What is insomnia?


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  • Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
    Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances or certain biological factors.
    There are many medical conditions that can lead to insomnia. In some cases, a medical condition itself causes insomnia, while in other cases, symptoms of the condition cause discomfort that can make it difficult for a person to sleep.
    If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to review your health and think about whether any underlying medical issues or sleep disorders could be contributing to your sleep problems. In some cases, there are simple steps that can be taken to improve sleep such as avoiding bright lighting while winding down and trying to limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pets. While in other cases, it’s important to talk to your doctor to figure out a course of action. You should not simply accept poor sleep as a way of life talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist for help.
    Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. Psychological struggles can make it hard to sleep, insomnia itself can bring on changes in mood, and shifts in hormones and physiology can lead to both psychiatric issues and insomnia at the same time.
    Sleep problems may represent a symptom of depression, and the risk of severe insomnia is much higher in patients with major depressive disorders.
    Chronic insomnia is usually a result of stress, life events or habits that disrupt sleep. Treating the underlying cause can resolve the insomnia, but sometimes it can last for years.
    It’s important to know that symptoms of depression and insomnia can be linked, and one can make the other worse. The good news is that both are treatable regardless of which came first.
    Most adults have had some trouble sleeping because they feel worried or nervous, but for some it’s a pattern that interferes with sleep on a regular basis. Anxiety symptoms that can lead to insomnia.
    Insomnia can be triggered or perpetuated by your behaviors and sleep patterns. Unhealthy lifestyles and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own or they can make insomnia caused by another problem worse.
    This is why it’s important to address insomnia instead of letting it become the norm. If lifestyle and unhealthy sleep habits are the cause of insomnia, there are cognitive behavioral techniques and sleep hygiene tips that can help. If you have tried to change your sleep behaviors and it has not worked, it’s important to take this seriously and talk to your doctor.
    Certain substances and activities, including eating patterns, can contribute to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, review the following lifestyle factors to see if one or more could be affecting you:
    Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.
    Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people understand the alerting power of caffeine and use it in the morning to help them start the day and feel productive. Caffeine in moderation is fine for most people, but excessive caffeine can cause insomnia. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that people who drank four or more cups of caffeinated drinks a day were more likely than those who drank zero to one cups/cans daily to experience at least one symptom of insomnia at least a few nights each week.
    Caffeine can stay in your system for as long as eight hours, so the effects are long lasting. If you have insomnia, do not consume food or drinks with caffeine too close to bedtime.
    Nicotine is also a stimulant and can cause insomnia. Smoking cigarettes or tobacco products close to bed time can make it hard to fall asleep and to sleep well through the night. Smoking is damaging to your health. If you smoke, you should stop.
    Heavy meals close to bed time can disrupt your sleep. The best practice is to eat lightly before bed time. When you eat too much in the evening, it can cause discomfort and make it hard for your body to settle and relax. Spicy foods can also cause heart burn and interfere with your sleep.
    Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.

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