Understanding and Preventing Insomnia for a Happy, Healthy Night’s Sleep
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by continuous or frequent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is not a dangerous condition, but it creates challenges for other conditions, including depression and anxiety.
Types of Insomnia
1. Primary Insomnia
Primary insomnia isn’t the result of side effects from medication. However, it is associated with various biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors.
2. Secondary Insomnia
Secondary insomnia refers to the symptoms caused by other conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress. It can result from medication use.
Causes of Insomnia
Stressful circumstances can throw you off your internal clock and affect sleep patterns. It usually happens until people learn to cope with the stressor condition. On the other hand, medical conditions cause pain, limit mobility, disrupt sleep, and increase anxiety, leading to insomnia. Some environmental factors such as an uncomfortable bed, too much light or noise, and extremes in temperature changes can also interfere with sleep.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Some people who experience symptoms have a combination of them. Insomnia is often accompanied by lack of sleep, fatigue, and restlessness.
Treatment for Insomnia
There is no cure for insomnia, but it may improve with time and therapy in many cases. Some treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, which helps patients learn to relax by changing what they worry about, improving concentration, and reducing stress. If left untreated, insomnia may lead to depression and other mood problems such as anxiety.
Some medications may help with insomnia, but you should always use them in conjunction with non-pharmacological treatments. Some relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery also provide more restful sleep.
To prevent insomnia, you should avoid situations or factors that cause you to have trouble sleeping. It would help if you made consistent sleep habits when possible. By creating a regular schedule, including going to bed and getting up at the same times every day, you will allow your body to rest and ensure it is rejuvenated throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon or before bed because it may keep you up later.
If you have problems falling asleep, talk to your doctor about it. Making healthy sleep habits will help your body find a more consistent rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep at night.
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.