What is insomnia?
Insomnia refers to a type of sleep disorder.
If you suffer from insomnia, you may:
have difficulty falling asleep,
stay asleep, or wake up after several hours of sleep without feeling rested
feel tired and have difficulty functioning during the day.
Sleep quality plays an important role in overall well-being.
Not sleeping regularly can have a major impact on mental and physical health, not to mention quality of life. About one-third of all adults report some symptoms of insomnia6 and 10% of adults have symptoms severe enough to meet diagnostic criteria for insomnia disorder.
Read on to learn more about the main
symptoms and causes of insomnia:
waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep spending most of the night awake. worrying about not falling asleep
a constant pattern of broken or interrupted sleep that does not refresh you Problems falling asleep after going to bed As a result.
you may begin to experience other symptoms related to lack of sleep, including:
fatigue, irritability and others mood swings,Difficulty concentrating or remembering Types of insomnia Experts describe insomnia in different ways.
depending on its specific characteristics:
Acute insomnia refers to short-term sleep disturbances that usually last no more than a few weeks
refers to insomnia that affects your sleep. for 3 or more days a week on a regular basis, usually over a period of 3 months or more.
Initial insomnia describes difficulty falling asleep:
Problems falling asleep can occur due to caffeine use
mental health symptoms, or other common insomnia triggers, but they can also develop with other sleep disorders. Maintenance insomnia refers to problems staying asleep once you fall asleep or constantly wake up too early. This type of insomnia can be linked to; underlying mental health and health symptoms, but staying awake and worrying about not getting enough sleep can make things worse.
Behavioral insomnia in children involves:
constant difficulty falling asleep, refusal to go to bed, or both.
Children with this condition often benefit from learning self-soothing strategies and following a regular sleep routine. Insomnia can also be primary (idiopathic) or secondary (comorbid). Primary insomnita; does not result from any clear cause or from an existing health or mental health condition.
Secondary insomnia:on the other hand, refers to underlying causes, including:
pain or chronic illness
Mental health issues such as depression or shift work anxiety.
certain medications Causes of insomnia:
Possible causes of acute insomnia
for example:may include: upsetting or traumatic stressful events changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping in a hotel, new home, or with a partner for the first time physical pain or illness
Certain medications Chronic insomnia can occur on its own or as a result of:
chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain psychological problems, such as anxiety. depression.
alcohol-related disorders substance use
sleep apnea and other sleep disorders health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or cardiovascular disease
Risk factors for insomnia can affect people of any age or any gender, although they most commonly develop in late adulthood
just before, during and after menopause.
Risk factors associated with insomnia include:
high levels of stress, which could be related to life challenges.
financial difficulties or family and relationship issues.
traveling to different time zones.
a sedentary lifestyle .
Variable sleeping and waking times or irregular schedules, which can occur with frequent changes in work schedules or with shifts
while drinking lots of caffeine
alcohol and Difficulty relaxing before bedtime
Insomnia and pregnancy:
Insomnia is common during pregnancy, especially in the first and third trimesters. You may have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons; including:
such as hormonal fluctuations
increased urge to urinate
No more stress and anxiety about the increasing responsibilities you will face as a new parent.Pain, such as cramps and back pain The good news is that pregnancy-related insomnia usually passes and does not affect the developing baby. However, getting enough sleep is important for your overall well-being.
practice regular physical activity.
have a balanced diet.
maintain a regular sleep schedule
How to Get Diagnosed When considering a diagnosis of insomnia:
a healthcare professional will typically ask questions about: existing health conditions physical and mental health symptoms you have noticed stressors in your personal or professional life
Your sleep history, including how long you’ve had insomnia symptoms and how they affect your daily life This information can help you determine the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
to keep a sleep diary for 2 or 4 weeks, tracking: what time you go to bed the approximate time it takes to fall asleep
each case of repeated awakenings during the night what time you wake up each day A written or app-based sleep diary will give your healthcare team a clearer picture of your sleep patterns.
They may also order medical tests or blood tests to rule out medical conditions that may be interfering with your sleep. If they suspect you have an underlying sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, they may recommend that you take part in a sleep study.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends CBT as the first-line treatment for chronic insomnia in adults. In fact, experts have developed a specific subtype of CBT for the treatment of insomnia: CBT-I With the support of an online or in-person therapist, you can learn specific techniques for coping with the insomnia, including: Stimulus control. /p>This technique teaches you how to get out of bed and find calm, relaxing activity until you feel drowsy, limiting the time you spend lying awake and worrying about falling asleep. Sleep restriction. This technique first limits and then gradually increases the time you spend in bed, which can help improve sleep efficiency and quality. Intense light therapy. This technique consists of exposing yourself to bright light in the morning or evening, depending on whether you have more difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your therapist can also advise you on relaxation techniques, as well as sleep hygiene practices that help you manage behaviors that keep you from getting enough sleep. For example, they may advise you to avoid: drinking caffeinated beverages before bed, eating large or large meals or spicy foods near bedtime, engaging in strenuous activity near bedtime
Using the bed for purposes other than sleep or sex A therapist can also help identify underlying mental health symptoms that are contributing to insomnia or making symptoms worse. Addressing these triggers and contributing factors can go a long way in relieving insomnia.
Medications and Supplements:
Your doctor may also prescribe medications to treat insomnia, such as:
Eszopiclone (Lunesta) zolpidem (Ambien) triazolam (Halcion) Sleeping pills and over-the-counter supplements such as melatonin can also relieve insomnia. Your body naturally produces the hormone melatonin during the sleep cycle and it is thought that melatonin supplements can slightly reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
That said, support for melatonin as a treatment for insomnia remains inconclusive. Additionally, experts have not yet confirmed whether it is safe to use melatonin long-term, although it is generally considered safe for short-term use.