Sometimes we all have trouble sleeping an there can be many reasons as to why. A well known reason is a sleep disorder called Insomnia which regularly affects so many people worldwide. They can find it hard to sleep or stay asleep. It can affect people of any age, it tends to be more common in adult females than males but still anyone can have it.

It can heavily disturb school or work performance, not only that but it can cause obesity, anxiety, depression, concentration problems and a poor immune system function. It doesn’t matter how tired you’re you will still find it hard to fall asleep and it could potentially lead you to staying awake all night.

Types of Insomnia

Insomnia includes a wide range of sleeping disorders, it can be from lack of sleep or quality of sleep.

  • Transient Insomnia- occurs when symptoms last up to three nights.
  • Acute Insomnia- also called short-term Insomnia, when symptoms persist over several weeks.
  • Chronic Insomnia- this type lasts for months, and sometimes years.

 

How do you even know you have it?

There are many ways you can check if you might have Insomnia, many of those symptoms will be through the way you struggle to sleep, you might find it extremely difficult to go to sleep no matter how tired you feel.  You might feel the need to keep waking up several times during the night. Laying awake at night for hours on end, waking up super early and not being able go back to sleep. Still feeling exhausted even after you’ve woke up, you might find it hard to nap during the day even though you’re so tired. It can cause you to become irritable and can lead to difficulty concentrating during the day due to feeling drained.

What causes Insomnia?

Like anything there are most likely always reasons as to why certain issues arise and many of them can be to do with mental health, life circumstances or just feeling stressed. Anxiety and depression play a big part, if you’re constantly getting no sleep, perhaps you’re worrying about something or maybe you’re feeling depressed this can lead to Insomnia. Noise is another common cause, if your room has certain objects that make to much noise or something in your house that’s noisy, this can keep you up and make you feel restless.

Keeping your room the right temperature is so important, a room that’s too hot or even too cold can lead to Insomnia, because it could mean that you can’t get the temperature just right and it annoys you to a point you can’t have a good nights sleep.

Alcohol, caffeine or nicotine play a big part, if you’re constantly drinking alcohol or if you decide to chug an energy drink down before you’re about to go to sleep or even have a cigarette this can lead you to staying up due to the high caffeine contents within energy drinks, the nicotine increasing your heart rate and making you feel more awake, it’s not a good idea.

Is there a way to treat Insomnia yourself?

Most of the time, Insomnia gets better when you change up your sleeping habits, but other times it can be a lot more serious and requires more. But yes there are many ways you can help yourself to sleep better and feel better mentally and physically.

The best options are going to bed and waking up at exactly the same time everyday. Don’t just go to bed when you feel like it go when you’re feeling really tired to ensure a good rest. Exercise is such a key element in pretty much anything, it helps your mental health, makes you feel exhausted but in a good way and will have you sleeping the night away. Making sure where you sleep is comfortable, there is nothing worse than a bed that feels like laying on a concrete floor or pillows that give you neck stiffness when you wake up, so make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are cosy.

Don’t forget to make sure all the noise is zoned out, even if you have to use ear plugs to do so. Make sure your bedroom is dark if you like that and use an eye mask if need be. Another important one is to make sure to unwind before bed, say an hour beforehand take a bath, read a book or do something to make you feel relaxed.

However, even though you can help yourself sleep better there are many things you should avoid doing. Do not eat a big meal late at night, it can slow your metabolism down and depending what you eat could keep you awake. Do not watch TV or use devices right before you go to bed, the brightness of the screen can keep you awake and feeling energised. Don’t drink alcohol, tea or coffee at least two hours before going to bed and that includes smoking.

The best thing to do is not to exercise at least four hours before bed, this is because even though it tires you out it can also make you feel refreshed and more awake.

How can you treat it?

You can talk to many people about how this particular sleeping disorder is affecting you. It’s possible to go to your local pharmacist and purchase some sleeping aids, but they may not get rid of the Insomnia and could have side effects. But like anything always talk to your GP first before purchasing tablets or anything similar.

Knowing when to see your GP is really important, if you perhaps still continue to have trouble sleeping for months, or it’s affecting daily life and it’s making it hard for you to cope or changing your sleeping habits has simply not worked, then it’s the right time to visit them.

Treatment

A GP will try to find out what is actually causing it in the first place, so they can ensure you get the right treatment. Sometimes you’ll be referred to a therapist for cognitive behavioural therapy, this can help you change your thoughts and behaviours that keep you from sleeping. They might prescribe sleeping pills to treat the insomnia, although you can become dependent on them. It’s only in rare cases that they give them out, this could be if your insomnia is very bad or the other treatments have simply not worked. But you will most likely only be on them for a few days or weeks at most.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep as we all know is so important to achieve a healthy lifestyle, it keeps us energised it improves are concentration and productivity through our brain functions. You can exercise better if you’ve had a good rest, not getting enough sleep can lead to depression.

Sleeping improves your immune function, that’s why they always say to sleep off the illness. Not getting enough can affect how you’re socially and how your emotional you become through out the day. It’s safe to say it’s key but with Insomnia not being able to get the sleep needed is a daily struggle, that’s why it’s best to get it under control.

Call Mind on 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk

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http://www.counsellorwhocares.co.uk

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