What is insomnia
Insomnia is a condition in which you feel trouble with falling asleep. In insomnia, you are not able to sleep even if you have the opportunity of sleeping full night. It can happen to you even if your weather conditions are in favour.
Some people with insomnia have trouble falling asleep while some other wakeup throughout the night. These disturbances typically happen at least three times a week.
Acute insomnia lasts shorter than a month whereas chronic insomnia lasts over a month. Insomnia affects both the quality and quantity of sleep which causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue. This can lead to professional and personnel problems, as well as day to day challenges like falling asleep while driving.
If we go by the definition of insomnia, we divide the night sleep into three parts. In other words, insomnia has three types of symptoms:
- First is not having proper sleep. If we are not able to sleep in one to two hours after going to bed. Or it is simply called the delay in sleep.
- Another type of insomnia is when we sleep for a short time and then wake up. Or it is a condition when we complete our sleep in 3 to 4 short sleep cycles.
- When we woke up early in the morning without any alarm or having proper sleep.
The above written symptoms appear in the night. If the problem stops here, we call it just the lack of sleep. But insomnia is when these symptoms appear in the daytime also. The daytime symptoms of insomnia are tiredness, headache, changes in mood, irritation, not able to concentrate etc.
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia can happen from any underlying cause. it can even accompany and worsen other problems like pulmonary disease, psychiatric conditions, and an entire sort of conditions that may cause pain.
- If you are facing any health-related problem from a very long time like the joint problem, backache, lungs problem, heart problem etc, then it may cause you sleeplessness.
- If you are taking any kind of medicine which have an alerting effect on our brain and body.
- Our daily routine or our lifestyle is also a major cause of insomnia. Our habit of staying up late at night or use of electronic gadgets also cause sleeplessness.
- Insomnia is also a common side effect of stimulants like caffeine, as well as depressants like alcohol which can both disrupt the sleep cycle.
- Smoking is also a cause of insomnia.
- Finally and most typically, insomnia may be the consequence of daily stresses from work or relationships additionally as environmental factors like having a job during an evening shift.
Biological factors related to insomnia
There are variety of biological factors related to insomnia. Studies have shown that people with insomnia might have a heightened level of the stress hormone cortisol. It plays a role in the process of waking every morning.
People with insomnia are more sensitive to the effect of cortisol. Typically they wake up at a far lower level of cortisol as compared to the common population. In addition, insomnia is also associated with a reduced level of estrogen and reduced levels of progesterone. It can happen during menopause.
Commonly, individuals with insomnia will self medicate with alcohol and benzodiazepines, both of which might be extremely dangerous.
Alcohol abuse can cause variety of physical and psychological changes which will rapidly worsen the sleep-wake cycle and cause dependence. Similarly, benzodiazepine, especially short-acting ones, also can create dependence and have a high abuse potential. they may actually worsen insomnia if someone tries to give a pause using them.
There are many ways to cure insomnia. They are as follow:
Good sleep hygiene
One method of treatment is getting good sleep hygiene, which involves getting to sleep and awakening a similar time each day including weekends, getting good exercise (but not right before bed), reducing alcohol intake, avoiding daytime naps, avoiding caffeine and smoking in the evening, and not going to sleep hungry.
Another potential treatment is stimulus control which comprises using the bed only to sleep instead of an area from which to watch television, text, or talk on the phone. It also helps to keep the environment calm. It also help in sleep faster by removing bright lights like a computer or phone screen and minimizing noise. Sometimes, though, these are unavoidable in which case eye covers and earplug can definitely help.
Drinking water cycle
Avoid drinking water after 5 pm. If you drink water afternoon, then it may cause pressure on your kidney. You feel a continuous urge to pee again and again. This urine pressure can cause trouble with your stomach. Due to which, your brain send a signal to you to go to the toilet. Thus frequent urination also disturbs your sleep cycle.
Chamomile tea and yoga
You can drink chamomile tea before going to bed. And make sure that your bedroom light should not be very bright. Use a dim light lamp in your bedroom. Practice yoga daily and make it your lifestyle. (1)
Also for treatment, there is behaviour therapy, which includes relaxation techniques as well as cognitive behavioural therapy to help better manage problems and life stressors.
while you practice these techniques, your doctor may advice you some medications also. These medications are such as melatonin agonists, non-benzodiazepine sedatives, and occasionally benzodiazepines might be prescribed to help with sleep. These medications can often have side effects. (1) That is why they are generally used for fewer than two months, usually together with behavioural therapy techniques.