According to recent reports from the National Institute of Health, as of 2018, roughly 30 % of the general population suffers from sleep disruption. Commonly associated with having symptoms for daytime functional and having trouble in falling or staying asleep, insomnia is, till this date a medically non-curable condition. Even then, treatments and following a detailed and strict sleep pattern might help in reducing the effects of insomnia. Though anxiety, stress, and depression are the major reasons for most of the insomnia infected population, a small amount of this population also suffers from a physical condition known as sleep apnea, which is a kind of breathing problem where the individual’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during his or her sleep thus disrupting the sleep routine.
It can be temporary or long-term and is often experienced when there is a disarrangement in a person’s regular, everyday routine. This could be a physical change in the environment or a tragedy in the individual’s personal life. Elimination of the consumption of certain materials may lead to reduced effects of the disease. These include consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. Caffeine has the highest effect that is said to last for around 24 hours. Ignoring a large amount or completely cutting these few food materials from your diet may help your condition.
About one in seven adults suffer from chronic, i.e., long-term insomnia. Out of this, one in every four women suffers from this disease. Statistically, it is said to affect women more than men, irrespective of the age group they’re falling in. However, older women are more likely to get insomnia as compared to women of younger age. This happens due to the increment of stress in their daily life and also suffering from certain medical conditions like sleep apnea, asthma and body ache. The menstrual cycle of women also contributes to them suffering from insomnia more in number as compared to the male population. Especially in the days leading up to their periods, women generally report of having trouble in sleeping, due to a premenstrual syndrome is known as a premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Menopause can also sometimes be the reason behind insomnia in women.
Insomnia leads to not only a troubled night but as a result of it, the infected individuals often wake up unrested in the morning and there is a gradual decrease in their energy level during the daytime. It can also result in the individual feeling anxious, irritable or depressed and might have a hard time concentrating on or remembering things.
It is highly ill-advised to take sleeping meds to cure insomnia as it only messes up the natural sleep system even further. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be sought in case one is suffering from long-term insomnia. Several relaxation techniques are also said to be effective in case of curing insomnia. Alternatively, changing diet plans can also note a gradual increase in the sleep circle of an individual.
Clinically, insomnia is noted to be of five types namely, acute insomnia, chronic insomnia, comorbid insomnia, onset insomnia, and maintenance insomnia.
Acute insomnia is a direct result of a drastic change in one’s personal life, such as a new job or a new house and doesn’t require any kind of treatment. Its resolution occurs on its own, once the individual is once again back in his comfort zone and has been familiarized with the new daily pattern.
The duration of staying awake, for a person to be declared as suffering from chronic insomnia is three weeks daily for a period of consecutive three months. Such people usually have a longstanding history of sleeping disabilities.
In today’s generation, insomnia usually occurs along with other psychiatric problems such as depression or anxiety, and such a condition is called comorbid insomnia. Not being able to sleep due to mental unrest, such as feeling uncomfortable or due to physical restrains such as arthritis or back pain.
Onset insomnia refers to the trouble that some people face where they’ve got a problem falling asleep just at the beginning of the night.
The condition where a person has trouble staying asleep or usually wakes up at night and is unable to go back to sleep is known as maintenance insomnia.
In the beginning, one should always try to try to find the cure of insomnia through natural methods. Bringing in a change in sleep schedules, not overstressing himself or herself during the daytime, avoiding naps completely are some of the common natural methods. Cutting down caffeine is also considered to be an effective natural cure for insomnia.
Usually, when insomnia is accompanied by other psychiatric conditions, it is usually advisable for the person to get professional help in the form of therapy or counseling. In the beginning, the patient suffering could get a normal therapy to get to the bottom of the reason.
The cause of insomnia is usually rooted in a deeper psychological issue going on in the patient’s mind. Therapy allows the person to open up and talk freely about his everyday life. This conversation might help the therapist in extracting the reason behind the person’s unnatural sleep schedule. If the therapist deems that the condition of the patient is more serious and requires a specific genre of treatment, the person can further go for cognitive behavioural therapy, where a detailed account of the person’s past traumas, regular routine, future goals or objectives that might be the reason of unnatural stress is worked upon. The cognitive behavioral therapist analysis the person’s daily routine and past experiences to come to a conclusion regarding his present condition.
In many scenarios, a patient suffering from insomnia is treated with something known as the light therapy. In this case, the individual is exposed to a specific amount of bright light. This is done by using a specially designed device called the lightbox. The light coming out of this lightbox is similar to that of natural sunlight. This helps them to
The last option for curing insomnia is medication. This method is usually discouraged by both medical professionals and therapists, given that they have a lot of side effects and can mess up the person’s natural system. It disrupts the flow and can make the person edgy and irritable during the daytime.
However, in certain extreme conditions, medications are the only options that remain. In such cases, the patients are usually given sedatives. These sedatives tend to cause drowsiness in the patient and brings about a sense of calmness. They slow down normal brain function and helps in reducing anxiety.
The second option is giving the patient antihistamine. This is in rare cases where the cause of the sleep disruption is the result of an allergic reaction. A person suffering from comorbid insomnia is usually prescribed antidepressants. Antidepressants have a lot of side effects though. These include nausea, a gradual but noticeable change in appetite, and severe weight fluctuations. Fatigue and drowsiness are also some common side effects of antidepressants.
Therefore, the cure to insomnia can be natural or medicated. However, one should always try to bring about positive changes in his or her physical environment as a foremost thing when suffering from insomnia. Mostly, when an individual isn’t able to sleep at night, it’s because of something that is bothering him or her unconsciously. Reaching the bottom of the issue and resolving the root cause of the disease is a much better and effective way of curing it rather than taking medications and messing up the natural health system.
If a person is unsure of him having insomnia, they may also get tested for the same. Laboratory tests are helpful in identifying sleep disorders that aren’t always out there in the open and which even the patient himself might be unaware of.
It is better to be sure now than to suffer later.