Do you find it difficult to have a peaceful and complete sleep? Are you not feeling sleepy at night or can’t sleep when you desire? Are you habitually sleepless? If the answer to all the above questions is yes, then you are suffering from a sleep disorder termed as insomnia.
1 Do you know what insomnia is? Let’s find out
It is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep, as well as to stay asleep. When suffering from insomnia, you wake up exhausted and tired and the consequence is spoiling your entire day feeling sleepy and irritated. Insomnia is often thought of as a medical sign or symptom that may accompany several sleep, psychiatric, and medical disorders.
An adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Insomnia can affect your energy level, mood, health, work performance, mental ability, beauty, and quality of life. It can be experienced at any age and at any point in life. Insomnia can be a primary problem or it can be secondary to a particular medicine or disease.
2 What are the symptoms of insomnia? What happens when you are insomniac?
- You are insomniac if you:
- Have trouble sleeping at night
- Wake up early in the morning without any cause
- Wake up regularly during sleep
- Feel tired, restless, or sleepy in morning or daytime
- Lack focus
- Experience tension
- Suffer from headaches
- Worry about sleep
- Experience discomfort while sleeping
- Experience abdominal discomfort
- Have anxiety, depression, irritability, and lack of interest
Some people may sleep for only 3-4 hours a day and might take 30 minutes to hours to fall asleep. All these are symptoms that you are insomniac.
3 What causes insomnia? How can we avoid it?
Change in your environment/work schedule: Traveling, working late, or being busy late at night for some reasons could disturb your body clock which could lead to unhealthy sleeping.
Poor sleeping habits: If you are not following a sleeping pattern or routine, you may suffer from insomnia.
Medical conditions: If you have breathing problems, chronic pain, and if you frequently need to urinate, then you might develop insomnia. Examples of diseases that are related to insomnia are GERD, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid disease, and lung disease among others.
Stress: The lifestyle of today’s generation is fast and ambitious. This is good, but health can be compromised as it causes stress, work overload, overexcitement, and depression which can all lead to insomnia.
Poor lifestyle: Unhealthy eating habits such as eating too much and too late at night, eating oily, spicy, and saucy food, work overloads, working night shifts, etc. – these are ways which can ruin your lifestyle and generally cause insomnia.
Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: Regular intake of caffeine and alcohol is another stimulant that can cause insomnia. Alcohol is a sedative that can help you fall sleep but it prevents deeper sleep. Drinking coffee late in the evening may keep you from getting the sleep you need.
Improper diet: Eating too much late at night will keep you awake. Many people experience heartburn and backflow of acid and food from the food pipe or stomach.
4 What medical treatments are available for insomnia?
Changing position, turning, and twisting; if you are frustrated that this is the way you try to fall asleep, feel happy to know that there are ways to deal with it.
To improve your sleep, doctors may first suggest doing the easiest techniques such as:
- Relaxation exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Relaxing mind and body therapy
Generally, you will be feeling sleepy after following the above techniques. In some cases, you will need pills to relax your body and mind for a short period of time. Doctors recommend taking medicines only as needed, otherwise, they advice against depending on pills as they can cause side effects. These medicines may cause low blood pressure, nausea, anxiety, etc.
5 Sleep-inducing medicines include
- Ramelton and zolpidem are the first choice of doctors. These are given as short-term medications.
- Orexin receptor antagonists are given to block the chemicals in the brain that keep you awake so that you can sleep.
- Benzodiazepine helps you to stay asleep.
- Antihistamines are used for allergies and make you sleepy.
- Antidepressants have soothing and calming properties and help you fall asleep.
- Valerian is an herbal medicine that improves sleep quality. This can be taken for a week.
6 What are the natural ways to treat insomnia and what is the correct lifestyle to follow?
Milk: Before going to bed, have a glass of hot milk including the milk fat, and add a pinch or two of cardamom powder in it.
Mint leaves: Put 3 grams of fresh mint leaves in a cup of water and boil for 15 minutes. Mix this decoction with 1tsp of honey at bedtime. Drinking this regularly will give you a sound sleep.
Banana and cumin: Sprinkle roasted cumin seeds on a sliced banana and eat it every night. Do this until you are routinely sleeping soundly.
Massage: Massage your feet with mustard oil, 2-3 times before going to bed daily. This would relax your body and lead you to a healthy sleep.
Avoid staying up late at night: Refrain from night workouts, hangouts, and have an early and healthy sleeping routine.
Clarified butter: Use clarified butter in your diet. It is good for curing insomnia.
EAT HEALTHY, BE POSITIVE, AND STAY HAPPY. The happier you are, the healthier you will be. Enjoy your sleep.