What is Insomnia: How to deal with it?

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Are you facing difficulty in falling asleep? Are you up all night, tossing and turning, and does the night seem to go forever and ever? Or, do you wake up multiple times during the night? Well!! These can be the symptoms of Insomnia. Sleep is the golden chain that ties your health and body together. A proper night’s sleep is one of the most important factors in the overall development and an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. A decent sleep can make a positive impact on your entire day. If you’re experiencing insomnia then this article is for you!

What does insomnia really refer to?

Insomnia is a common sleep condition that can make it difficult to get asleep, difficult to stay asleep, or lead you to wake up too early and be unable to sleep again. When you wake up, you may still be exhausted. It can deplete not just your energy and mood, but also your health, performance, and overall quality of life.

The amount of sleep required varies from person to person, but most individuals require 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Many adults may experience short-term (acute) insomnia at some point in their lives, which might endure for days or weeks. It is frequently caused by stress or a stressful experience. However, some persons suffer from long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts a month or longer. Insomnia may be the fundamental issue, or it may be a side effect of another medical condition or medication.

Sleep issues may also be a concern for children and teenagers. However, some children and teens simply have trouble getting to sleep or resist a regular bedtime because their internal clocks are more delayed. They prefer to sleep later in the morning and go to bed later. Insomnia may affect your child, if he or she has difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, or if they frequently wake up too early.

types of insomnia:

Classification of insomnia in 3 ways:

  • Classification on the basis of duration:
  1. Acute, transient insomnia is a short-term problem.
  2. Chronic insomnia can last for months or years.
  • Classification on basis of cause:
  1. Primary insomnia is an issue by itself.
  2. Secondary insomnia is a result of another health issue.
  • Classification on basis of severity:
  1. Mild insomnia – involves a lack of sleep that leads to tiredness.
  2. Moderate insomnia – may affect daily functioning.
  3. Severe insomnia – has a significant impact on daily life.
Insomnia Symptoms:

The following are a list of insomnia symptoms:

  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Waking up in the middle of the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling rested after a good night’s sleep
  • Tiredness or sleepiness during the day
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulties paying attention, focusing on activities, or remembering
  • Errors or accidents have increased
  • Ongoing worries about sleep
  • Aggression
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity
Causes of insomnia:
  • Stress: Work, school, health, finances, or family concerns might keep your thoughts active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Insomnia can also be caused by stressful life events or trauma.
  • Consuming stimulants like Caffeine : Stimulants include coffee, tea, cola, and other caffeinated beverages. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening may keep you awake at night. It also prevents deeper phases of sleep and frequently causes waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Travel or work commitments
  • Inadequate sleep habits
  • Eating too much late in the evening
  • Mental health disorders
  • Medications

FOODS TO HELP IN SLEEPING WELL:

NUTS

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashews are often considered to be a good food source for sleep. They contain melatonin (sleep hormone) as well as magnesium, vitamin B6, protein and zinc. Magnesium is helpful in promoting sleep because of its ability to reduce inflammation (body heat). The level of stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep, can be reduced by including nuts in your diet. (What nuts are easy protein sources?)

PUMPKIN SEEDS

A study published in 2005 in Nutritional neuroscience suggested that consuming tryptophan alongside a carbohydrates source is one of the best ways to treat sleep deprivation. Pumpkin seeds may be small but they are packed with valuable nutrients. They are rich in healthy fats, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants and zinc. If you or your kid has trouble sleeping, give a few pumpkin seeds before bed with small amounts of carbohydrates such as a piece of fruit. It may be beneficial in providing the body with tryptophan needed for melatonin production, which can lead to better sleep. For younger kids, powdered pumpkin seeds can be an option.

CHAMOMILE:

Chamomile is thought to be a safe and efficient technique to help relax. It has been used medicinally for generations to relax the mind and promote sleep.

LEMON BALM:

Lemon balm extracts: A Phytomedicine Compound Improves Symptoms of Hyperactivity, Attention Deficits, and Impulsivity. As per the study conducted by NIH, The fraction of children having strong/very strong symptoms of poor ability to focus decreased from 75% to 14%, hyperactivity from 61% to 13%, and impulsiveness from 59% to 22%. Parent rated social behavior, sleep and symptom burden showed highly significant improvements.

ANTIOXIDANTS:

Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) has brain-boosting components because it contains a high concentration of antioxidant molecules, the most important of which is epicatechin, which helps to increase cognition in studies. Hence, cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children. (How to get a sound sleep by eating )

How to deal with insomnia?

Follow these 10 effective tips and remedies to relax and promote sound sleep:

1. Good sleeping habits can aid in the prevention of insomnia and promote restful sleep

2. Maintain a consistent bedtime and waking time from day to day, including weekends

3. Stay active – frequent activity promotes a restful night’s sleep

4. Examine your medications to see whether they may be contributing to your insomnia

5. Avoid taking naps

6. Caffeine should be avoided or limited

7. Avoid having large meals before going to bed

8. Make your bedroom sleep-friendly and only utilize it for sleep

9. Make a nightly habit for yourself, such as having a warm bath, reading, or listening to calming music

10. Dim the lights and put down electronic devices an hour or so before bedtime

If you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to get assistance from your doctor. They might be able to provide you advice on how to deal with difficulties that are interfering with your sleep. Many people who suffer from insomnia find that modifying their food, lifestyle, and bedtime routine helps them sleep better. Medications or cognitive behavioural therapy may also be recommended.

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