Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you find yourself drifting or spacing out during the day? These facts about insomnia can give you a better understanding of the condition and direct you or your loved ones to the right insomnia treatment, should any of you be suffering from it. Should you already know some facts about insomnia, this insomnia article can give you more than just the basics.
Basic Facts About Insomnia
Simply put, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep when you want to. It is characterized by little or poor-quality sleep.
There are three types of insomnia depending on the duration of the condition: 1) Transient or short-term insomnia, as the term implies, lasts only for one night to a few weeks; 2) Intermittent insomnia is short-term but recurring; 3) Chronic insomnia is the most serious as it happens at least three times a week for a month, year, or even a lifetime.
A main effect of insomnia is excessive sleepiness, which can be accompanied with restlessness, fatigue, lethargy, and irritability, among others. It can also cause problems in concentrating and focusing. The insomniac is there but not quite there. This is most common among chronic insomnia sufferers, who may find themselves in a constant state of limbo.
Insomniacs can be also more accident-prone. The cause of one out of every five highway accidents is the driver falling asleep momentarily.
In the long term, insomnia can affect relationships at home and work, hobbies, recreational activities, and general state of mind. More than just a sleep disorder, it can greatly affect quality of life; that’s why it is vital to know the facts about insomnia.
Sleeplessness may be caused by any or a combination of the following:
1. Diet high in stimulants. Caffeine is the main culprit. Drinking too much coffee, tea, colas and eating too much chocolate, especially in the evening, can cause problems sleeping. Alcohol is also not recommended – a nightcap may induce sleepiness at first, but prevents you from going into deep sleep, or the REM state, and thus, lets you sleep less soundly.
2. Environmental factors. Noise, light, sudden weather changes, a room that is too hot or too cold, can disturb sleep, if not delay it.
3. Change in routine. Traveling often, sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, and a job with variable schedules are examples of routine interruptions that can cause insomnia, though short-term.
4. Stress or stressful life events. Work-related problems, relationship problems, anticipation of an upcoming event like a presentation or medical exam, and sudden life events like divorce and death of a loved one are only some examples. Anxiety related to stress may very well be the number one reason why you can’t catch a wink.
5. Medical conditions. Asthma, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, peptic ulcer, anxiety disorders, can prevent you from falling into restful slumber.
6. Hormones. A woman suffering from menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and night sweating may have trouble sleeping. Insomnia in teenagers, meanwhile, occur mostly because of the onset of puberty, where sleeping needs and sleeping patterns usually change.
Insomnia Treatment the Natural Way
There are different insomnia treatment options, ranging from the natural insomnia herbs to the medical. Medical treatment, usually through sleeping pills, have unpleasant side effects and can ironically cause further insomnia in the long run, so therapy and natural methods are safer and more effective. Below are some examples.
1. Aromatherapy. For bouts of sleeplessness from time to time, taking a bath before going to bed using a few drops of essential oils like lavender, marjoram, or ylang-ylang can help. Or you can drop these oils directly on your pillow.
2. Flower essence therapy. White chestnut particularly helps cure insomnia gradually, usually in just a few weeks. Flower remedies can be bought in some health food stores or via mail in some websites.
3. Herbal therapy. Valerian is known as the best herbal treatment for insomnia, as it decreases nervous system activity. Use as per dosage instructions in the pack.
4. Relaxation therapy. This involves progressive muscle relaxation training, imagery training, hypnosis among others. This can be learned alone or with the help of a qualified practitioner. These techniques can relax your body and mind and make you feel drowsy and ready for bed.
5. Reconditioning. This method involves re-associating the bedroom and bed with sleep only. In applying this technique, activities like eating, reading, and watching TV cannot be done in bed. Napping for more than 30 to 45 minutes during the day is also discouraged. A fixed wake-up time is also scheduled to train the body.
Knowing these facts about insomnia, you and your loved ones can deal with the condition better should it come.
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