On average, a person needs to sleep for 6-8 hours to feel normal, although this time is very individual. Six hours is enough for someone, and eight will not be enough for another.
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Various sleep disorders cause poor health, fatigue, sleepiness, and reduced concentration.
When talking about sleep disorders, people often mean difficulty sleeping or medically, insomnia.
The disease can occur due to various reasons. Most often, these are stresses, emotional upheavals, excitement, anxiety, and scrolling in the mind of unresolved problems. A person with insomnia tries to sleep, turns on the bed, and turns over the pillow, but sleep does not come.
It is widespread in the modern world: according to various sources, 28 to 45% of the world population suffer from it – almost half! 35% of women and 30% of men have insomnia, and the older, the more often it is. Experts note that women experience 1.3 times more often than men. People over 60-65 are 1.5 times more likely to experience sleep disorders than those under age 1.
Insomnia is a significant risk factor as it can lead to several functional and psychological disorders.
Types of Insomnia
Doctors have distinguished different types of this.
Minor insomnia is usually the result of stress. It is a short-term disturbance associated with negative and positive experiences – for example, a very happy or sad event that causes our mind to become overexcited. It can cause insomnia. But usually, after a day or a few days, the effect subsides, and sleep returns to normal.
Behavioral Insomnia in childhood
Insomnia occurs in children if there is no established sleep pattern. Usually, in these cases, the child does not go to sleep until the parents put him to bed. If the child does not go to bed at the same time every day, he or she will develop insomnia.
It is a chronic sleep disorder that begins in infancy and lasts throughout life. Doctors have not been able to study this type of insomnia, and so far no one knows the reason for the development of this disorder. However, over time, idiopathic insomnia leads to permanent impairment of brain function.
Some drugs interfere with sleep, and sleep problems do not go away even when the drug is stopped. This type is not only associated with drugs, but also with certain substances.
Apart from this, tea, coffee, energy drinks, fizzy juice, and other substances can also cause insomnia.
Insomnia associated with illness
Insomnia with illness occurs when a sleep problem is associated with an illness. Most of the time, various mental illnesses are the main reason for insomnia.
- Bronchial asthma;
- Heart failure;
- Prostatic hypertrophy;
- Liver or kidney failure
- Parkinson’s disease and some kinds of pain affect sleep.
- In such a situation, we should first treat the underlying disease.
It is a tentative definition whose causes are unknown but physical factors have been reliably ruled out. These factors include taking medications, drinking coffee, and drinking alcohol. After excluding these factors, the doctor focuses on the psychological background of sleep disorders.
Insomnia is also tentatively defined as sleep disturbances that are known to be caused by a physical condition or exposure to some substance, but the substance or physical cause has not been determined.
It refers to a severe form of sleep disorder in which a person sleeps virtually no sleep or sleeps very little for long periods. This type of insomnia is characterized by a person being extremely aware of the external environment and internal processes that correspond to being awake. It is an overstimulation of consciousness.
A type of insomnia where the cause is replaced by effect. Insomnia can occur when the person is so worried that he cannot sleep. Anxiety increases as bedtime approaches.
In addition, there are two types depending on how long it lasts and how often it occurs.
Acute and chronic Insomnia
- Short term insomnia – Acute insomnia
- Long term Insomnia – Chronic insomnia
Insomnia may appear intermittently and alternate with times when sleep problems do not occur. The duration of acute insomnia can range from one night to several weeks. Chronic insomnia is usually referred to as having trouble sleeping at least three nights a week for a month or more.
Causes of acute insomnia can be, for example, the following:
- Severe stress (loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, relocation);
- Disease; emotional or physical discomfort;
- External factors that interfere with sleep – noise, light, uncomfortable air temperature;
- Some medications, such as those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, or asthma, can also interfere with sleep;
- Changes in the usual sleep pattern (For example, occasional night shift work, abrupt change of time zones.)
Causes of chronic insomnia may include:
- Depression and anxiety;
- Chronic stress;
- Pain or discomfort at night.
The symptoms of insomnia are varied, but they are all associated with reduced sleep duration, and usually have one of the following problems:
- Difficulty falling asleep;
- Frequent awakenings at night and difficulty getting back to sleep.
- Waking up very early in the morning.
- Feeling tired after waking up.
Diagnosis of insomnia.
If you have insomnia, you should talk to your doctor. The doctor will conduct a medical examination, and study the medical history. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary for one to two weeks and record how you slept and how you feel. Sometimes special studies of sleep are carried out by specialists in this field.
Treatment for insomnia
If insomnia is indeed becoming a problem, it needs to be treated. Acute insomnia can often be overcome by developing the right sleep habits. If insomnia leads to a significant decrease in performance because you feel sleepy and tired during the day, your doctor may recommend taking sleeping pills.
Keep in mind
Do not take them on your own without first talking to your doctor, because insomnia medications can have unwanted side effects. In addition, over time, they usually lose their effectiveness.
Treating chronic insomnia begins first by addressing the factors that cause this insomnia, including the treatment of diseases that make you unable to sleep. In addition, you can perform special relaxation exercises, and undergo restorative therapy or sleep restriction therapy. Often, these non-drug treatments for insomnia produce good results.
Tips for preventing Insomnia
Good sleep habits, also known as sleep hygiene, can also help fight insomnia. The following tips will help you.
- Try to go to bed and wake up every day at the same time
- Stay awake as much as you can during the day, as it can prevent you from falling asleep at night.
- When you wake up in the evening, your head feels heavy, and you feel lazy. Then you may feel more confused when you go to sleep at night.
- Do not drink coffee, alcohol, or smoke at night. Caffeine and alcohol have stimulant properties and can make you sleepy. Alcohol can cause nighttime awakenings and impair sleep quality.
- Make exercise a regular habit. But avoid vigorous exercise before bed. It is believed that you should stop active activities three to four hours before going to sleep.
- Do not eat heavy food like bread, pasta, boiled potatoes, or hamburgers at the end of the day. Since heavy food is hard to digest, a light meal is useful for a quick sleep.
- Make your bedroom easy to sleep in. It should be dark, quiet, not too hot, and not too cold.
- Choose an activity that you regularly do before bed. It could be meditating, reading a book, listening to healing music, or taking a bath.
- Such a ritual will help you sleep easily.