Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects millions of individuals worldwide. In short, people with insomnia find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. The consequences can be devastating.
Insomnia symptoms may include:
• Difficulty falling asleep at night
• Waking up during the night
• Waking up too early
• Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
• Unable to concentrate, focusing on tasks or remembering
• Irritability, anxiety or depression
• Increased errors or accidents
• Ongoing worries about sleep
Types of Insomnia
There are various types of insomnia:
• Acute Insomnia
Acute (short-term) insomnia is very common and typically caused by a life event such as stress change at work, receiving bad news, family pressures or travel. Usually, acute insomnia lasts for days or weeks and resolves without any particular treatment.
• Chronic Insomnia
It’s a long term insomnia type. It usually lasts for months or longer. Most of the cases of chronic insomnia are secondary i.e. symptoms and side effects of some other problem. Certain medical conditions such as sleep disorders and substances can cause chronic insomnia.
• Comorbid Insomnia
It's type of insomnia that is comorbid with psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, etc. Psychiatric diagnosis is present in 40% of people with insomnia. Comorbid insomnia also can arise due to conditions that cause continual pain, together with arthritis, most cancers, injury from gunshot wounds, migraine complications and so on.
• Onset Insomnia
Unable to fall asleep at the beginning of the night. The Causes of onset insomnia may include poor sleep hygiene, stress, intake of alcohol or caffeine, poor sleep hygiene.
• Maintenance Insomnia
The failure to stay asleep. Individuals with maintenance insomnia, wake up during the night and experience difficulties returning to sleep.
Remedies for Insomnia
Start Nighttime drinks: Herbal teas help in promoting sleep as they have no caffeine. The best herbal tea to drink is chamomile tea. It’s believed to have flavonoids that can interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain which might be additionally related to the sleep-wake transition. Other effective herbal teas are lemon balm and passionflower.
Relax with yoga and meditation: Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation are incredible ways to relax the mind and allow it to sleep.
Stay away from light: Ensure to dim the lights before you head to bed, lower the brightness of digital devices. And it’s better to shut down the lights especially the kind emitted by your laptop, smartphone, tablet or TV at least 2 hours before bedtime as the blue light emitted via devices makes your mind too hyper to get right rest.
Cut caffeine: Avoid consumption of all caffeine drinks, coffee, tea and aerated drinks close to bedtime.
Avoid Alcohol: Avoid alcohol close to bedtime as it could lead to disrupted sleep later inside the night.
Sip warm milk before bed: Warm milk is an age-old treatment for incapacity to sleep. Milk contains tryptophan which stimulates the production of serotonin which promotes sleep. The warmth also helps to relax.
Bedtime Bath: Taking a bath before going to sleep helps in relaxing your body and mind and freshen you up for a good night’s sleep.