Nights spent turning around in bed with long hours of being awake make our days worse and have a negative impact on our life quality. However, you don’t have to and shouldn’t live together with insomnia and suffer the effects of poor sleep. Having a good sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy life, so let me show you the causes and possible treatment of insomnia.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is one of the most common forms of sleep disorders, from which roughly 10 to 26 percent of people temporarily suffer, and 7 to 20 percent suffer long-term and have constant insomnia. The latter, which is called a chronic sleep disorder, is when the condition persists for more than three weeks. People can have periods of insomnia during their lives. Not all sleep disturbances mean that you have insomnia though and these sleep disorders symptoms can be temporary.
Do I suffer from insomnia?
There are many forms of insomnia and sleep insomnia symptoms may vary. It is still quite normal falling asleep in about 30 minutes after going to bed, but if you are still awake, then you might be suffering from insomnia. In this case we can talk about a sleep disorder, it’s called sleep onset insomnia.
Also, if you wake up many times during the night, or wake up only once, but can’t go back to sleep easily, it’s also a form of insomnia called sleep maintenance insomnia, referring to the symptom that you can’t maintain a quality sleep during the night or go into deep sleep thus not having the healthy stages of sleep.
If you wake up too early in the morning it’s called waking insomnia. These are the most typical insomnia sleep patterns that an insomniac person may encounter.
The severity of insomnia can be various, it may only be a mild insomnia in most of the cases with “only” a couple of sleepless nights, but it may grow more severe with time as you have more and more insomniac nights. And this kind of sleep deprivation may also cause other problems.
What are the causes for insomnia?
The causes of inability to sleep can be various, but most of the time insomnia is caused by
- vitamin deficiencies
- bigger changes in your life or lifestyle
- physical illness
- iron deficiency
But if for example you start doing trainings in the evening and take dietary supplements containing L-carnitine, it will rev your body and may cause a restless night.
Insomnia conditions can also be side effects of sleep apnea in adults. Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep.
Also, it may be related to your environment, for example if someone is snoring right next to you every night. Loud snoring will naturally decrease your quality of sleep so if your partner has a snoring problem you may want to convince them to look for a solution.
The medical reasons for not sleeping can also be various and it can have many causes which may be different from person to person.
Menopause and insomnia
Insomnia symptoms in late 30s and 40s for females may also mean a transition to menopause which is called perimenopause. It may be a result of hormonal changes as during this time a woman’s ovaries gradually decrease production of estrogen and progesterone which is a sleep-promoting hormone.
There may also be hot flashes and mood swings which affect the quality of sleep and coincidental social issues like children moving out of the house or typical midlife crisis.
Sleep deprivation effects
Not having a good night sleep may have many negative effects in your life. According to a sleep study it may
- cause respiratory diseases
- affect body weight
- increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
- affect hormone production, like growth hormone and testosterone in men
Also, sleep deprivation can cause symptoms like
- daytime sleepiness
- lack of concentration
- reduced sex drive
These are the most common effects of insomnia.
Difficulties in treatment
Depending on the severity of insomnia people can live together with this condition for years and not ask for help. Even if they do, it’s not easy finding a good doctor and solution to the problem.
Most of the time a person will look for natural sleep aids, herbs, tees, mild sleeping pills and not meet a professional. Even if they visit a doctor, they won’t always get a proper and complex check and treatment, rather some pills that they can take and have a temporary solution for years. There are many natural cures for insomnia, at least many of these natural sleep supplements are being advertised, but they don’t always give a good solution.
Short term solutions like pills may solve your problem for some time, but as your body starts tolerating these medicines, your problems will come back and may even get worse.
Complex therapy is the solution
As the problem, insomnia is a complex condition itself, the solution and the way of dealing with insomnia should be complex as well. On one hand you have to discover the mental reasons which may cause your inability to sleep, because it’s the only way you can solve the problem long term and improve sleep quality.
At the same time you will need to learn how to improve your sleeping. You will need to create a structure for your daily activities and learn how to quiet your mind and stop the racing thoughts to relieve your insomnia and create a healthy sleep cycle during the night.
If you have the chance you should visit a sleep clinic and meet an insomnia specialist who can give you the most complex treatment.