What is Insomnia?
Insomnia, or more commonly known as sleeplessness, is a sleeping disorder where the sufferer finds it difficult to sleep or remain in sleep or both. It can be acute, which occurs once a week, and chronic, which might appear thrice a week for more than three months. It has certain aftermaths like daytime sleeping, fatigue, hallucinations, low energy, irritability, and confusion. It is the most common type of sleep disorder here in the United States of America.
The American Psychiatric Association has alarmed the nation by claiming that one-third of all adults report Insomnia. Moreover, between 6 to 10 percent have symptoms of severe Insomnia, which needs proper medical attention. Insomnia can appear on its own or as a result of other illnesses. Though Insomnia is common in the world, each and everyone needs no to get treated for it. Only those who meet medical institutions’ particular criteria are eligible for a proper diagnosis and further treatment.
According to American Psychiatric Association (APA), those who are addressing sleep difficulties for a minimum of three night a week stretching more than three months and those who are having problems in functioning in the daily course of life due to Insomnia must get in touch with a doctor for a clinical diagnosis.
Causes of Insomnia
Sleeplessness or Insomnia is not an infrequent problem globally; even after that, those who might be dealing with it might not even know it or might not have the correct source of information regarding it. If one day you find out that you are suffering from the condition, your first step is to reach the cause of the problem as its very cause will provide you with the cure of the same.
Insomnia can show up from nowhere or due to other illnesses you might have. Chronic Insomnia is something you should look for in the first place; it might pop up due to stress or life events disrupting your sleeping pattern. Most patients go through the milder version of Insomnia, which might not even need any attention from you. But those experiencing severe Insomnia should get treated before it starts affecting daily life.
- Stress – Having unnecessary stress all the time is one of the most prevalent causes of Insomnia in adults and children. Worrying about work, relationships, finances, health, and life, in general, takes a severe mental toll on your body without even making you aware of it in the first place. Taking the stress out of traumatic life events such as death or illness on your mental stability does nothing good for you.
- Poor Sleep Habits – Not following a proper sleeping schedule or continuously making changes to it can also turn up to you in the form of sleeplessness or poor quality sleep. An uncomfortable sleeping environment, using the phone before going to sleep, watching T.V during sleep time can indeed interfere with your sleep cycle and put you into sleep-deprived condition.
- Mental Health Disorders – One dealing with mental disorders like anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, or depression is prone to Insomnia. These mental conditions come up with their effects, which affect the other areas of the brain. Coping with such mental disorders puts a lot of stress on the brain and disrupts its equilibrium, resulting in Insomnia.
- Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol – Indulging in too much caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol is another leading factor that gives birth to sleep-related problems. Caffeine is a stimulant; consuming them late at night will automatically put you in a sleepless mode for hours. Nicotine present in tobacco products is another such stimulant capable of messing up with your sleep cycle. Although alcohol will make you fall asleep, it will deprive you of continuous and quality sleep, one of Insomnia’s symptoms.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Insomnia symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the age, health condition, degree of Insomnia, and other factors. Most of the patients reporting insomnia symptoms tackle acute Insomnia, which usually does not require any specific treatment. But those coming up with severe symptoms of Insomnia are treated for the same. The most common symptoms of Insomnia found in the sufferers are:
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Difficulting paying attention
- Finding it challenging to analyze simple things
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Feeling of tiredness after waking up.
- Making more errors than usual
- Worrying about not getting proper sleep
Treatment of Insomnia often depends on the severity of Insomnia and the cause of Insomnia. Three types of treatment options are out there, which have proved beneficial in rectifying Insomnia and other prominent sleep disorders. You must talk to your doctor first before going for them; a professional can lead you to your destination in a more efficient manner. These are medication, behavioral therapies, and home remedies.
Medications are one way to go about it when dealing with sleeplessness or sleep issues. However, they are not the first line of treatment preferred by doctors or even sufferers. Medications do exceptionally well in de-rooting Insomnia in patients with severe Insomnia, but they do have some side effects of their own, which you need to be aware of right from the start. Prescriptive drugs come as a last resort for the patients when behavioral therapies, home remedies, and lifestyle changes do not help much.
Different classes of drugs are useful in eradicating the problem of Insomnia. Benzodiazepines are one such class enormously helpful in restricting this illness. Triazolam and estazolam are few examples out of this family of narcotics for Insomnia. Non-benzodiazepines like Ambien have also shown positive effects on patients. Melatonin agonists like valdoxan ramelteon are somewhat catching up on Ambien in terms of its positive impact.
Behavioral therapies for Insomnia (CBT-I) are the first line of treatment for Insomnia because it does not carry any side effects with its course, which is the case in medications for Insomnia. In CBT-I, a professional and a qualified psychologist focus on highlighting the reasons which might be causing the problem of Insomnia in the sufferers. They try to read the mind of the patient and alter the obstacles that ruin the healthy sleep.
Cognitive-behavioral therapies help change the patient’s attitude towards life and stresses that might be the core cause of the problem. Relaxation techniques are also crucial for this procedure, which has numerous benefits on the mind apart from rectifying Insomnia. Certain factors contributing to sleep disorders might get corrected via such safe practices.