Sleep is important. We all rely on sleep in order to feel rested and to get through the day. When sleep is disturbed, it can create a stressful situation at work or strain relationships. Sleep is needed to allow the body to recover and rest, making us happy and content. Those who suffer from insomnia know all too well how the lack of sleep can affect the mind and body. Insomnia is a condition that makes it difficult for individuals to fall asleep, stay asleep or not be able to fall back to sleep. Insomniacs can feel tired when they wake up and have a sour mood as well as low energy levels due to lack of sleep. Dealing with insomnia can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to working or being a parent.
On average, an individual needs around eight hours of sleep to be able to function. Some can get by on less while some need more. When insomnia occurs, the amount of sleep needed is not reached. Bouts of insomnia can take place over the short term and last for days or weeks. Usually, this happens due to stress or an event that was traumatic. Long-term insomnia can last a month or several months, even longer. This type of insomnia can be the result of a medical condition or perhaps medication that is being taken.
If you feel that you suffer from insomnia, consider the following symptoms. Below are common symptoms associated with insomnia:
Trouble falling asleep at night
Waking up from sleep
Rising too early from sleep
Feeling unrested after you wake up
Tired or sleepy during the daytime hours
Trouble paying attention
Accidents or errors on the job or at home
Worrying constantly about sleep
When you find it becomes hard to function during the day due to lack of sleep, it is time to see a doctor. The underlying cause needs to be determined and treatment provided.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Once you have been diagnosed with insomnia, treatment can begin. Living with this diagnosis can be difficult as you may have to make changes to your sleep habits or make other changes in order to be able to rest. This can include avoiding television at night, caffeine, food, etc.
For some, an underlying condition such as anxiety or depression can lead to poor sleep or no sleep at all. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used as a treatment option in order to control as well as eliminate negative actions or thoughts so you can rest. Staying awake due to negative thinking can be controlled with such treatments as Stimulus control therapy or relaxation techniques. With stimulus control therapy, you are coached to have a bedtime and waking time that is consistent. You should only use your bedroom for sleep so you can condition yourself to be able to fall asleep and rest in this area of your home. Relaxation techniques can include meditation or yoga in order to learn how to relax the mind and body.
Another treatment type that can be used is soundbed therapy. Sound is healing and can bring about a deep state of relaxation. With this acoustic therapy type, you will find that the heart rate is balanced, blood pressure becomes stable, circulation increases, tension goes away and your emotions and mood are energized. Stress is reduced and you can learn how to relax which can be helpful in falling asleep during the nighttime hours.
Dealing with insomnia can be hard. Being diagnosed is the first step to receiving treatment. Be open to new treatment options so that you can find the right treatment for your specific needs.