People with sleep disorders tend to experience insomnia from time to time. It usually happens to you when you are too stressed, faces a jet lag or due to an improper diet. Often you will feel extremely unrefreshed when you come across insomnia. Insomnia is simply your messed up sleep cycles. In other words, you have insomnia when the sleeping patterns get affected and you start facing difficulty in falling asleep.
Most of the times, you end up staying awake the entire night due to excessive anxiety, chronic illness or lack of proper physical exercise. Sometimes the problem can end in two or three nights, but mostly you may continue having disturbed sleep for a long time.
What are the different types of insomnia?
There are around five types of insomnia that you may experience, and they are:
- Chronic insomnia – generally lasts for a month or a little more and needs immediate attention.
- Acute insomnia – may last for a day or few days, extending up to weeks.
- Comorbid insomnia – It is often related to any other disorder that you might have.
- Onset insomnia – It is your inability to fall asleep.
- Maintenance insomnia – you face difficulty in staying asleep.
Many types of research have been conducted on insomnia, and the majority of the results suggest chronic insomnia. Thus, almost 85 to 90 percent chances are there that you develop chronic insomnia. The tendency also increases as you age. However, insomnia often gets resolved when you change your lifestyle, involving controlled work stress or personal mental and physical development.
You should never ignore serious problems like insomnia and seek treatment in due course of time. It is important that you improve your sleeping cycles so that everything else in your lifestyle falls into place properly.
What are the risks associated with insomnia?
There are a lot of medical complications that may come over if you are suffering from insomnia. Some of the mental and physical health problems associated with insomnia have been listed below:
Elevated levels of dangers for medical conditions are:
- High blood pressure
- Excessive sensitivity to pain
- Diabetes mellitus
- Heart diseases
- Weak immune system
Elevated levels of dangers for mental health illnesses
- Anxiety and stress
- Frustration and confusion
Risks associated with accidents
Insomnia can adversely affect your system related to:
- Performance in schools or workplace
- Sex drive
The most common problem that you face during insomnia is that you get sleeping urges in the daytime. Such an issue interferes with your physical output due to lack of energy. You may also suffer from extreme anxiety and depression, irritation and low confidence. This kind of mental disability can increase your risk of encountering with accidents – you can fall asleep while driving!
Reduced life expectancy
If you have insomnia for a long time, it can curtail on your life expectancy. You can read about some studies that have been conducted on the correlation between mortality and sleep duration. From the outcome of these studies, you can learn that insomnia can increase the fatal risk by 12 percent. This data is in reference to people who sleep 7 to 8 hours every night.
Causes of insomnia
- Chronic insomnia
- Jet lag
- Eating habits in the evening
- Due to travel or work purpose, when you fail to sleep properly
- Disturbed sleeping patterns and durations
- Medical insomnia
- Restless leg syndrome
- Mental health disorders
- Chronic pain
- Conditions like heart problems, asthma, and cancer
- Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA)
- Taking medications that are antidepressants or pain-killers
Lifestyle associated causes of insomnia
There can be many reasons responsible for your sleeping disorders. Majority of the causes are related to the way you lead your lifestyle, the time you eat, work and sleep.
- Lack of physical exercise
- Irregular sleeping intervals
- Urge to sleep in the daytime
- A recent loss of job
- Jobs that are mainly in night shift
- Excitement about any forthcoming occasion
- Excessive usage of electronic devices when you should sleep
- Personal and workplace stress
- Jet lag, involving travel between two separate time zones
- Too much of unwanted sounds or noise when you try to sleep
- Depression of any kind
There may be some other food habits that you follow, which may result in insomnia such as:
- Cold and cough medicines
- Some particular prescriptions medications
How to treat insomnia?
You can implement some strategies in your lifestyle to overcome insomnia. Before you go forward with the doctor’s suggestions, you need to make changes in you first. You should start from scratch to take initial steps towards changing your lifestyle. Taking medications prescribed by doctors can only give you short term results. If the problem persists, it may lead you to long term fatal effects.
What are melatonin supplements?
It is a hormonal supplement that you can purchase from pharmacies, only if you have a doctor’s prescription in hand. When you take this supplement, it tells your body to go to sleep by regulating your sleep durations. You feel sleepier when there are higher levels of melatonin in your body. However, if you take too many of them, it will adversely disrupt your sleeping pattern leading you more towards insomnia. This is the reason why you need a doctor’s prescription with proper dosage cycles, only to affect your body positively. You may even undergo CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to improve your sleeping cycles.
Medications contributing to sleep
You can take some of the below-listed prescription drugs for improving sleep patterns:
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Doxepin (Silenor)
However, do not mess up the dosage cycle of these medications. You may face adverse effects on irregular doses such as sleep behaviors, diarrhea, nausea, drowsiness, serious allergic reactions, and dizziness. Sometimes, your memory and cognitive functioning can also get affected.