Quality of sleep has a crucial role in a person’s well-being. Not receiving adequate sleep can affect physical and mental health in a big way and quality of life.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person might find it hard to stay asleep, fall asleep, or both. Also, they might consistently wake up from a few hours of sleep and not feel refreshed. Naturally, they experience tiredness and difficulty functioning all through the day. Read on to know more about the other details of the disorder.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Typically, you can recognize the disorder from the following symptoms of insomnia:
- waking up too early and being unable to fall asleep once more
- spending most nights lying awake and worrying you will not fall asleep
- constant patterns of broken or interrupted sleep that does not refresh you
- difficulty in falling asleep after hitting the bed
Due to these symptoms of insomnia, you might start experiencing other symptoms that are related to inadequate sleep, and they are:
- frequent mood changes
- hard to remember or concentrate on things
Common Causes of Insomnia
Usually, the insomnia you face has a lot to do with the actual causes of the disorder. As such, some of the common causes of severe insomnia are:
- any traumatic or upsetting event
- change in sleeping habits, such as sleeping in a new home or hotel
- jet lag
- physical illness or pain
- certain medicines
Acute insomnia might result on its own, or it can be a result of:
- sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
- chronic pain condition, like back pain or arthritis
- psychological issues, like anxiety, substance use disorder, or depression
- health conditions like diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cardiovascular disease, or cancer
Diagnosis of Insomnia
When it comes to diagnosing insomnia, your doctor will ask you the following questions:
- any present medical condition
- stressors in professional or personal life
- mental and physical health symptoms you might have noticed
- sleep history, along with how long you have had the symptoms and how they have been affecting your life every day
As per your answers, your doctor might tell you to maintain a sleep log for two to four weeks to track the details of your sleep.
Treatment for Insomnia
There are several options available for the treatment of insomnia, such as therapy, supplements and medication, and home remedies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is seen as the first line of treatment for adult insomnia. CBT-I, a particular subtype of the therapy, focuses on insomnia treatment. An in-person or online therapist might use several techniques under CBT-I for recovery.
Supplements and medication
Lunesta (eszopiclone), Ambien (zolpidem), and Halcion (triazolam) are the common medications prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. Other over-the-counter supplements and sleep aids like melatonin might also provide some respite from insomnia.
The body naturally makes melatonin (a hormone) during sleep cycles. Thus, it is considered that melatonin supplements might somewhat reduce the time taken to sleep.
Complications arising out of insomnia
The lack of adequate sleep means that the brain does not have a chance to carry out any of the functions that make it run smoothly. This is why you tend to feel kind of foggy and can’t focus after getting poor sleep.
Over time, insomnia might have the following health effects. Getting hardly a couple of hours of sleep every night increases the chances of having the following health conditions:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Home remedies and lifestyle changes to manage insomnia
There are several home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help in managing insomnia symptoms, and they are:
Natural sleeping aids: It is believed that valerian, herbal tea, and warm milk before bed help to fall asleep.
Meditation: The technique promotes relaxation, enhances sleep quality, and relieves anxiety and stress.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a conventional Chinese medicinal technique that involves inserting thin needles at the pressure points of the body to ease the symptoms of the disease.
Essential oils: Essential oils are strong aromatic liquids made from trees, flowers, and herbs. People who have insomnia tend to inhale such oils or gently massage the oils in the skin to ease the symptoms. Several oils are helpful in this regard, such as bitter orange or neroli, peppermint, sandalwood, lavender, cedarwood, and Roman chamomile.
Insomnia is more than a minor inconvenience or just another nuisance. It is the kind of sleep disorder that impacts emotional and mental health and physical wellness. Thus, if you notice the symptoms constantly, get in touch with a doctor right away.