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Health and Fitness

A complete guide to the sleep disorder

Your elders or teachers might have told you numerous times that eating and sleeping well are necessary for living a healthy life. Just as food recharges your body and keeps you strong, sleep a complete guide to the sleep disorder also plays a fundamental role in replenishing your energy levels and ensuring your fitness. But, what does it mean if rest evades you night after night? Is it a cause of concern? Let us find out more about the severity of this issue and its causes in the following sections.

What is insomnia?

If you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep at night, it could mean that you have insomnia. It is a complete guide to the sleep disorder in which you cannot rest well, because of which, your body feels tired and exhausted the next day. The disease saps out all your energy and affects your mood, health, productivity, and quality of life. Although many people experience acute or short-term insomnia at some point in their lives, usually because of a traumatic experience, you should be concerned if the problem continues for an extended period. Those who have long-term insomnia should consult their doctor as sleeplessness for many nights in a row can lead to serious health issues.

What are the symptoms?

In insomnia, primarily, your sleep gets affected. If you are worried you might have this a complete guide to the sleep disorder, then you should look for the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Increased in errors or accidents
  • Waking up during the night
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Irritability and annoyance
  • A feeling of anxiousness or depression
  • Difficulty in paying attention

What can cause insomnia?

Insomnia can occur because of several reasons. Taking care of these issues can resolve the problem, which can aid you in gaining a peaceful night of rest. Common causes that can result in this problem include:

Stress– Stress caused because of work, relationship, school, health, or financial problems can keep you up at night. Besides, traumas and stressful life events like divorce or the death of a loved one can also contribute to your wakefulness.

Overeating at night- People who consume a heavy meal before going to bed may feel discomfort while lying. They may experience heartburn, a backflow of acids from the stomach to the mouth, and bloating that might keep them up. Thus, it is recommended to have light snacks if you feel hungry before going to bed.

Travel- Your body has an internal clock that guides your sleep-wake cycle and tells you when to rest. But, travelling to regions when the time zones are different can confuse the internal clock and lead to insomnia. Other things that can disturb your internal clock include working late or frequently changing shifts.

Poor sleep habits– Many people have poor sleeping habits that degrade their quality of rest. These include using the phone till late in the night, consuming coffee or alcohol around bedtime, using the bed for work and other activities, and eating a heavy meal before bedtime. Doing these things can interfere with your sleep cycle and prevent you from feeling well-rested.

Additional reasons that might be responsible for keeping you awake at night include medications that interfere with your sleep, sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or RLS, mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, and medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, overactive thyroid, and Alzheimer’s. 

How is insomnia related to ageing?

Insomnia symptoms is observed more commonly in older people. As you age, you may experience-

Changes in sleep pattern- Sleep becomes less restful as you age. Even minor noises and changes in the environment may wake you up. Also, as you get older, your circadian clock alters, and you start feeling sleepy earlier in the evening and wake up before normal time.

Changes in health- Chronic health conditions like arthritis or back problems are common in older people. These issues can result in wakefulness at night. Besides, bladder problems that increase the need to urinate also make it challenging to rest.

Sleep troubles that resist a peaceful night of rest are also typical in teenagers and adolescents. However, more often than not, it is a result of poor sleep habits. Also, in some youngsters, internal clocks are more delayed. Therefore, such children want to go to bed later at night and wake up late.

What risk factors are associated with insomnia?

The chances that you may have insomnia increase if-

  • You are a woman
  • You don’t follow a regular schedule
  • You have a stressful life
  • You are over 60
  • You have a mental health disorder
  • You have a physical health problem

How can you prevent insomnia?

An excellent way to tackle insomnia is to practice good sleeping habits. These will help you in resting well and promoting good quality sleep. The habits include:

  • Having a consistent bedtime
  • Having a comfortable sleep environment
  • Only using your bed for sex or sleep
  • Staying active as regular activity promotes a good night’s rest
  • Practising a relaxing bedtime ritual like listening to soft music or taking a hot water bath before bedtime.

By and large, insomnia is a complete guide to the sleep disorder that can affect your physical and mental health. It can make it hard for you to concentrate on the tasks at hand and cause tiredness. Thus, if you fear that you may have insomnia, then you should get yourself checked.

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