Health

Insomnia – Sleep Disorder, Causes, 3 Ways to Treat, Quick Prevention Tips

If you are looking for information on insomnia, insomnia treatment, sleeplessness, sleep insomnia, cbti, insomnia causes, insomnia cure, trouble sleeping, chronic insomnia, the cure for insomnia or types of insomnia then this article is definitely for you.

What is Insomnia?

In simple terms, Insomnia refers to a sort of sleep disorder.

There are a certain characteristics that a person living with this sleep disorder might have,

  • They might have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or maybe both
  • Even after waking up after hours of sleep, they may not feel fresh.
  • Always having fatigue-like feeling.

A sound 8 hours of sleep is very important for overall well-being. Not getting proper sleep regularly can affect your mental and physical health.

insomnia
Source: Medical Dialogues

Types Of Insomnia And Its Causes

Acute Insomnia

This refers to short term sleeping difficulties, like for a few weeks.

Chronic Insomnia

If you have sleeping difficulty thrice a week or even more consistently for more than 3 months or longer then its chronic insomnia.

Onset Insomnia

When you are not able to sleep due to any mental health symptoms or caffeine addiction or any other insomnia trigger.

Maintenance Insomnia

Having trouble in remaining asleep after sleeping or constantly waking up in a few hours.

Behavioral Insomnia of Childhood

Wherein a child has trouble falling asleep.

Cause of Insomnia

Causes for Chronic Insomnia can be:

  • It can appear on its own because of chronic pain conditions like back pain and arthritis
  • Psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
  • Various health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, GERD, etc

Causes for Acute Insomnia :

  • After effects of certain medications
  • Stress
  • Post any traumatic event
  • Changes in sleeping habits like location change, bed change, etc
  • Any illness or physical pain
  • Jet lag

How to Treat Insomnia

There are different methods for treating Insomnia which includes medication, therapy, natural remedies, and supplements.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia

The first-line treatment for insomnia is CBT. With an online or face to face therapist, you can learn techniques about how to deal with insomnia.

  • Sleep Restriction: It is a kind of technique in which first your bed time is restricted and then eventually it is increased so that your sleep efficiency and quality increases.
  • Stimulus Control: This is a method in which you learn to get out of bed and find some peaceful space to do some relaxing activity until you start feeling sleepy.
  • Bright Light Therapy: As per this technique, you are required to get exposure to bright light in the morning or evening.

There are various relaxing techniques that your therapist might tell you to do. They might also ask you to avoid certain things before sleeping like drinking caffeine or eating heavy meals or intense exercise.

2. Medications and Supplements

Generally, medications that are prescribed for insomnia are eszopiclone, zolpidem, triazolam, etc.

Melatonin Supplements (if you prefer a plant based approach, click here to buy this supplement from Well Being)

The Human body naturally produces melatonin hormone during the sleep cycle and it is believed that melatonin supplements lower the time it takes to fall asleep. However, it is yet to be confirmed whether taking melatonin supplements to treat insomnia is even safe or not.

3. Other Approaches

  • Meditation
  • Natural sleep aids like drinking warm milk or herbal tea before going to bed
  • Acupuncture
  • Massaging with essential oils

How to Prevent Insomnia

Prevention is always better than cure. Follow these tips to prevent this sleep disorder

  • Try to maintain a regular same time sleep cycle
  • Avoid napping in between
  • Get sunlight every day
  • 45 minutes physical activity daily
  • Avoid too much of caffeine
  • Dim the lights and put off all the electronic devices half an hour before sleeping
  • If anything is bothering you physically or mentally, don’t hesitate to take professional’s help

FAQs

What is the main cause of insomnia?

Although there could be a number of reasons, but one of the main causes of Insomnia is generally stress or room environment related causes like too much light, noisy environment, uncomfortable bed etc.

How can I get rid of insomnia?

As mentioned in the article above, you can follow the suggestions below to get a better sleep.
1) Sleep Restriction: It is a kind of technique in which first your bed time is restricted and then eventually it is increased so that your sleep efficiency and quality increases.
2) Stimulus Control: This is a method in which you learn to get out of bed and find some peaceful space to do some relaxing activity until you start feeling sleepy.
3) Bright Light Therapy: As per this technique, you are required to get exposure to bright light in the morning or evening.
4) Melatonin supplements
5) Meditation
6) Natural sleep aids like drinking warm milk or herbal tea before going to bed
7) Acupuncture
8) Massaging with essential oils

What are 3 causes of insomnia?

As mentioned in the article above, the main causes for insomnia could be one of the following:
1) After effects of certain medications
2) Stress
3) Post any traumatic event
4) Changes in sleeping habits like location change, bed change, etc
5) Any illness or physical pain
6) Jet lag

How many hours of sleep is insomnia?

There is no set formula to calculate the number of hours to be qualified as Insomnia. But an adult is recommended to have at least 7 hours of sleep.

Is insomnia a mental illness?

In many people, Insomnia is a result of lifestyle, stress or food related issues. It is generally a symptom of another illness. In very rare cases, it could be an isolated medical or mental illness.

Why do I keep waking up at 3am?

If you sleep around 11 PM, you start shifting from deep sleep to lighter sleep, also called REM, around 3 AM. Hence you wake up at 3 AM.

What can help me stay asleep at night?

For a night fullof sleep, the following can help you have a peaceful sleep.
1) Avoid caffeine around your bed time
2) Avoid smoking
3) Avoid too heavy meal before sleeping
4) Establish a bed time routine to tune down your brain by hearing relaxing music etc.
5) Meditate, if possible
6) Adjust the room lighting according to your preference and avoid bright lights just before bed time

Can I take melatonin in the middle of the night?

Melatonin is a hormone that the brain secretes during darkness which makes the body go to sleep. In case of insomnia, Melatonin supplements are suggested but they should be avoided in the middle of the night as that might worsen the sleep cycle.

How do you fall back asleep after waking up?

You can follow the following suggested methods:
1) Meditate or try breathing exercises to help you relax
2) Get out of the bed and move
3) Keep the phone and other electronics away at night
4) Get rid of bright light or loud sounds, if any

This was a detailed guide on insomnia. If you are your close one is going through this sleeping disorder then you know now what to do and what not to do.

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