What is Insomnia?
Insomnia refers to a common sleeping disorder that makes it difficult for the person to fall asleep and stay asleep or wake up too early in the morning and not sleep again. This sleeping disorder affects a person's mood and energy level and affects a person's quality of life, work performance, and health. As suggested by doctors, the average sleeping hours are 7-8 hours, but if a person cannot sleep for recommended hours in the long term, they should consult a doctor.
What are the types of Insomnia?
Usually, doctors classify Insomnia as two different types such as
- Acute Insomnia or Adjustment Insomnia
- Chronic Insomnia
When sleeping problems persist for the short term due to some extraordinary events, most stressful, such as losing some loved ones, a significant change in life, etc., doctors refer to it as Acute Insomnia or adjustment Insomnia. The problem of Acute Insomnia lasts for not more than three months, and its symptoms fade down as time passes. However, if difficulty sleeping moves from short term to long term, it may turn into Chronic Insomnia.
Chronic Insomnia is a long term sleeping disorder that means a person finds difficulty sleeping for more than three days in a week for more than three months. Irregular sleeping schedules, neurological problems, nightmares, and specific other sleeping problems may result in Chronic Insomnia. Time is the main difference between the classifications mentioned above. However, the researcher's also classified Insomnia into different types after analysis.
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia
In this type of sleeping disorder, a person is unable to sleep the whole night. That means the person wakes up and struggles to sleep again for almost twenty to thirty minutes. Fragmented sleep is also known as poor sleep as it reduces both the quality and quantity of sleep and makes a person lazy.
Sleep onset Insomnia
Sleep onset Insomnia means difficulty in falling asleep in the early hours. And an inability to fall asleep will reduce the sleeping hours of a person and affect him or her the next day.
Doctors can not formally define Mixed Insomnia, but it includes difficulties in sleeping, waking in early hours, etc.
What are the symptoms of Insomnia?
Symptoms of Insomnia may include the following:
- Waking up during the night
- Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
- Irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
- Difficulty in paying attention or remembering focusing on tasks
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Waking up too early
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
If due to Insomnia, it is hard for a person to cope with daily life activities, they should consult the doctor and take up the proper medications.
What are the causes of Insomnia?
Usually, Insomnia is the result of stress because of which sleeping schedule gets disturbed. Some of the common causes of Insomnia are as follows :
Poor sleeping habits
It includes improper sleeping schedules, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, unhygienic sleeping habits, etc.
Worrying about your work, home, and responsibilities can make your mind active and makes you difficult to sleep. Stressful events or trauma may make a person night owl and leads to Insomnia.
Travel and Work schedule
Less sleep and more work and travel affect the sleeping cycle of the person to a considerable extent.
Overeating in the evening.
A light dinner is preferred because eating a decadent dinner may cause some discomfort such as acid,burn-in stomach, gas, etc. One should take dinner at least two to three hours before going to bed.
Mental health disorder
Insomnia and anxiety are very much related to each other. Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder may interrupt sleep. Like Anxiety, Insomnia, and Depression are connected, waking early in the morning is a sign of depression.
Some of the medical conditions linked with Insomnia are pain, overreactive thyroid, diabetes, upset digestive system, etc.
Sometimes the medicine we intake may disturb our sleeping cycle. Like if we take some cough syrup, then we will feel sleepy all day long. Many medications prescribed for allergies, as a pain killer, contain caffeine, which disturbs our sleep.
Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
Beverages like coffee and tea and some soft-drinks have a considerable amount of caffeine, which can make us staying awakened the whole night.
Complications in Insomnia
Sleeping is just as important as a healthy diet and a regular workout. And a loss of sleep will affect the work performance of an individual. Some of the complications of Insomnia are as follows.
- Mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, illness, or substance abuse
- The slow reaction at the time of performing a task
- Lower performance in the workplace
- Increased risk of long-term diseases, such as and heart disease, high blood pressure
How to manage Insomnia?
Excellent and proper sleeping habits may reduce the symptoms of Insomnia and promote good sleep.
- Keep your waking time and sleeping time consistent for all days, including weekends
- Check your medications - they may contribute to Insomnia.
- Don't use nicotine and Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol
- Make your bedroom comfortable to sleep
- Enjoy a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as reading, listening to soft music, taking a warm bath
- Avoid large meals and beverages before bedtime.
- Avoid or limit naps.
- Stay active: Regular activity helps promote a good night's sleep
- Try taking over the counter sleeping pills.
What treatments are available for Insomnia?
Both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments are available, and it is entirely dependent on the person which treatment is more effective. Some of the therapy available to treat Insomnia are :
- Sleep education and hygiene
- Stimulus control
- Sleep restriction and compression
The following are some of the insomnia medications that doctors prescribe:
- Melatonin agonist
- Orexin receptor antagonist
- Off-label treatments
- Over-the-counter medications