Insomnia is a sleep disorder which makes the affected hard to sleep, stay asleep or make you wake up too fast. Insomnia can also make it difficult for you to go back to sleep once you have woken up. This disorder makes you tired the whole day and drains your energy levels, health, mood, work performance and quality of life.
A lot of adults can experience short-term (acute) insomnia that lasts for weeks or days. This is usually due to an after effect of a traumatizing event or just stress. But mostly, people who experience chronic (long term) insomnia which lasts for more than a month is caused due to certain medical conditions or side effects of medicines.
Insomnia is classified as Acute, Chronic, Onset, Maintenance, and behavioral insomnia of childhood.
People experiencing insomnia usually reports below symptoms:
Both narcolepsy and Insomnia are sleeping disorders, however, Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or staying asleep while narcolepsy is the inability to control when to fall asleep.
For the treatment of insomnia, it is important to treat the underlying cause. It can be caused due to life events, stress and bad habits that affect your sleeping patterns. However, some other causes of insomnia include:
The amount of sleep insomnia varies from person to person, almost everyone at some point of their life experiences acute Insomnia which may last for about one night a week or more.
Insomnia is the difficulty in falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. It is not considered a mental illness, however, it has been associated with other mental disorders such as depression, bipolar syndrome. People with Insomnia are more prone to become depressed than those who do not have sleeping disorders.
Depending on the patient’s situation, the insomnia is diagnosed.
Generally, a physical examination will be done initially if the cause of the problem is unknown. In the physical examination, the doctor will check out the signs and he may prescribe some blood tests to rule out any underlying disease of the problem. Next, the sleeping habits will be reviewed by the medical professional with a questionnaire such as wake-up time, sleeping time and day time sleepiness.
If the cause of insomnia is not clear or the patient has signs of other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea, then he/she will be made to spend a night at the sleep center. Tests will be conducted to assess various bodily activities while sleeping including breathing, eye and body movements, brain waves and heartbeat.
Children also face insomnia often for the same reasons as adults. These reasons might include:
The symptoms of Insomnia in children also include:
Especially in the first and third trimester of pregnancy it is common because during that time hormones fluctuate, frequency of urination increases and one also feels nausea. The changes in body may keep the person awake in early pregnancy. During pregnancy, women may face anxiety or depression and pain such as back discomfort or cramps which may keep them awake.
During pregnancy, the female body undergoes many changes like increase in progesterone or active metabolism to accommodate the new life growing. Changes that may help like:
Consult with your healthcare expert for any medications, supplements and exercise routine. Insomnia during the pregnancy usually passes and also it doesn’t affect the development of the baby.
The recent pandemic situation has changed much about our life which also includes our pattern for sleep, stress, anxiety and depression. The sleep disorder or insomnia have affected badly on our physical and mental and health. Below are the ways to tackle your mental health. Anxiety, stress and worry in a healthy way:
Anxiety can cause insomnia and anxiety can cause insomnia. The short time anxiety starts when you frequently think or worry about the same issue like your personal relationships. It usually goes away once the issue is resolved and sleep returns to normal as well.
The causes of anxiety are not completely understood. Anxiety treatment is usually long-term and it includes a combination of therapy and medications.
Insomnia may develop depression, depression can also make you likely to develop insomnia. The symptoms of depression may lead to insomnia. The treatment may include lifestyle change, therapy and medication.
While sleeping the body is hard at work tending to both physical and mental health and helping to get ready for the next day. Suffering from insomnia will cause serious effects over the body and mind. Just missing out one night’s sleep may cause a lack of energy, and focus along with mood swings and irritability.
The long-term effects of insomnia are highly serious that cause poor physical and mental coordination, struggling in decision making. The psychological effects of insomnia are anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideation.
When you discuss the effects of insomnia over the body it includes cardiovascular issues such as stroke, hypertension, brain issues such as paranoia, hallucinations, mania, impulsive disorder, stomach issues and immune system issues such as inability to prevent and fight against sickness, even common cold. The victim may also have a poor sex drive, increased weight, poor balance.
Acute insomnia usually go away within one night to a few weeks however chronic Insomnia lasts for longer, it takes approximately 3 nights a week for 3 months or more to go away.
Insomnia is one of the sleeping disorder types in which individuals feel difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. Insomniac patients will always feel fatigued and dull since their sleep is totally deprived. Irregular and interrupted sleep may lead to other health issues.
Hence, it is always better to treat the problem in the early stage itself. The treatment for insomnia can also offer medical and non-medical therapy.
Psychotherapy, developing better sleep habits and medicines will come under non-medical therapy. If diabetes or menopause causes insomnia, then the condition will be treated. If medicines are the culprit of insomnia, then either the drug will be altered or the dose will be reduced.
Short-term insomnia is caused due to travel, stress that can be treated with OTC drugs whereas chronic insomnia can be treated with medicines after a thorough physical and medical examination.
Insomnia affects younger people more than older ones. Insomnia and mental issues in kids go hand in hand. There can be multiple reasons like work pressure, health issues, study pressure, bad performance in school etc. Other risk factors include:
Studies have suggested that, in some people, insomnia usually gets worse before an episode of mania or depression. It is also known that sleeping disorders adversely affect the mood and contribute towards anxiety disorders.
Sleep is the natural rejuvenation process. It is as important to your health as regular exercising or a healthy diet. That is why, when you go through insomnia, it affects your physical and mental health badly. Your ruins your productivity and quality of life.
Complications of Insomnia can be:
Yes, the good news is that insomnia can be cured in most of the cases. You don’t have to take the over the counter medications or visit your doctor unless it’s very serious. Just by making a few little changes in your lifestyle can help you with your problems. By figuring out the underlying causes, you can work on it.
Furthermore, change your daily habits, and get a good environment to sleep. Initially, it is going to be tough for you to fall asleep but that’s where you need to put a little effort. Take a good long shower before you go to bed, listen to some sleep-inducing music and avoid any external distractions. Once you're habitual to your sleep cycle it’ll be easier for you to sleep on time. Later on, you just need to follow the cycle.
Yes, if you’re not being able to sleep at night, your genes might be responsible for this. There are studies to confirm that insomnia is in fact hereditary. Researchers believe that there are some specific genes that trigger insomnia.
These genes are the same which are responsible for your response to stress. Hence, it is important to have a good sleep not just to rejuvenate yourself but also to keep yourself away from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorder, insomnia and physical conditions.
Here are some good tips you can use to prevent insomnia and get good sleep: