Today there are many people who find it difficult to sleep properly. The stress and restlessness of daily life end up causing sleepless nights that are repeated every week, affecting natural sleep cycles and negatively impacting health. In these cases, people often talk about insomnia problems , however, it is not always known to define exactly what insomnia consists of.
What is insomnia
Clinically, insomnia is a sleep disorder that prevents a person from sleeping continuously for the recommended eight hours a day . Instead, you sleep in a choppy way, have difficulty falling asleep, and your usual rest cycles are drastically altered.
It is a more serious problem than you think, since in many cases it can degenerate into more dangerous disorders , such as depression, anxiety or even bring to light heart diseases that had not yet been revealed. Therefore, it is necessary to stop it as soon as possible.
According to research, 10% of the world’s population suffers from insomnia and 50% suffer from temporary insomnia. Most are people who suffer from this sleep disorder, they are women who have exceeded 40 years of age.
Causes of insomnia
Those who suffer from this sleep disorder generally have a decrease in the function of Melatonin – a sleep regulating hormone – and may feel general discomfort due to lack of sleep. These ailments are varied according to the subject and range from physical ailments to psychological ailments.
There is no single factor that causes this imbalance in regular rest. It is something that can occur at various times in a person’s life, and for different reasons. However, the most common are the following:
- Insomnia caused by psychological problems . Stress, anxiety or depression disorders can be the trigger for an individual to start experiencing insomnia.
- Poor sleep hygiene. There are customs that make it difficult to rest properly . For example: excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol can slow down the rest process. Another reason is the decompensation in sleep schedules. For example, with naps that are too long.
- There are medications that can cause sleep disturbances. They usually specify it in their side effects.
- A stable routine is the best way to prevent sleep problems. Having a night shift job or a life where schedules are changed every so often can lead to insomnia.
The symptoms are similar to the causes: they depend on each individual. The reason is that this disorder usually accompanies other diseases, both physical and mental. Therefore, the symptoms of both are combined. However, the most general are the following:
- Difficulty falling asleep . That is, it takes at least half an hour to fall asleep after getting into bed.
- The sleep is intermittent and not too deep .
- The individual wakes up feeling tired , caused by the few hours of sleep and its poor quality.
- The person wakes up quite early, even after going to bed late. And besides, she is unable to get back to sleep no matter how tired she is.
- Another consequence is inattention . It is not only the body that is resting unduly, but also the brain. Therefore, one can be more distracted and much less focused on their daily tasks.
How is it diagnosed?
Properly diagnosing insomnia is something that only a healthcare professional can do. Psychiatrists, psychologists or doctors can do it . The form will depend on each of them. Some possibilities are a general medical examination, as well as a psychological one, to see if this disorder is accompanied by some other disease or problem.
In addition, the doctor may ask the patient to write down his sleep patterns in a notebook for two or three weeks, to evaluate intermittences and constancy of rest. He may also recommend changing some behavior patterns to see the results.
If the affected person has a partner or lives with other people, the doctor may interview them to ask a third party about the patient’s sleeping behaviors.
Relationship between insomnia and depression
Insomnia and depression generally go hand in hand and have a direct relationship, since insomnia is one of the main symptoms of depressive disorder and usually people who suffer from chronic insomnia are more likely to suffer from depressive conditions , generated by the lack of of sleep. Chronic sleep loss can lead to a loss of pleasure in life, therefore insomnia can function as a warning that something is wrong with an individual’s psyche.
It has been proven that 80% of people with depression have trouble falling asleep. According to recent studies, insomnia is not only a symptom of depression, but it is considered a disorder superimposed on it.
Treatments for insomnia
There is no one way to treat it . If, for example, it is caused by a disease or a more serious disorder, it will be that problem that must be corrected to regain normal sleep. In case it is an independent disorder, there are two means by which to attack this problem: either through the use of medications, or through changes in the person’s lifestyle.
In this case, it is best for a psychiatrist to determine the type of medications that are necessary to alleviate lack of sleep. There is a wide range of medications that help correct this deficiency , so the important thing is to find out what causes insomnia, so you know how to nip it in the bud.
Sometimes insomnia is a natural response of the body to a situation of stress or lack of physical well-being. Therefore, leading a healthier lifestyle is also a good way to get better sleep.
- Have dinner two and a half hours before going to sleep . In this way, the feeling of heaviness disappears and you sleep better.
- Get some exercise a week. This is a way to burn off excess energy that you have that prevents you from sleeping at night. Apart from being good for general well-being, it is also good for rest.
- Do not take stimulants after four in the afternoon . Forgetting coffee, tea, and sugary sodas helps one sleep more soundly and be more tired when getting into bed.
How can insomnia be prevented
The best way is to increase concern for one’s health. Exercise, diet and healthy sleep habits are the best prevention that exists to avoid facing these types of disorders.
It is also good to keep an established and clear schedule, staying up as little as possible and having light dinners that do not alter the natural schedules of sleep.
Insomnia is a fairly common disorder. Given that it can be produced by a significant number of causes, it is always recommended that a healthcare professional diagnose it.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.