
- No nicotine: Nicotine is similar to caffeine in that it’s a stimulant and may cause insomnia. And even once you fall asleep, you’ll have decreased slow wave sleep, which means it’s less restorative (study). Tough love: stop smoking.
- Exercise: Try to fit in 20-30 min of moderate exercise daily, but make sure to do it several hours before bed. Ideally, 20-30 minutes of cardio in the morning with some restorative yoga in the afternoon.
- Clear your mind: If you’re tossing and turning after switching the lights off, you may need to hit the reset button on your mind. Here are a few things to try. Before going to bed, journal—jot it all down. You could also try a guided meditation. If you can’t fall asleep after lying in bed for 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing for 15-30 minutes before returning to bed. Don’t give up. You’ll find a strategy that works for you.
She has pain in her knees. She felt very tired after walking a little distance. What should I do for her so that she could feel better?
For a long time I am feeling pain at my knee. When I weak up early morning, I do not stand for few minutes. And I feel weak. I do not understand what happening. Please help me.
Sir, I am Vishnu working as an engineer, I am suffering from ache on my knee joints from 6 months, a nd allergic problem due to dust... Please help me by suggesting some tips n cure.
My right knee pains sometimes. Especially while exercising. It has been pain irregularly since the past 3-4 months.
4 years back my right knee got injured, my knee's ligament got cracked while played football. So, still sometimes it's disconnects upper bone and lower bone, of my right leg in up & down roads, when its disconnects its pains a lot. Then I have to bring to the normal position. Then I feel no pain. How to recover soon my cracked ligaments.
Your knee is guarded and cushioned by a cartilage known as meniscus. A meniscus tear, therefore, is an extremely painful and discomforting situation. It occurs very frequently and has emerged as one of the most commonly occurring cartilage injuries. What makes a meniscus tear an extremely common phenomenon is the way it can tear that is all it takes is a twist of the knee for it to happen.
People involved in sports mostly face the brunt of this form of injury. The risk of getting meniscus torn increases with age and tends to occur at the slightest change of direction of movement.
Some of the symptoms of a torn meniscus are:
- Pain and inflammation: It goes without saying that an internal injury of the cartilage or tearing away of it would inevitably result in extreme pain and inflammation near the knee.
- Immobility: The extreme pain and inflammation, which follows will inevitably make it difficult to move. Since the pain occurs in the joint, you will have difficulty in walking and any forceful movement will only aggravate the pain.
- Locking of the knee: Locking of the knee refers to a situation when you are unable to move your knee. This occurs most commonly after you have your meniscus torn.
Notwithstanding its frequency of occurrence, there are several ways, by which you can treat a torn meniscus. Some of the ways are:
- Apply ice: In order to get some relief, applying ice is a suitable option. If you apply ice every day for some time, it wonders in reducing swelling and the consequent pain.
- Use a bandage: In order to control the swelling, it is important that you cover your knee with an elastic bandage.
- Change the posture: It is important that you keep the affected knee in an elevated plane, in order to ensure an efficient blood supply and a consequent relief from pain.
Some Medical Treatments
There are many things to consider when deciding how to treat your torn meniscus, including the extent and location of the tear, your pain level, your age and activity level, your doctor's preference, and when the injury occurred. Your medical treatment choices are:
- Nonsurgical treatment with compression, elevation, and physical therapy. This may include wearing a temporary shoulder brace.
- Surgical repair to sew the tear together.
- Partial meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the torn section.
- Total meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the entire meniscus. This is generally avoided, because this option increases the risk for osteoarthritis in the shoulder.
- Whenever possible, meniscus surgery is done using arthroscopy, rather than through a large cut in the shoulder.