BLOG 266 INSOMNIA
Difficulty falling or staying asleep might be associated with insomnia. People with insomnia also wake up and have trouble going back to sleep, wake up very early in the morning, or feel very tired upon waking. Insomnia actually comes in two forms:
1. Primary insomnia: Sleep problems exist that are not associated with other problems or health conditions.
2. Secondary insomnia: Sleep problems are the result of something else such as asthma, cancer, arthritis, heartburn, pain, or substance abuse.
Duration also varies among people. Insomnia might be short lived (acute) for some people while others might have long lasting troubles (chronic). Acute insomnia might be caused by stress, emotional problems, noises, light, medications, illness, or adjusting to changes in life. Chronic insomnia is classified as not being able to sleep well for at least three night a week for three months or longer. It could be caused by depression/anxiety, pain, or ongoing stress.
Insomnia can be disruption to someone’s wellbeing. They might feel irritable, generally tired, have trouble concentrating, and have a constant feeling of sleepiness. A doctor will evaluate a person’s sleep patterns and even interview the person that they might sleep with about their behaviors. Looking at medical history and sleep history are useful. Sometimes a doctor will refer the patient to a sleep center or specialist.
Acute insomnia might not require treatment. It may go away on its own. Sleeping pills might be prescribed for a limited time until regularity is re-established. However, over-the-counter pills should not be used to treat insomnia. They can have undesired side effects. Chronic insomnia can be treated with behavioral therapy in order to make the necessary changes to promote sleep. This might involve relaxation exercises, reconditioning, and sleep restriction therapy.
There are some useful practices to help with sleep. A person should avoid light before bed such as reading lights or screens. Getting regular exercise can help. Try to establish a regular bedtime and wake up time. Not eating heavy before bed can help. Try to create a quit, nice temperature setting that is sleep inducing. If worrying keeps the person awake at night, they might try making a to-list to settle the mind.
Sleep is part of our daily cycle and when it is compromised, the body and mind do not function optimally. Sleep is not mean to be short changed, so seek help when lack of nighttime shut eye becomes a problem that is impacting your daytime functioning.