Most adults experience insomnia or sleeplessness at some stage in their life. Insomnia is a symptom not a stand alone disease. By definition, insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both” or the perception of poor quality sleep.
The definition of insomnia is variable, its different for all people, and not defined by the number of hours we sleep. However we all know when we have had sleepless nights what the effect is on our mind and body.
It can be a transient insomnia that disappears after a week or so and relates to a particular stress or event. Or a more short term insomnia that can last a few weeks. If it goes on for much longer then it can become chronic.
|If insomnia persists for more than a few weeks, it’s best to see your doctor.|
Insomnia may be caused by a host of different reasons. These causes may be divided into situational factors, medical or psychiatric conditions, or primary sleep problems.
- Decreased Melatonin
- Chronic pain
- Hormonal Changes
- Medical conditions
- Reaction to traumatic events such as a death of a loved one, or even an argument.
- Jet lag
- Working night shift
- Overuse of alcohol or caffeine
- Temperature or changes in ones environment.
- Sleeping with someone who snores loudly
- Poor concentration and focus
- Difficulty with memory
- Impaired motor coordination (being uncoordinated)
- Irritability and impaired social interaction
- difficulty falling asleep or waking up
- Motor vehicle accidents because of fatigued, sleep-deprived drivers
- Maintain a consistent sleeping and waking time.
- Establish the bedroom as a place for sleep and sexual activity only, not for reading, watching television, or working.
- Avoid naps, especially in the evening.
- Take a hot bath about 2 hours before bedtime.
- Keep the bedroom cool, well ventilated, quiet, and dark.
- Avoid looking at the clock — this promotes anxiety and obsession about time.
- Avoid fluids just before bedtime.
- Avoid exercising just before bedtime.
- Avoid television just before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine in the later hours of the day.
- Eat a carbohydrate snack, such as cereal or crackers, just before bedtime.
- Move to another room with dim lighting if sleep does not occur after spending 15 – 20 minutes in bed.