INSOMNIA- SLEEPLESSNESS (2 causes and risk factors)

INSOMNIA- SLEEPLESSNESS (2 causes and risk factors)

WHAT IS INSOMNIA?

Yes there’s a name for that sleeplessness.

Do you stay awake expecting to watch the sunrise like it`s your first morning on planet earth?

It is called Insomnia and luckily, we`ll be able to look at:

  • What Insomnia is
  • Types of Insomnia and causes
  • Insomnia risk factors
  • Its symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Prevention

INSOMNIA

This is an acute or chronic sleep disorder where you find it hard to or remain asleep. Its short-term coming a night in few weeks and its long-term, three (3) nights in a week for 3 months repeatedly. Question what causes insomnia? Spirits?

Insomnia causes can be summarized in two:

  1. Primary Insomnia: this is caused by physical and environmental conditions and not related to any health condition. The causes of Primary Insomnia are as listed below:
    1. Temperature
    2. Weather
    3. Light
    4. Noise
    5. Stress- (work or situational) like death, marriage, divorce, job search, etc.
    6. Bad sleep habits
    7. Jet lag.
  2. Secondary Insomnia: this is insomnia for health reasons as depression, asthma or for reasons of pain, for medication or for substance use like alcohol. Causes of primary insomnia are as listed below:
    1. Medications for depression, asthma, allergies and high blood pressure
    2. Substances, drugs and alcohol use
    3. Hyperthyroidism which is an overproduction of the thyroxine hormone.
    4. Restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, etc.
    5. Pain.

Risk Factors of Insomnia:

While a risk factor (healthwise) is something that heightens your chances of contracting a disease, it is also possible to develop insomnia and not check in all the boxes below, but the more boxes you check, the more your chances are of getting that disease. This is where you phone your doctor.

Insomnia risk factors include:

  • Age Advancement: studies show that ages 60-65 are more likely to develop insomnia than the younger age bracket.
  • Gender: it also affects the female population more than the males because of certain female factors as Premenstrual Syndrome ( PMS), menopause, pregnancy and hormonal disturbances.
  • Mental Health: it affects those experiencing some a certain degree of psychological stress like job seeking, night shifts at work, students studying for an examination, family problems, etc. as it is a symptom of anxiety and bipolar disorders.
  • Medications: medications as diet pills, steroids, decongestants, theophylline, levodopa, phenytoin, etc. can be the cause of insomnia as a side effect.
  • Habits: alcohol, smoking and caffeine intake, late-night exercises which keep your adrenaline pumping, etc
  • Sleep environment: poor sleep environment is one of the leading causes. What is the temperature of your sleeping area? What is the noise level? What about illumination? and so on.

Symptoms of Insomnia:

Insomnia symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Sleep inertia
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Energy loss

Doctor`s Diagnosis of insomnia:

This should be done by an experienced physician who will run a physical examination and ask some medical questions. There are other tests to run but this is after the physical examination.

Treatment of Insomnia:

This is dependent on its severity and causes. Acute insomnia might require no or less treatment as it or spans a few days and since insomnia affects mental health, seeking treatment will greatly require a change of lifestyle- behavioural therapy.

The objective of insomnia treatment is to restore a regular sleeping pattern. Since insomnia is sleeplessness it will be understood that sleeping pills as a doctor`s prescription will be thought of as the first approach but under monitoring. Treatment for chronic insomnia usually focuses on the treatment of those health problems that contribute to keeping you awake.

Prevention:

It is necessary to develop a healthy sleep hygiene by:

  • Respect your bed, it is for sleep and sex.
  • Get relax before going to sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read a book, watch some TV (comedy mostly).
  • Eat early, eat healthy and light
  • Stay clear from caffeine products and alcohol
  • Regular exercising helps in prevention and don’t exercise late
  • Dim lighting in your sleeping space can help.
  • Get comfortable sleeping accessories like cotton earmuffs, a sleeping mask, and adjust your thermostat for a comfortable temperature.
  • Plan your activities mostly and reschedule heavy tasks to an earlier wake-up time to prevent stress.

Despite all these preventive measures, there can be something sing but what matters is that your keep your mental state healthy. The only time your adrenaline level is allowed to rise is during exercise, six or any other positive activity and not anger.

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