What is insomnia
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night or do you find yourself staying up late, waking up early? Well, you could be suffering from Insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects sleep patterns in an individual thus resulting in irregular sleep patterns such as lack of sleep or staying up awake at night. Globally insomnia affects up to 35% of the population. An adult requires between seven to nine hours of sleep to function properly however, this depends on an individual. Some may require less hours to function optimally.
Types of insomnia
There are two major different types of insomnia which include;
- Chronic Insomnia. Lasts for three months or more
- Short-term insomnia. This happens over a brief period usually less than three months.
Symptoms of insomnia
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Ongoing worries about sleep
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Increased errors or accidents
What causes Insomnia
Insomnia is believed to be caused by environmental, physiological and psychological factors. There are various causes of insomnia such as.
- Stress, anxiety or depression due to life stressors such as job loss, relationship problems and financial difficulties.
- Alcohol, caffeine or nicotine
- A room that is too hot or cold
- Shift work. Change in work schedule may interrupt your sleep pattern especially leading to insomnia.
- Use of drugs such cocaine or ecstasy
- Unhealthy lifestyle and sleep habits.
- Uncomfortable beds
- In women, it can be because of hormone fluctuations due to menstruation, menopause and thyroid disease.
Effects of insomnia
Insomnia leads to sleep deprivation when the body does not get the required amount of sleep. According to Healthline, an online medical journal, lack of sleep has an adverse effect on proper functioning of a human body such as:
- Weakened immune system: Lack of sleep can lead to a weak immune system and makes one susceptible to diseases
- High blood pressure: Consistent lack of sleep leads to high blood pressure
- Weight gain. When you lack sleep, chemicals that signal to your body that you are full are off. Thus, you are more likely to overindulge.
- Poor balance. Lack of sleep can affect your balance and coordination therefore leading to falling and other physical accidents.
- Low sex drive. Less sleep leads to lower libido in men. This is due to a drop in testosterone levels.
- Mood change. A person can become more irritable and long-term effects can lead to depression and anxiety.
- Loss of memory.
How do you prevent insomnia?
There are various ways we can prevent insomnia. They include
- Limiting daytime naps affects your sleep pattern at night.
- Having a routine such as engaging in relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating or taking a bath
- Stop intake of caffeinated beverages before going to bed.
- Avoiding heavy meals a few hours before bedtime
- Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time every morning. This establishes a routine for your body.
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Avoid us of electronic devices such as mobile phones an hour before bed
- Exercising regularly, but not in the evening hours close to bedtime
In addition, short term insomnia can be medically treated through use of supplements and prescription sleeping pills. MYDAWA has a range of sleeping pills however, this will require a prescription from a doctor to avoid abuse. It is no doubt that sleep is a very important component of our well-being. Sleep helps our body to recharge and refresh thus allowing us to live a healthy life. In conclusion, insomnia is treatable, and it is advisable to see a doctor who will help you establish causes and devise a treatment plan based on your needs.0