If you have a hard time getting up in the morning, find yourself low on energy or yawning throughout the afternoon and then tossing and turning all night, your problem might be poor sleeping habits.
At some point in our lives, we all have at least a couple of nights of restless sleep or not enough sleep. The consequences of those sleepless nights are all too familiar: feeling irritable, difficulty concentrating, feeling sluggish and having no energy, etc. Usually all it takes is one or two days to catch up on your sleep and then you are fine. However, lack of sleep for as many as 50% of the population can result in the more serious sleeping issue known as insomnia.
There isn’t any one definition of insomnia that all experts agree on. The one thing that is very characteristic of the sleeping disorder is the duration of the symptoms as opposed to the exact amount of sleep a person gets. Each individual has his or her own sleeping practice and requires a different amount of sleep. However, usually real insomnia involves difficulty maintaining or initiating sleep for a week or longer.
What is even more bothersome is the fact that, for many sufferers, insomnia is a real mystery that is very hard to solve. Insomnia in and of itself isn’t a disease. Rather, it is a symptom for an underlying problem. What this means is that to treat insomnia effectively, the key is to uncover the root cause for why you can’t sleep.
There Are 3 Main Categories Of Insomnia Causes:
Primary sleep disorders Psychiatric or Medical Situational or Environmental.
Primary sleep disorders aren’t as common. They include conditions like restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy. These physical-neurological dysfunctions require treatment overseen by a doctor. Medication may be required. However, for most insomnia sufferers, common medical and environmental problems are the main sources that cause insomnia.
What this means is you can dramatically improve the quality and amount of sleep you get every night by making simple changes to your lifestyle and daily routine. Some of the common triggers for insomnia include depression, stress, certain medications (anti-depressants, anti-histamines, beta blockers), alcohol, caffeine and some underlying health issues. Any of these factors can affect your ability to either stay or fall asleep. Older individuals and woman are more likely to suffer from insomnia due to changing sleep patterns or hormonal changes.
There are sleep medications available that might help some individuals suffering from insomnia. However, before you grab that bottle of sleeping pills, try some of these better sleeping tips first:
Improve your sleeping habits
Avoid working, eating or watching TV in bed. Transform your bedroom into a sleeping sanctuary. Lower the bedroom temperature by a couple of degrees. Hide or remove the alarm clock so you aren’t checking the time constantly while you are trying to fall asleep. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule and limit daytime sleeping or naps.
Exercise for thirty minutes each day (make sure to do this 5-6 hours at least before you go to bed). Daily exercise will help you get more restful sleep.
Consuming large meals, alcohol or caffeine before going to bed can impede your ability to fall and remain asleep. Although alcohol can initially help you get to sleep, it does compromise the quality of your sleep throughout the night.
Check your medications
Make sure there are no stimulants in them, If you suspect that any of your medications are interfering with your ability to get a good night sleep, discuss other options with your doctor.
Insomnia can also be triggered by stressful life events. If you suspect that the underlying problem to your insomnia is anxiety, there are relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, biofeedback and muscle relaxations that you can try to ease your tension before going to bed. Insomnia, whatever the cause happens to be, can have very detrimental effects on your quality of life and health. The key to getting relief is to identify and resolve the underlying cause.