Are you the kind of person who always experiences lying on your bed, tossing and turning, tired but sleep won’t come? It’s already 2, 3, 4 am, and there you are still restless, staring at nothing. It’s insomnia that is giving you trouble.
How Do You Define Insomnia?
This disorder is the inability of an individual to fall asleep or stay asleep. Even when able to do so, the insomniac feels like the person doesn’t have enough sleep. He may also tend to wake up multiple times and finds it hard to go back to sleep again.
People with insomnia usually suffer from fatigue, decreased energy, difficulty in concentrating and in socializing, mood disturbances, headaches, and inability to focus. He is often uncoordinated causing low performance and frequent errors and accidents. According to stats, one out of three people suffers from insomnia during their lifetime and women are twice prone to having insomnia than men.
Types of Insomnia
Insomnia can either be transient, short-term, or chronic. Transient insomnia usually lasts less than a week. Short-term insomnia is much longer which can range from one to three weeks. If your sleeplessness persists for a month or even longer, you’re suffering from chronic insomnia.
The reality is that insomnia is more often a comorbidity, not simply a symptom of another disorder. — Shelby Harris Psy.D.
What Causes Insomnia?
There are physical and psychological factors that can cause Insomnia. Usually, chronic insomnia is caused by an underlying medical condition while transient insomnia can be an after effect of a recent event. Below are some other factors that can possibly affect your sleep.
- Psychological issues – depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder.
- Disruption in circadian rhythm – this is may be due to jet lag, change in work shift schedule, high altitude, extreme heat or cold, sleeping next to a snoring partner, and other disturbing noises.
- Medical conditions – like chronic pain, chronic, gastroesophageal reflux disease, angina, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, stroke, and more.
- Hormones – estrogen, hormonal changes during menstruation.
- Parasites in your guts are usually active between 3 and 4 a.m.
- Food sensitivities – eating foods that can irritate your digestive system is one reason why you lose sleep.
- Pregnancy – could be due to back pain, heartburn, discomfort caused by an increase in the size of your abdomen, anxiety, frequent urination at night, hormonal changes.
- Television and other media technology disrupt sleep patterns and may lead to some complications.
Turns out sleep shouldn’t be a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, the amount of sleep an individual needs falls within a range; for you and your life, it may be anywhere between 5 and 10 hours. — Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.
Treatment and Natural Remedies
Learn more about the ways to improve your sleep. You can either take medications or do some alternative natural remedies.
If you’re not the type of person who is a fan of taking pills, there are ways wherein you can promote sleep like adding some lifestyle practices and herbs into your daily routine. These things can help you have a better rest without worrying about medication side effects.
- Meditation can help you calm your mind. Train your mind to focus on tasks and control your impulses. You can also write your thoughts before you go to bed including your to-do-list for the next day.
- Use supplements. You can take magnesium, which is necessary to have a good sleep.
- Herbs like passionflower and anise seed are proven to put you to sleep naturally and efficiently.
- Go to bed only when you’re sleepy.
- Improve your sleep hygiene.
It can be frustrating when well-intentioned others ask, “How did you sleep last night?” when you’re having sleep problems. It may be beneficial to ask them to support you in ways which feel more helpful—for example, having them ask, “How can I support you right now?” or sending a funny meme or encouraging quote. — Lauren Woolley, PhD
Insomnia is a common sleep problem, especially for older people. Sleep is essential to maintain your health both physically and mentally. While doing these simple natural remedies, it is still far better and practical to trace the cause of your insomnia. Visit a specialist to check if there is something dangerous which may need medical attention. Beating your insomnia is a way to have a better sleep and better health.