Saturday, October 20, 2018

FIGHTING INSOMNIA

Guest post by Temiloluwa Oyelola

Imagine after a long, strenuous and hard day, you return home to your bed feeling very fatigued and all you want is some sleep.  You get to the bed and turn, turn and turn rolling all over your bed trying to find that comfortable sleep pose but that isn't happening and you'll stay wide awake all through the night without catching a glimpse of sleep.

I've been there too, thus I can say I know the feeling.  In order to fight something, we ought to know everything about such a thing and here I bring this to you.


What is Insomnia?

Insomnia (sleeplessness):  This is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping, difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep for as long as desired.  This is present when there is difficulty maintaining sleep or when the sleep obtained is non-refreshing.  Insomnia occurs despite adequate circumstances for sleep and this must result in errors with daytime function.

The Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia can be caused by a lot of things, but we can only tell of those which have been scientifically and medically proven to cause.  Insomnia may be caused by psychological streets, chronic pain, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, heartburn and or restless leg syndrome (RLS).  Some theories also suggest that aging may also be a cause.  There are still so many other causes out there that haven't been confirmed but my point is insomnia could be caused by a lot of triggers in simpler words.

What Being Insomniacs Can Cause?

Insomnia can cause an increased risk of motor collisions, sleepwalking, daydreaming and other problems in focusing and learning.  It also results in low energy, extreme fatigue, irritability, and depression.  It could also cause insomniacs to became lunatics but cases like this are rare.

How to Know if You are Insomniacs?

First and foremost, you've got to let your doctor know of the symptoms and get tested; here a sleep study may be done to look for underlying sleep disorders to determine if you're insomniacs.

Symptoms and Signs of Insomnia

Having Difficulty Falling Asleep:  This may be a difficulty in finding a comfortable place to sleep, waking up during the night, being unable to return to sleep and/or feeling so un-refreshed upon waking up.
Having Nocturnal Awakenings:  This happens when one wakes up at the dark of the night and/or have trouble going back to sleep after waking.
Having Delayed Sleep Disorder:  This is difficulty falling asleep as soon as the sun sets or the night crawls in.

Major Types of Insomnia

Insomnia is classified into three major types that are:

Transient Insomnia:  This last for only days and it can be caused by anxiety, by changes in the environment, severe depression and or by stress.
Acute Insomnia:  This lasts for less than a month and it is also referred to as short-term insomnia.
Chronic Insomnia:  This lasts much longer than a month and it is said to be caused by various disorders, high level of stress hormones etc.

The Fight of Insomnia Over the Decades

So many treatments have been discovered and used over the decade.  Some have been accepted scientifically and some are used among the locals.


Induction Method

Using Alcohol:  This is a major form of self-treatment of insomnia and it is used to induce sleep.  Although researches show that alcohol might actually be the cause of insomnia or inflating the disorder.
Using Benzodiazepines:  This is prescribed to the patients to put them to sleep and it is preferably best used in a short period as longer termed use may actually disrupt sleep.

Non Medication Strategies (NMS)

This has been proved to be of better efficiency than other treatments and have a longer lasting effect on the patient.

These NMS includes paying attention to sleep hygiene, having behavioral interventions and paradoxical intention; using stimulus control, sleep restriction therapy and relaxation therapy

Examples include but are not limited to; restricting the time spent awake in bed, keeping a journal or a diary to follow on with your daily life, maintaining a consistent or regular sleep and waking timing.

Some Therapies for Insomniacs

Behavioral Therapy:  This is simply learning healthy and advisable sleep habits to help promote relaxation in sleep.
Light Therapy:  This is used to help reduce worry or consciousness of the light when asleep.
Stimulus Control Therapy:  These are treatments meant for the patients who associate the bed for their everyday activity.  They are mostly advised to modify their environment like using the bed for sleep and relaxation only and not for unusual activities such as watching tv and others amidst so many.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:  This therapy teaches improved sleep habits and helps to relief mythical assumptions about sleep.  Examples are having unrealistic sleep expectations, misunderstanding the causes and consequences of insomnia etc.

Other Treatments

Other treatments include but are not limited to:

Implementing a Paradoxical Intention:  This is when the insomniacs make every effort to stay awake instead of attempting to fall asleep.
Improving Sleep Hygiene:  Simply as it comes, this is just about improving the sleep hygiene which relates to promoting good night rest.  Examples of such behaviors include reducing intake of caffeine and alcohol, minimizing consistent medication and daytime naps etc.
Turning to Exercise:  This can be helpful when establishing a routine for workouts and rests but this shouldn't be done close to your sleep time.
Creating Your Positive Sleep Environment:  This is all about removing objects that may cause worry, anxiety or other triggering emotions.
Using Medication for Insomniacs:  Over an average of patients dealing with insomnia have resulted to using sleeping pills and/or other sedatives.

Precautions

If you aren't insomniacs then it would be a good thing to take caution as the saying goes "prevention is better than cure."  So here's the precautionary measures that can be taken to avoid having insomnia becoming insomniacs:

1.  Begin with a steady and consistent pattern of waking up and sleeping.
2.  Avoid vigorous exercise but workouts/exercise done earlier in the day is highly advisable and beneficial.
3.  Drinking caffeinated drinks before going to bed is highly recommended.


About the Author

My name is Temiloluwa Oyelola alias Alexandra.  I'm a certified computer operator and engineer, a part-time fitness blogger, instructor, aspiring model, playwright, poetess, and athlete from Nigeria.  I consider myself goal oriented as I set reasonable goals for myself and try my best to achieve them.

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