August 20, 2022 5 min read

WHAT IS SLEEP INSOMNIA?

Most people are familiar with insomnia, but few understand its details. Daytime tiredness, compromised sleep quality, and sleeping problems are major insomnia characteristics. Surprisingly, the good sleep ideology differs from one person to another. People understand insomnia from different perspectives. Discover more about insomnia here.

Most people are familiar with insomnia, but few understand its details. Currently, many individuals are troubled with either staying or falling asleep. Daytime tiredness, compromised sleep quality, and sleeping problems are major insomnia characteristics. The prolonged chronic insomnia requires professional assistance, especially from a sleep problems specialist. Surprisingly, the good sleep ideology differs from one person to another. According to Wolgast (2016), adults should sleep approximately 8 hours, some 5 while others 10. People are currently experiencing sleep challenges because of busy work schedules or sleep-related conditions. In this regard, what appears as insomnia to one individual might differ from another. Learn more about insomnia in this article review.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia manifests through continuous sleep difficulty and results from daytime impairment. It occurs despite having an excellent chance to sleep. It is a prevalent problem, and Drake et al. (2019) showed that 19-50% of seniors report insomnia symptoms. There exist two major insomnia classifications; chronic and short-term. Short-term insomnia persists for many weeks and is stimulated by recent stress episodes (interpersonal, psychological, or physical). In addition, it disappears with the stressor's resolution or improvement. This condition might transform into chronic insomnia if untreated. Chronic insomnia manifests through problems waking up, staying, or falling asleep. Some people wake up early and cannot fall asleep for a minimum of three nights per seven days or over three months. Surprisingly, certain behaviors worsen chronic insomnia. For instance, spending a prolonged period in bed struggling to acquire more sleep might result in low restorative sleep and wakeful nights. It can also lead to feelings of distress, anxiety, and frustration, which establishes an adverse relationship with sleep. Daytime napping worsens insomnia, reducing the urgency to fall asleep at night. Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, affects sleep quality adversely.

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia might be an initial problem or may be linked to various conditions. According to Han et al. (2012), chronic insomnia results from stress, habits, or life events interrupting sleep. Diagnosing the primary cause can help with insomnia, although sometimes it may persist for years. Common chronic insomnia causes include:

Stress

Concerns about family, finances, health, school, or work maintain an active mind during the night, thus making it troublesome to fall asleep. Stressful life trauma or events like illness or death of your relatives, job loss, or divorce might cause insomnia.

Work Schedule or Travel

Human circadian rhythms functions as an inner clock, governing such processes as body temperature, metabolism, and sleep-wake routine. Interrupting human circadian rhythms can cause insomnia. Some causes include regularly changing shifts, working early or late shifts, or jet intervals from moving throughout several time zones.

Poor Sleep Routines

Poor sleep routines involve uneven bedtime programs, naps, triggering events before bed, an unconducive sleeping environment, and utilizing the bed for watching TV or eating. Moreover, video games, computers, smartphones, TVs, or various screens can interrupt your sleep routine shortly before sleeping.

Consuming Excess Food Late at Night

Consuming light snacks before sleeping is acceptable. However, taking excessive food amounts might cause an individual to experience physical discomfort while sleeping. Many individuals also experience heartburn which is food and acid backflow from the stomach into the food pipe after consumption. This might disturb the victim, thus waking them up.

Chronic insomnia might be linked to medical conditions or utilizing certain drugs. Diagnosing this medical condition might improve sleep though insomnia remains after the problem improves. For this reason, more prevalent insomnia causes include:

Medication

Most prescription medications disrupt sleep, like certain blood pressure or asthma medications and antidepressants. There are several over-the-counter drugs like certain colds, allergies, pain medications, and weight-loss items.

Health Conditions

Some conditions associated with insomnia are overactive thyroid, asthma, heart disease, cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.

Alcohol, Nicotine, and Caffeine

Cola, tea, coffee, and various caffeinated beverages are stimulants. Taking them late evening or afternoon might prevent the user from experiencing sleep at night. Tobacco and nicotine are also strong stimulants that might disrupt sleep patterns. Furthermore, alcohol helps individuals but inhibits deeper sleep stages.

Home Solutions for Short-term Insomnia

Zupanec et al. (2017) showed that lowering anxiety and complying with the day's night routine boost sleep quality. The following are suggestions that help remedy short-term insomnia:

  • Avoid napping during the day
  • Reduce drinking and smoking
  • Avoid coffee, tea, and other beverages containing caffeine before sleeping.
  • It would help if you did not exercise vigorously before bedtime.
  • Involve yourself in activities that relax the body, like meditation or a warm bath.
  • Individuals should go to bed when sleepy.
  • Avoid watching television, worrying, or reading in bed, and reduce events in the bedroom to sex (where applicable) and sleeping.
  • If you cannot sleep, rise and move around other rooms and involve yourself in activities until you become sleepy again.
  • Maintain a consistent waking up culture regardless of the extent you feel sleepy.
  • It would be best if you did not judge sleep daily.

Diagnosis for Long-term Insomnia

People with insomnia that has lasted for years require more patience and professional support because significant time is needed to re-establish standard sleeping patterns. Some techniques utilized by sleep problem professionals include:

  • A schedule of slight sleep deprivation
  • Sleeping diaries that pinpoint the insomnia pattern
  • Behavioral therapy
  • The individual should be exposed to bright morning sunlight
  • Medication to assist in establishing a fresh sleeping routine

Conclusion

Insomnia is a prevalent sleep condition characterized by daytime tiredness, compromised sleep quality, and sleeping problems. However, sleep routines differ among people, implying that the definition of insomnia is understood differently. Insomnia has two major classes, including short-term and long-term. The short-term variety persists for many weeks and is stimulated by interpersonal, psychological, or physical stress. However, long-term insomnia manifests through problems waking up, staying, or falling asleep. Some factors contributing to insomnia include stress, poor sleep routines, work schedule or travel, and consuming excessive food amounts late at night. One can remedy this problem through behavioral therapy, reduced drinking and smoking, avoid caffeinated beverages before bedtime.

References

Drake, Kalmbach, Arnedt, Cheng, Tonnu, Cuamatzi-Castelan, & Fellman-Couture, (2019). Treating Chronic Insomnia In Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia, Sleep Restriction Therapy, And Sleep Hygiene Education. Sleep, 42(2), Zsy217.

Han, Kim, & Shim, (2012). Stress And Sleep Disorder. Experimental Neurobiology, 21(4), 141.

Wolgast, (2016). Discussion Of Causes And Consequences Of Sleepiness Among College Students, 2014. Nature And Science Of Sleep, 8, 159.

Zupanec, Jones, Mcrae, Papaconstantinou, Weston, & Stremler, (2017). Asleep Hygiene And Relaxation Intervention For Children With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Cancer Nursing, 40(6), 488.