For most people night is the time for sleep, relaxation, dreams, and rest. Is there anything more satisfying than full night sleep and waking up the next day feeling completely relaxed and refreshed? Probably not, but there are people who can’t get themselves to fall asleep even if they try their hardest. The disorder that prevents people from sleeping, even when they are extremely tired is called insomnia.
There might be a number of reasons that can prevent us from getting a good sleep at night. A poor sleeping environment like too much noise or light, being stressed thinking about some big assignment or work problem we might need to face the next day, basically anything can cause an occasional sleepless night or two every now and then.
With that let us find out what this extremely common disorder is and how it happens.
What is Insomnia
People who have insomnia have trouble falling and staying asleep for days in a row. Insomnia causes a lot of trouble to the patient as not being able to fall asleep at night disrupts the person’s daytime life too.
While most of us might go through sleep deprivation in times, eventually we get exhausted and end up falling asleep. But insomnia creates several sleepless nights. Even exhaustion does not help in the process of falling asleep and eventually all the sleepless nights pile up and start showing various negatives effects on our body.
Effects Insomnia Might Have on a Patient’s Day Life
Insomnia and anxiety are almost like two sisters, one will most probably end up leading to another. The notorious sleep disorder is also known for bringing a change in mood, almost always in a negative way. It causes irritability, mood swings, lack of enthusiasm and energy, daytime drowsiness, even paranoia, and hallucination. Those who have watched the Brad Pitt and Edward Norton starred movie ‘Fight Club’ have seen the effect insomnia had on the possibly unnamed protagonist of the movie. Long term and chronic insomnia and depression is also a possible combination that works together to make our life unbearable.
Now if you are thinking, can insomnia lead to death, now there is more or less good news for you. It is very unlikely that not sleeping can directly kill you, but you have to be careful. Lack of concentration caused by insomnia can lead to accidents that could be fetal.
Here are all the possible effects the disorder might have on our body
- Difficulty in concentration
- Daytime drowsiness
- Mood swings
- The poor immune system which might make us the easy target of various diseases like cold or flu
- Increased risk of Diabetes and heart diseases
- Lung illnesses
- Poor digestive system
- Disrupted growth
- Hormonal imbalance
- Paranoia and Hallucination
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Lack of concentration can lead to various accidents.
Causes That can Prevent You from Sleeping at Night
Whoever said stress is the cause of most of the illnesses we have is not very wrong. Stress is one of the major reasons that can cause insomnia. Insomnia is also known as the stress of not being able to sleep. Insomnia at night is the cost of stress because of various day to day activities in life.
Other causes of insomnia include various conditions like respiratory condition, anxiety, pain, restless leg disorder, jet lag, too much heat or cold, genetic conditions, overactive mind, etc. Pregnancy can often cause insomnia too. Sometimes various hormonal changes that our body goes through during times like menstruation can also lead to insomnia.
One more cause of the disorder that does not let people sleep has to do with the overindulgence of technology. The cellphones and laptops that we use every day affect the quality of sleep. Apart from overstimulation, the blue light from the mobile and laptop screens also affects the secretion of melatonin which is a sleep-regulating hormone. The result is the poor quality of sleep and if you don’t want that try to avoid electronics before bedtime.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Symptoms of insomnia include
- Not being able to fall asleep at night
- Trouble in staying asleep at night, waking up too often
- Exhaustion, feeling restless and anxious
- Feeling tired and not well rested after waking up
- Being stressed about not being able to sleep enough and that stress keeps you up at night
- Waking up after sleeping very less
Treatment of Insomnia
The modern life is dependent on electronics like cellphones and various gadgets. Electronics affect sleep in a quite negative manner. Switching off all the electronics before bed would definitely improve the sleep environment. Binge-watching episodes after episodes can take a toll on our sleep.
Treatment of insomnia includes a lot of self-care and practicing good sleeping habits. Sleep hygiene and sleep environment plays a very important role in a good sleep at night. Avoiding caffeinated drinks is the best way. If that’s not plausible, reducing down caffeine intake to a minimum would be helpful. Having a lighter and easily disestablish meal at least one or two hours before bedtime would help too. Meat and meat products would not be very ideal. as meat products take a lot of time to digest, avoiding that before bedtime would be preferable.
Stress plays a major role as the creator of this disorder. Therefore taking steps to reduce stress would definitely help. Meditation, yoga, and other calming exercises can help us reduce some of the stress in our life. There are even techniques available that can help reduce your stress and help you fall asleep faster.
Apart from self diagnose, medical treatment of insomnia includes medication and therapy. For better result consult a specialist. There is also an insomnia ayurvedic treatment that could help.