Insomnia Guide to Assessment and Treatment
We had already written an article about the sleep disorders, in which we included many sleep disorders that a person might have, but today we will go into details about one of those disorders. The insomnia is among the most well-known and serious matters that affect the sleep episode of our lives. Many people do experience this disorder due to many causes.
Probably, this disorder is known as a symptom of other conditions and diseases (mentally, psychologically, physically, or behaviorally), more than a disorder itself. There are so many disorders and conditions, actually, that may have insomnia as symptom, but we will deal with it here as a disorder itself.
In general, insomnia is the difficulty in sleeping. It is related to problems that face the person while resting at night. Seniors and elder people are most likely to develop this disorder. Moreover, statistics found that over 30% of people develop this disorder. That is what makes it an important issue to talk about it.
What are the signs or characteristics of having insomnia?
¤ You feel that you are unable and incapable of falling asleep, while you used to do so easily.
¤ You just lie down on your bed and stay awake for so long during the night, without feeling like to close your eyes and visit your dream world.
¤ You keep waking up many times while you are asleep at night.
¤ You lose your feeling to sleep in the very early morning, without feeling to continue or going back to sleep.
¤ You feel tired, fatigue, and exhausted the whole day; for no particular reason, and you feel unable to concentrate and focus on what you usually do.
Even that you sleep to get back your refreshment, you do not achieve that when you wake up.
¤ You just cannot sleep or have a nap during the daylight, even if you are extremely tired.
However, the insomnia may occur for different and separate episodes. While some people might develop it for a couple of weeks, other might have it for very long years. In some cases, people may develop insomnia permanently, which might cause so many troubles in life. Due to the lack of sleep, your behaviors, habits, and routines change, this might cause problems with friends, family, workmates, and anybody else.
What are the causes of insomnia?
There are many factors and triggers that can cause you to develop insomnia. This makes it a bit hard to identify the direct cause of your case. And this is, as we have said before, a sign or a symptom of something else that might be more serious and more dangerous. Yet, here are what may cause you insomnia, and you have to check out which one of them you have, so that you diagnose it if there is another serious health disorder.
Stress, fear, depression and anxiety: all those strong negative emotions may cause you to develop insomnia. A person who worries too much, fear a lot, and always anxious usually become uncomfortable, which cause him/ her to develop insomnia. Especially, if the person has many aspects to worry about such as work, school, home, kids, financial troubles, relationships, or anything else.
Lifestyle causes: when someone gets troubles in life routines, habits, or environments of sleeping, he/she usually loses ability to sleep. Not sleeping in time, not having regular routine for bed or not sleeping in comfortable places develop with time the disturbance of sleeping, which become insomnia. The same thing if you have bad lifestyles, such as being addicted to smoking, drinking alcohol before bed, drinking high-leveled caffeine drinks. You end up having serious matters while you are asleep or trying to sleep.
Psychological disorders: people with mood changes and mood troubles or disorder usually have insomnia as a symptom of that disorder. depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTS disorder, or even schizophrenia are all the kinds of psychological and mental disorders that have insomnia as a symptom (they cause insomnia).
Physical disorders and diseases: there are many health disorders or diseases that can cause you to develop the insomnia. Those conditions can be relevant to several different parts of the body. For example, the following conditions showed very bad effect on sleeping routines, which cause you insomnia:
– Heart diseases, such as heart failure and angina.
– COPD or asthma that affects the respiratory system
– Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases in the nervous system
– Urinary conditions and enlarged prostates
– overactive thyroid
– pain (chronic and long-termed pain)
other sleep disorders such as apnea, snoring, night terrors, restless legs, and others.
Well, for the other causes, we may include the medications and medicines as a risk-increasing factors or triggers to have the insomnia. The insomnia can appear in the term of side effects of those medications.
How can you treat insomnia?
For a better treatment of this matter, you have to start from the things you can do yourself, then moving to the tips that your healthcare or doctor may provide. Self-treatment is always the first choice, and when it does not work or does not come out with any results, then you have to see your doctor.
- Here are some tips and methods you may try yourself to treat this issue:
Make sure you set exact timing for your bed and waking up; make a specific routine of when to sleep and when to wake up.
Try to rest your body before going to be in the regular time, have a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, or even try the ASMR.
Avoid the bad lifestyle we mentioned above; coffee, alcohol, smoking, or even the heavy meals that you take for dinner and of course do not exercise or make a big effort before you go to bed.
There are some tips you can do for your eyes so that you may experience a heavy eyelids, which may help you to sleep.
Avoid using electronic devices for a couple of hours before you go to bed.
Try not to take a nap during the daylight. It is like saving your sleep all to night.
- For the medical treatment of insomnia, here is some quick information:
The first thing your healthcare provider or your doctor shall do after visiting him and being diagnosed with insomnia is to treat the underlying cause or trigger. He shall treat any condition or disorder that causes you to have insomnia as the first step.
For the methods we have just given of how you can treat yourself by yourself, your doctor might discuss them with you.
There is a special kind of medical treatment for people who are diagnosed with insomnia due to that condition: CBT.
Your doctor may also describe to you some medications and medicines that will help you fall asleep easily. This is usually applied if there is no underlying cause of insomnia as a health disorder or condition.