Insomnia pertains to the difficulty of sleeping. Although this sleeping condition seems common, it can become a disorder when we experience difficulty sleeping too frequently. Insomnia has two types: the acute (short-term, few days) and chronic insomnia (continuously for weeks).
Insomniacs: What To Look For To Know If We Have Insomnia
There is no exception with the insomnia sleeping condition and disorder. Insomnia can occur at any age. If we experience some of these conditions below, we are most likely suffering from insomnia:
- Laying awake but mostly just staring at the ceiling or anything and nothing at all for that matter, regardless of how tired we are.
- Have laid, sat, curved like a ball, twisting and turning to find the perfect and comfortable position to fall asleep finally but still not sleeping
- Having counted a thousand sheep but still experience no success in sleeping.
- Waking suddenly in the middle of the night and not being able to fall asleep again.
- Waking up, but not refreshed and feeling as our night’s sleep wasn’t any help at all.
- Feeling a state of drowsiness, weariness, and mostly irritated even by just the smallest of situations.
- Lack of concentration. Mostly, staring into space and zoning-out of conversations. We look like as if our minds are preoccupied with something else, but in truth, there’s nothing in there aside from a white fog and the vision of a comfortable bed.
How Can We Acquire Insomnia
Mostly, the reasons for the struggle we have falling and staying asleep are unidentifiable. But some studies show that the following could affect our sleep, and so will more likely lead to the said sleeping condition.
- Too many emotions. When we go to bed with too much emotion fluttering inside ourselves, such as anxiety, worries, anger, stress, and depression, we will not be able to fall asleep. We will become too preoccupied with these emotions that we ponder on them so much, and too late we notice, we just stayed awake for the whole night.
- The environment. We sleep in an environment with too much noise. The noise can cause the loss of the sense of relaxation. It’s what we do when we’re sleeping, after all. Another thing can be the bed, mattress, floor, sheets, or whatever it is that we slept on, was not comfortable enough. The room temperature can also affect our sleep. Is it well-ventilated so as to be not too hot or too cold? These are simple but important reasons.
- Time shifts. Ideally, we are designed to sleep at night and be awake in the morning, but due to some reasons, it happens in reverse. These reasons may include our work schedule; we are working at night and supposed to be sleeping during the day. We can also add jet lag here.
- Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Substances from these things can keep us up all night or all morning (it depends on our tolerance). They are known to keep us alert and active anyway. Recreational drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine are also counted.
- We have health issues. Chronic insomnia is usually attributed to the secondary side effect of other medical conditions. We cannot fall asleep and stay asleep because we are feeling something else, like discomfort and pain. Some said that even Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could affect our sound sleep.
Treating Insomnia: The Hows
There are natural ways of treating insomnia. We suggest you try them first before resorting to taking sleeping pills and other medications.
- Don’t overthink – For the sake of good sleep, lets stay out of our heads when we’re in bed and trying to sleep. Overthinking about everything that happened and is happening in our lives will deprive us of the good sleep we need. The result of overthinking our situations will frustrate, anger, depress, worry, and stress us. And believe it or not, no good will come out from overthinking things. We do it enough during the day, after all.
- The key is relaxation – Make sleep a top priority of our relaxation time. If we really love what we’re doing during the day, let’s give ourselves enough sleep at night so we can give our best shot to it. Nothing beats good rest; minds are fresh and more creative. An hour of relaxation before going to bed will help too.
- Exercise regularly during the day – A moderate exercise during the day will help us to sleep well at night; with the good blood circulation and all. We can add a healthy lifestyle here. Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and yes, some bad habits before sleeping like focusing too much on gadgets and technology.
- Drink plenty of water during the day – We will never go wrong with water therapy. Some said drinking milk before bed is useful, but some studies said not so. Either way, it depends on us, but yeah, water will be okay.
- Think positive things – What are the good things that happened to us throughout our day? Do a brief reflection and then pray. Believe it or not, prayer can do wonders, regardless of our different religious beliefs.
Series of insomnia can harm our health in the worst cases possible. Mental health is the top and most apparent area this condition affects. Sleeplessness can cause accidents, involving those people who are drowsy-driving and even innocent individuals. And it’s only one of the many which can happen when we lack good sleep.
Insomnia: The Start Of An epidemic
There is a huge ratio of adults in the United States experiencing insomnia according to the National Poll on Healthy Ageing. Surveyed respondents around 65-80 years old showed a 14% of them taking pills regularly, and 23% occasionally to have a good sleep. Almost half of them said that they experience insomnia at least once a week, while 15% said they suffer sleep deprivation for about 3 to 4 nights a week. The survey that was lead by Professor Matthew Walker referred to it as the “catastrophic sleep loss epidemic.” The factors affecting this disorder can include the “undervaluing of the employers, politicians, and the society in general to good sleep, aside from computers, smartphones, alcohol, and caffeine.”
The new survey lead by Dr. Preeti Malani of the Michigan University claimed that the respondents they surveyed find it hard to fall and stay asleep because of pain (23%) and some health issues (40%). Moreover, the use of the sleeping pills is not recommended as a long-term use because it can cause adults some memory issues, constipation, and confusion. Dr. Malani pointed out that most sleeping medications include an antihistamine called diphenhydramine, which can cause urinary infections, confusion, and constipation with long-term use.
In conclusion, frequent episodes of insomnia may cost us more than we could ever afford. We therefore have to make the best out of a sound sleep and do whatever it takes.