INSOMNIA AND TROUBLE SLEEPING

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic). It may also come and go. Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more. Although insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, it is not a single sleep disorder. It’s more accurate to think of insomnia as a symptom of another problem. The problem causing the insomnia differs from person to person. It could be something as simple as drinking too much caffeine during the day or a more complex issue like an underlying medical condition or feeling overloaded with stress or responsibilities.

Types of Insomnia

There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary

  • Primary insomnia: This means your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem.
  • Secondary insomnia: This means you have trouble sleeping because of a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication; or substance use (like alcohol).

Insomnia Causes

Causes of primary insomnia include:

  • Stress related to big life events, like a job loss or change, the death of a loved one, divorce, or moving
  • Things around you like noise, light, or temperature
  • Changes to your sleep schedule like jet lag, a new shift at work, or bad habits you picked up when you had other sleep problems

Causes of secondary insomnia include:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • Medications for colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma
  • Pain or discomfort at night
  • Caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use
  • Hyperthyroidism and other endocrine problems
  • Other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome

Insomnia Symptoms

Symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Fatigue
  • Grumpiness
  • Problems with concentration or memory

Insomnia Diagnosis

Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your medical history and sleep history.
They might tell you to keep a sleep diary for a week or two, keeping track of your sleep patterns and how you feel during the day. They may talk to your bed partner about how much and how well you’re sleeping. You might also have special tests at a sleep center.

Insomnia Treatment

  • Reiki and insomnia and behavioral therapy
  • Any different psychological therapy
  • Reiki or energy healing methods

Insomnia Complications

Our bodies and brains need sleep so they can repair themselves. It’s also crucial for learning and keeping memories. If insomnia is keeping you awake, you could have:

  • A higher risk of health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, and depression
  • A higher risk of falling, if you’re an older woman
  • Trouble focusing
  • Anxiety
  • Grumpiness
  • Slow reaction time that can lead to a car crash

Insomnia Prevention

Good sleep habits, also called sleep hygiene, can help you beat insomnia. Here are some tips:

  • Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to take naps during the day, because they may make you less sleepy at night.
  • Don’t use phones or e-books before bed. Their light can make it harder to fall asleep.
    Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can make you wake up in the middle of the night and hurt your sleep quality.
  • Get regular exercise. Try not to work out close to bedtime, because it may make it hard to fall asleep. Experts suggest exercising at least 3 to 4 hours before bed.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day. But a light snack before bedtime may help you sleep.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable: dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, use a sleeping mask. To cover up sounds, try earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine.
  • Follow a routine to relax before bed. Read a book, listen to music, or take a bath.
  • Don’t use your bed for anything other than sleep and sex.
  • If you can’t fall asleep and aren’t drowsy, get up and do something calming, like reading until you feel sleepy.
  • If you tend to lie awake and worry about things, make a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you put your concerns aside for the night.

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