What is insomnia? There are some confusing definitions about insomnia that you might be aware of, but insomnia are of different types, and it is important you know about it.
Here is an easy read of what you need to understand about insomnia.
WHAT IS INSOMNIA?
What is insomnia? This is when you are unable to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep leaves you feeling tired, edgy.
Insomnia is also said to be a sleep disorder which is characterized by your inability to fall asleep or stay awake. Since the amount of sleep required by people varies, insomnia is not defined by how long you sleep, but by your quality of sleep and if you feel rested and refreshed after sleeping.
You might still be experiencing insomnia if you feel tired or sleepy during your day even if you sleep for hours.
Some causes of insomnia can include the following:
- Emotional discomfort
- Physical discomfort
- Some environmental factors such as very hot or cold weather, noise light, or
- Some medications
- Jet lag
- Very bright sleep environment
- Drinking caffeinated beverages few hours before going to bed
- An irregular sleep pattern
- Use of alcohol before bed
- Eating so much before bed.
TYPES OF INSOMNIA
There are two main types of insomnia, which are primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. After you might have gotten an answer to the question “What is insomnia?” it is also important that you know the types of insomnia and how best to tackle it.
- Primary insomnia: this is insomnia that is experienced which is not related to other health condition.
- Secondary insomnia: this is the type of insomnia that is related to some health problems such as arthritis, asthma, depression, heartburn, cancer
We also have acute and chronic insomnia.
Acute and chronic insomnia
Sometimes, insomnia is usually acute (short termed) or long-term (chronic insomnia) Insomnia sometimes comes and goes.
Insomnia is called acute when it lasts from one night to some weeks. But it becomes chronic when the person is unable to sleep for about three to four nights in a week which lasts for a long time.
Some of the symptoms of insomnia include the following;
- Depending on medication to make you fall asleep
- When you experience difficulty falling asleep even when you are tired
- When you still feel tired even after waking up from sleep
- When you find it difficult going back to sleep after waking up in the night
- Drowsiness and tiredness during the day
- Concentration problems
- Always waking up a night
Treatment for acute insomnia may not be required as there often stop after a while. These types of insomnia can be cured by practicing good sleeping habits like keeping your sleep environment noiseless.
When your insomnia becomes chronic and begins to affect your work activities, your doctor may prescribe some pills for a while to help you sleep.
It is also important that you stay off over the counter sleeping pills to treat your insomnia as these types of drugs begin to lose their effectiveness after some time and can also pose some side effects that will cause you great discomforts.
Treating chronic insomnia includes treating some underlying conditions or health problems that may be causing insomnia.
You can also get some behavioral therapy to assist you in changing some behaviors that might be causing or making insomnia worse, learn some new behaviors that promote sleep and relaxation.
Learning some relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy and reconditioning may be important to you.
Some of the ways to cure insomnia include the following:
- Changing any habits that disturb your sleep. Which includes treating any underlying medical condition
- Keeping a sleep diary to personally identify some of the habits that trigger insomnia. This
- Learning some new habits that promote sleep like; maintaining a regular sleep pattern, exercising and discarding some habits like avoiding naps, late night meals and reducing the amount of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol you consume.
- Adjusting your sleep-wake cycle which is important for people who work on shifts. You can do this by
- Getting rid of any sleep anxiety
- Getting rid of daytime stress or staying away from the stressors
- When you wake up at night, get back to sleep. Stop the worry and try to relax instead.
- Making use of some sleeping pills or sleeping aid. You can also take some food supplement for insomnia such as Melatonin which is the hormone that is produced naturally by the body at night, and Valerian which is a form of mild sedative that is also capable of making you sleep better.
- Medications such as; zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), ramelteon (Rozerem) and eszopiclone (Lunesta).