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Having trouble getting to sleep, or experiencing tiredness and other forms of daytime distress? You are probably looking for an answer to the question “Why can’t I sleep?”. If this looks like a day in your life then chances are you have insomnia.
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. Patients suffering from this condition find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. Mostly sufferers also don’t feel refreshed when waking up either.
There are a number of factors that come into play as to why insomnia and chronic insomnia happens. Health professionals point to stress, depression, other medical illnesses, pain and other disorders as the main culprits. Tiredness and fatigue is just the start. For those who have chronic insomnia, the patients may complain about poor brain function, physical complaints and changes in mood. Though these things are not life threatening, the inconveniences are too much and these can affect the lifestyle and the quality of life of the person.
If you are suffering from sleeping problems, please don’t feel alone. This is a common health issue in many countries.
Insomnia affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders, but it is slightly more prevalent in men than women.
In fact, in the United States alone, around 30 to 40 percent of the adults have indicated that they have felt the symptoms of this sleeping disorder. And at the same study conducted by the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research, 10 to 15 percent of the adults indicated that they have chronic insomnia. About 42 million Americans have chronic insomnia.
A person can suffer from either 2 types of insomnia:
Chronic insomnia is typically secondary to a primary condition such as depression or consumption of certain prescription drugs. Acute insomnia is typically primary insomnia, which is insomnia that is not associated with health conditions or problems.
The main symptoms of insomnia are the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or a combination of the two problems. Some people may wake up during the night and be unable to return to sleep or awaken too early in the morning. Other symptoms include:
Not being able to sleep is a terrible thing to have, there seems to be no apparent reason for you to be up and as every hour goes by you anticipate how tired you are going to be at work the next day. The insomnia cause that has you tossing and turning could be just one thing or it could be a variety of factors.
Understanding what causes insomnia will help you get to sleep faster and find a solution to this problem full time. It will also mean a better night of sleep for your sleeping partner who might be driven to insomnia by yours!
Have you ever heard someone say that your insomnia cause is all in your head? Well it might be true. Psychological causes are a big factor in keeping people awake. A lot of the time people don’t learn to turn off and stop thinking about the day’s events when they go home.
Anxiety can be a major insomnia cause. Thinking about what has happened at work and what will happen the next day can keep you up all night. So can being anxious about paying bills, making ends meet and a variety of other things that you have to deal with on a day to day basis.
Stress and stressful situations can also be an insomnia cause. Stressing about things that you can’t change will definitely have you up all night. Often stress is combined with anxiety and when you have both of these things on your plate it can be difficult to sleep at night.
Although a lot of insomnia is caused by psychological causes there are instances when physical factors come into play. Hormonal changes can be an insomnia cause, particularly in women. Women can experience insomnia during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. The premenstrual syndrome can also lead to women experiencing insomnia.
Ageing brings lots of physical changes and one of them is insomnia. Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep. The older you get the less this hormone is secreted into the body. By the time you reach age 60 your melatonin levels will have decreased significantly and you might find yourself not being able to sleep very much.
Breathing problems and allergies can also keep you awake. Not being able to sleep when you experience asthma or allergies is common and understandable as you are experiencing discomfort no matter how tired you may be. Check to see if any of these factors might be your insomnia cause and then see what you can do about it.
Insomnia is a formidable but manageable sleep disorder. Symptoms of insomnia include: loss of sleep, disrupted sleep, irritability and decreased mental focus and clarity. Causes of insomnia in adults vary. While not all causes of insomnia in adults are exclusively for adults, the causes of insomnia in children have some dissimilarity. The differences between adult and child causes of sleep insomnia are in the variety and degree of the causes.
A doctor or a sleep specialist will ask several questions about your medical history and sleep patterns.
A physical exam is also needed to look for possible underlying conditions. Next to that you might also get a screening for psychiatric disorders and drug and alcohol use.
To get diagnosed with insomnia your sleeping problems should have lasted for more than 1 month. They also should have a negative impact on your well being. They must be causing distress or disturbing your mood or performance.
The doctor or specialist may ask you to keep a sleeping log book to understand your sleeping patterns better.
Other tests may be needed such as a polysomnograph. This is a test that takes place during your sleep to record your sleep patterns. It is possible that actigraphy is conducted. It is working through a small, wrist-worn device called an actigraph to measure your movements and sleep-wake patterns.
Treating insomnia effectively will depend a lot on its cause. Sometimes insomnia will go away by itself, particularly if it is caused by temporary problems like jet lag. Other times, you may need to make lifestyle changes such as wearing ear plugs or developing a sleep-friendly bedtime routine to overcome insomnia.
Insomnia treatment options are available, and examples that can be selected include cognitive behavioural therapy, the intake of FDA-approved medications and other natural treatment options like change in lifestyle.
One popular chronic insomnia treatment option is through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. This is considered as a non-medical approach in tackling the sleeping disorder. This treatment option is founded on the belief that the chronic insomnia often happens alongside a number of factors. In this treatment option, the patient will be asked about the sleeping disorder and this is known as the clinical interview. And to effectively treat the disorder, a number of approaches will be considered like sleep restriction, stimulus control and proper sleep hygiene. All these approaches are to be complemented by proper relaxation.
There are a lot of sleep medications that are used and abused by many insomnia patients, and a number of these sleeping pills are considered as over-the-counter medications. But not all of these medications are helpful for insomniacs. According to the 2005 NIH conference on the management of insomnia, only the benzodiazepine receptor agonists are considered to be effective and safe against insomnia. The conference also elaborated on the fact that other sleep medications are backed by insufficient evidence when it comes to efficacy and safety.
Many people are surprised at the type of natural sleep remedies used but all of the solutions mentioned below have a long history of being effective but also safe.
Many people have a problem falling asleep. This sleep disorder affects an estimated 3.5 million Americans each year. Here are a few lifestyle tips that can improve your sleep routine: