Afternoon: Dying for rest
Night: Can’t sleep
Insomnia is a technical name for sleeplessness, a sleep disorder. The highly prevalent disorder affects the sleeping habits of people. Insomniac people face trouble in falling asleep or staying asleep. It is also related to waking up at night and then facing hurdles in returning to sleep. People usually feel unfresh when they wake up in the morning. It results in daytime sleepiness, depression, anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, irritation, low energy, lethargy. Insomniacs feel that they are mentally and physically ill. It can be a bad quality or quantity of sleep.
The duration can vary to days, weeks, or even months. Based on duration, insomnia can be characterized by three types: Transient, Acute, and Chronic Insomnia.
Transient Insomnia usually lasts for less than a week. The symptoms would occur for a few days to a week. It can be caused by a change in sleeping patterns, be it the place or timings. It leads to sleepiness and ill psychomotor performance.
Acute Insomnia usually lasts for less than a month. This type of insomnia is also known as Short-term insomnia or stress-related insomnia. Though people have opportunities to sleep, they face difficulties in sleeping.
Chronic Insomnia usually lasts for more than a month. It is usually caused due to stress-related problems. It can also lead to double vision. It usually needs proper treatment.
Insomnia is more prevalent in adult females. Usually, travelers, shift workers, drug users, aged people, pregnant and menopausal women, adolescents are more prone to insomnia.
Insomnia can be caused by many physical or psychological factors. Though chronic insomnia is caused by various medical conditions such as nasal allergies, asthma, arthritis, gastrointestinal and endocrine problems, low back pain, heart diseases or mental problems, etc; while Transient insomnia is caused by recent conditions such as changing sleep environment, excess worry, more intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol and jet lag.
Insomnia is diagnosed by the Athens Insomnia Scale. It has eight different parameters related to sleep and is used to assess the overall sleeping pattern of a person. A qualified sleep specialist would start the session by asking numerous questions regarding the sleeping pattern of the patient. Past medical history is also considered for proper diagnosis. Check-up may include physical tests to determine the signs and symptoms and consequences.
Polysomnograph is an overnight sleeping test to determine the sleeping pattern and suggest the proper treatment is done to get rid of the problem.
To treat any problem, it is important to determine the cause of the problem. So, insomnia is also treated by identifying the causes. Some home remedies include improving sleeping patterns, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol, meditation, muscle relaxation exercises, counseling, avoiding long daytime naps.
There are also some medical treatments such as sleeping pills, antidepressants, melatonin, ramelteon, etc.
Insomnia can affect our bodies both physically and mentally. It leads to bad co-ordination and concentration power. Insomnia can also result in increased chances of road accidents. Insomniacs are more prone to develop certain health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, drug abuse, and obesity.
As pregnant women are more prone to sleeping disorders, they should try different sleeping positions, healthy eating habits, regular walks, meditation, etc.
Though there are various treatments available, sleeping and waking up at regular timings, avoiding heavy workouts and caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, and maintain proper dark room can help a lot.