If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from insomnia, you know how frustrating it can be. You may feel like you're doing everything right and still can't get a good night's sleep.
Insomnia can cause all sorts of problems in your life, from daytime fatigue to difficulty concentrating and mood swings. But what is insomnia, exactly? And more importantly, how can you treat it?
Here's what you need to know about insomnia symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
The severity of insomnia can vary, but it's usually characterized by difficulty staying asleep or a lack of restorative sleep. For example, you might feel tired the next morning or fight to stay awake during the day.
Normal sleepers can simply roll over and go back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night. But people with insomnia often lie awake at night for hours and don't get any better rest than someone who only had a few hours of sleep.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia?
The causes of insomnia are a bit complicated, involving lifestyle factors and psychological or physical health conditions.
Lifestyle-related reasons you might not be sleeping well include:
- Poor sleep habits
- Irregular work schedule
- Too much caffeine or alcohol consumption just before bedtime
- Stress or depression
- A poor sleep environment
- Chronic Pain
How is Insomnia Diagnosed?
If you're experiencing insomnia, your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions about your sleeping habits, including:
- How long it takes you to fall asleep at night
- How many times during the week or month you wake up in the middle of the night
- How often you have trouble staying asleep
- How often you feel tired during the day
Your doctor may also order tests to rule out other medical conditions that could be disrupting your sleep, such as sleep apnea. This condition causes people to make unusual movements or noise while they're sleeping, for example.
What Are The Treatment Options For Insomnia?
Insomnia treatment is generally broken down into two different types: behavioral and pharmacological.
Behavioral changes refer to any conscious effort you make to change your sleep pattern, such as the following:
- Doing relaxation exercises before bedtime or taking a hot bath
- Creating an environment that encourages better sleep
- Developing a nighttime ritual before bedtime
- Getting regular exercise during the day but not right before bedtime
Pharmacological options for insomnia treatment include certain medications prescribed by your doctor. Most of these are only meant to be used for a short period of time, as addiction and dependence can develop.
It's not always easy to get a good night of sleep, and when you can't fall asleep or stay asleep it might seem like the worst thing in the world. But this article has given you some helpful tips on how to diagnose your problem, figure out what is causing insomnia for you, and treat it so that you can enjoy sleeping better than ever before!
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