Sleep Disorders (Insomnia) – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Sleep is one of the most essential activities to keep our body, mind and soul in right shape & senses. In today’s world, everyone’s life is busy, restless and stressed, which is why the numbers of people becoming victims of sleeping disorders is constantly increasing at a rapid rate. Sleep disorders refer to the health issues related to sleep like sleep apnea, various insomnia issues, narcolepsy, hypersomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, PLMD, parasomnia etc. These problems not only affect the daily life of a person but also might lead to further health issues such as depression, neurological disorders, fluctuation in hormonal levels, change in weight, dark circles and poor concentration, etc. While most of the sleep disorders are problematic but insomnia is considered to be the most common one, so let’s check out everything in detail about Insomnia.

Insomnia

Insomnia refers to the condition under which a person finds it really challenging to either fall asleep or stay asleep or both. If you have this problem, you will not feel fresh and alive when you wake up in the morning, which everyone not suffering from this does. Lack of proper sleep can result in tiredness, lack of concentration, mood swings and other mental or physical problems. This disorder has been known to affect millions of people all around the world. This condition mostly affects people above 18 years of age and the chances increase as age grows. People suffering from this condition need to get it diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Causes

This sleep disorder is more commonly found in women than men, irrespective of caste or age. The causes behind this condition are different in different people, which is why proper diagnosis is necessary to plan an effective treatment plan.

Some of the most common causes of insomnia are:

  • Highly stressful life or environment
  • Painful experiences leading to emotional issues like depression or suffering
  • Financial crisis
  • Visits to countries or places with dissimilar time zone
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Working at night or fluctuating working schedule
  • Drugs
  • Negative work or home environment
  • Hormonal changes, mostly during menstruation
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Pregnancy
  • Some specific medical problems such as asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep apnea, chronic pain, arthritis, brain tumors, stroke, Parkinson’s disease etc.

 

Types

Insomnia is broadly classified into three major types.

  • Acute – This type is usually caused due to tension or some disturbing incident in life, and can easily last from few days to weeks even.
  • Chronic – This is mostly caused due to drug abuse, psychological problems and some medical issues as well. The frequency of this is usually 3 times a week for more than 3 months.
  • Primary – This is usually caused due to lifestyle changes, work pressure or lack of rest because of office work.

 

Symptoms

As sleep is one very essential activity that helps us in relaxing, refreshing & recharging our body and also in keeping our mind sound. This condition often affects the daily life of a person adversely and makes all the day to day tasks much more difficult to do. People often lose jobs or score lesser marks in exams as being sleep deprived makes it really difficult for them to concentrate or focus. While different people experience different types of symptoms, here are the most common symptoms of insomnia.

  • Trouble in sleeping or staying asleep.
  • Waking before preferred time.
  • Tiredness even after sleeping whole night.
  • Drowsiness during day.
  • Weakness.
  • Tension & stressfulness.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Lack of coordination resulting in mistakes.
  • Tension headaches.
  • Poor social life.
  • Metabolism issues.
  • Mood swings.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis for insomnia is based on proper study and analysis of the symptoms and problems being faced by the patient. The common diagnosis includes blood tests, drug tests and other medical tests to rule out possible causes behind the condition.

The foremost aspect of diagnosis includes question-answer session with the doctor. You may be asked questions about the medical problems you have, your living environment, emotional problems and the sleeping patterns.

In some cases, these questions are not enough and the doctor asks you to maintain a sleep log, record your sleep pattern, observe if you wake up during sleep at night and keep the morning wake up time daily. You may also be asked by doc to stay overnight at the medical facility for Polysomnograph, in which your brainwaves and sleep cycles are recorded using electrodes. This makes sure to accurately find the neurological and physiological reports for perfect diagnosis of the problem.

 

Treatment

In order to treat this condition, the doctors need to understand underlying cause and working on curing it. Treatment for insomnia depends upon the cause behind it, which is why medical and behavioral ways of treating may be required.

Most common behavioral treatment approach includes one-to-one or group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Medical treatments include:

  • Prescribed sleeping tablets.
  • Melatonin.
  • Supplements.
  • Sleep-aid drugs available OTC (over the counter).
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Ramelteon

Getting assistance from a medical practitioner is necessary, so don’t buy the medicines on your own. Make sure that you get in touch with an expert medical practitioner and get your check up done, so that the actual cause can be found, then get the medicine he/she prescribes.

Home Remedies

There are many effective home remedies for insomnia that can really prove helpful in managing this condition to a great extent. These include:

  • 6 to 8 hours of proper sleep daily.
  • Exercise everyday.
  • Proper sleep schedule.
  • Avoiding caffeine & alcohol at night.
  • No smoking.
  • Meditation.
  • Yoga.
  • Comfortable sleeping conditions.
  • Wake up at same time each morning.
  • Go to bed only when there is drowsiness.
  • Muscle relaxation & massage.

 

That’s All!

So, this was everything you need to know about insomnia in detail. We really hope that this article will prove helpful to you, in understanding and preventing conditions like this in your life. In case you have any queries, feel free to ask us in the comments & our team will answer them as soon as possible. Your feedback is important to us, so feel free to drop a comment or email us for suggestions.

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