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20 Dec 2021
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What is Insomnia?

People who suffer from insomnia are unable to fall asleep, stay asleep (i.e., wake up during the night) or get enough restful sleep. Insomnia is a relatively common sleep disorder. Prolonged lack of sleep over extended time frames can give rise to major health issues including weight gain, hypertension and diabetes. By incorporating behavioural and lifestyle changes you can help reduce insomnia.

Insomnia can plague people in bouts or can be an ongoing issue. Insomnia types include the following.

  • Short-term insomnia

Here, people are unable to sleep for a few days or weeks often due to stress.

  • Chronic insomnia

This involves sleep difficulties arising at least three times a week for 3 months if not longer.

What are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

People who suffer from chronic insomnia experience some or all of the following insomnia symptoms.

  • Sleep patterns

Have a hard time falling asleep and/ or are prone to wake up in the middle of the night.

  • Difficulty sleeping

Insomniacs find it hard to fall back to sleep once their sleep gets interrupted.

  • Tired

Insomniacs are often fatigued or feel tired during the day.

  • Moody

People who suffer from insomnia are often irritable or depressed.

  • Memory and concentration

People who suffer from insomnia are unable to concentrate and have poor memory.

What are the Causes of Insomnia?

A wide range of factors are capable of contributing to insomnia arising. These factors may pertain to the environment or one’s own physiological or psychological factors. Insomnia causes include the following.

  • Life stressors

These include a person’s job, relationships and financial stresses among others

  • Poor lifestyle

An unhealthy lifestyle and bad habits

  • Mental health issues

Anxiety disorders and depression can trigger insomnia

  • Chronic diseases

Cancer and other chronic diseases are pertinent here

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

This includes heartburn

  • Hormone fluctuations

These may arise due to menstruation, menopause or thyroid disease

  • Medication

Pills in addition to other substances can trigger insomnia

  • Neurological disorders

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease can lead to insomnia

  • Sleep disorders

Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome can trigger insomnia

Risk factors For Insomnia

The following risk factors become relevant with reference to insomnia.

  • Sex

Insomnia is more likely to occur in women as opposed to men.

  • Hormonal shifts

Pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause are each capable of triggering insomnia.

  • Age

People who are older than 60 are more likely to suffer from insomnia owing to bodily changes associated with aging. Besides, their existing medical conditions and medications can also affect the sleep cycle.

Diagnosis of Insomnia

While there isn’t any specific test used by doctors to diagnose insomnia, doctors may choose to diagnose insomnia in the following ways.

  • Physical examination and conversation

Healthcare providers may choose to perform a physical exam and ask questions in order to learn about sleep problems and symptoms you experience. Providing sleep history to your doctor is pertinent. Your doctor will also take into account your medical history and the medications you consume in order to understand whether they impact your ability to sleep.

  • Blood test

A doctor may also ask for a patient to undergo a blood test to eliminate certain medical conditions such as low iron levels or thyroid issues that can adversely impact sleep.

  • Sleep diary

People suffering from insomnia may be asked by their doctors to list down their sleeping patterns for a week or two in order to help them identify patterns that interfere with their rest.

Complications in Insomnia

Extended lack of sleep over time or poor quality sleep can adversely impact a person’s physical and mental health. People who suffer from insomnia can end up with the following complications.

 

  • Accidents, falls and injuries

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure, stroke and heart disease

  • Mood disorders

  • Weight gain and obesity

Insomnia Treatment

While short-term insomnia sorts itself out, chronic insomnia is treated in the following ways.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

This is a brief structured intervention that allows people to discern and replace thoughts and behaviours that result in or harm sleep patterns. These are replaced with habits that encourage sound sleep.

  • Medication

While behavioural and lifestyle changes are the ideal means via which sleep patterns can be improved in the long run, sleeping pills can help in the short time. Doctors only recommend sleeping pills on occasion and do so for a small period of time. They aren’t the ideal choice for treating insomnia.

Home Remedies for Insomnia

Our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that helps aid sleep and is often used as an insomnia remedy. Some people may imbibe melatonin supplements in order to sleep better. That being said, there presently exists no proof to show that these supplements work. This is owed in part to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements as the same as medications.

Here Are Some Tips to Prevent Insomnia

Lifestyle changes can vastly improve the sleep you experience. Listed below are some viable tips to prevent insomnia.

 

  • Avoid big meals, caffeine and alcohol prior to sleeping.

  • Exert yourself physically during the day and try to do so outdoors.

  • Reduce the caffeine you consume. Caffeine is found in coffee, sodas and chocolate.

  • Try to sleep and wake up at the same time each day including over the weekends.

  • Stop using your smartphone, television, laptop, and any other screen at least half an hour before sleeping.

  • Avoid smoking

  • Make your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.

  • Unwind with the aid of soothing music, meditation or a good book.

Conclusion

A good night’s sleep can drastically improve your disposition the next day. Should you suffer from chronic insomnia, visit your healthcare provider to learn how to best combat it. Insomnia cures primarily focus on improving one’s lifestyle and behavioral patterns. You can visit Finserv MARKETS and evaluate getting covered by a health insurance plan which will cover the costs of medical treatment in the event that you suffer from insomnia or other conditions.

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