The journey to better sleep hygiene is not always easy, but the eventual prize is always worth it. This article plans to analyze the sleep disorder known as Insomnia thoroughly. What are the most liable causes? Which symptoms are there to identify the insomnia condition, and what are the most efficient ways to treat the disease? We will start with the fundamental question of defining what Insomnia is.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition, a sleep disorder where one finds it difficult to fall asleep or even stay asleep if one follow sleep hygiene guide. It is a pervasive sleep disorder among both adults and younger ones. It can occur as a chronic disease or for a prolonged time. Also, it could happen over a short time, such as a few nights, or extend to weeks. Whereas, in some cases of chronic Insomnia, the person with the sleep disorder can experience it for several months or even years.
What are the types of Insomnia available?
Broadly, there are two basic types of Insomnia that a person can experience, namely the primary and the secondary insomnia sleep disorders. When Insomnia is caused by a medical condition such as chronic pain and COPD interfering with a person’s sleep, it is known as Secondary Insomnia. On the other hand, when Insomnia is not due to a medical condition, medication, or even psychiatric problem, it is referred to as primary or idiopathic Insomnia.
The Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be due to many reasons, but the basic one is usually a medical condition or another chronic disease. However, in some cases, it is challenging to determine the actual cause of Insomnia or why a person finds it difficult to sleep. In other cases, what is responsible for the lack of sleep may be apparent. For such cases, we will be discussing some of the widespread proven causes as thus:
As earlier said, an underlying medical condition is the primary cause of Insomnia in many cases. These conditions can interfere with the body system and cause a person to find sleep or stay asleep. Medications include GERD, COPD, or congenital heart failure, which can affect one’s sleep cycle.
Meanwhile, Insomnia through medical conditions may not only be physical. In some cases, the cause may be more emotional and psychological than physical. For example, it could result from stress, depression, or even anxiety which can cause you to toss and turn around without any effects. Another peculiar medical cause of Insomnia is the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), which can easily lead to sleeplessness.
Another common cause of Insomnia is the case of using certain medications with side effects. For example, drugs such as SSRI antidepressants, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors have side effects. And the most common side-effect is the lack of sleep in the patient. In addition, prescribed medications for regulating blood pressure, emphysema, and allergies can lead to a lack of sleep or a sleep disorder.
On the other hand, one may also have to understand that the medications don’t usually have the same effect on everyone. In other words, the side effects of these medications may not apply to everyone. But even if a drug can still cause a side effect such as Insomnia, you only need to report that to the doctor on the next checkup. In other cases, the average drug that should not cause any side effects could also cause some levels of Insomnia.
Disruption of the circadian rhythm
There is a biological system inside of every man responsible for the natural sleeping and waking up from sleep. This system is called the circadian rhythm and is in charge of our ability to sleep at night when it is dark. On the other hand, it is also responsible for waking up regularly in the morning.
However, this rhythm is subject to some factors, which can easily disrupt it. The result is that the body now finds it very difficult to determine the right time for you to sleep and the right time to wake up. Some of the usual factors that disrupt our circadian rhythms include traveling across different time zones and working overnight shifts for a prolonged time. When the disruption happens, it disrupts the timing of your sleep and wakes time.
Another cause of Insomnia affecting sleep hygiene is environmental factors. These factors make it difficult for us to get sleep at will or even stay asleep. Naturally, people are meant to be able to sleep when the surrounding is calm, dark, and quiet. As a result, these are the conditions one must strive to build into the bedroom for optimum rest. Without a conducive environment in your bedroom, it will take some time for you to sleep or enjoy it. As a result, you may stay half-awake or even sleep or wake up haphazardly.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Depending on the severity of the sleep disorder known as Insomnia, there are different symptoms that one can experience at different levels. On the other hand, Insomnia can result from an accumulative effect of some of these causes. As a result, one may show some symptoms at the beginning and later some after a prolonged disorder.
However, staying active the following day will be challenging if one cannot get a good night’s sleep. Instead, it will bring a lot of tiredness and fatigue to the body. However, suppose this sleeplessness continues for a longer time, such as a week or month. In that case, it may cause a more complicated effect of sleep deprivation. The following are some common symptoms of Insomnia:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Loss of concentration
- Forgetfulness as a result of poor retentive memory
Treatments of Insomnia
The method you employ to treat Insomnia is a factor that determines the choice of treatment. On the other hand, the level of Insomnia or the existence of an underlying medical condition may also aid the recovery process. So, if you are not seeing a doctor help you overcome Insomnia, you can employ some self-help strategies. In other words, these methods can help you build vital sleep hygiene.
- You can begin to keep a sleep journal to pay close attention to the time your go to bed and wake up
- Stick to a regular time of going to bed and rising from sleep
- Stop taking caffeine before you go to bed, even for several hours
- Do away with all tech gadgets, including your TV, smartphone, and tablet.