Insomnia – Symptoms And Causes

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Insomnia – Symptoms And Causes

Hello All!!

In this post I am going to discuss most aspects of insomnia. I am myself facing sleeping issues! I used be a 10 pm sleeper a while back but now I simply can’t fall asleep before midnight. When the clock strikes 12, I feel sleep embracing me slowly!!! For hours I find my mind racing, thinking about so many things at the same time! Oh well! This is life!

Insomnia – Symptoms And Causes

woman dreaming sleeping

Now coming back to insomnia, let us see things in detail.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for one to fall asleep or stay asleep or perhaps both :P. When you have insomnia you will not wake up refreshed. It affects the person’s performance at the workplace the next day. It has a negative impact on health and quality of life.

woman insomnia causes and symptoms

So, what is the right number of sleeping hours? The number of hours of sleep needed varies from individual to individual. On an average most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Symptoms of insomnia

A person suffering from insomnia takes more than half an hour to fall asleep and may get less than 6 hours of sleep for 3 or more nights in a week over a month or even more.
Symptoms of insomnia are:

  • Difficulty in falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not having a fresh feeling after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime tiredness/sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Concentrating during the day becomes difficult
  • Increase in no of errors or accidents
  • Tension headaches
  • Distress in the digestive tract
  • Worried about sleep

When should you seek the doctor’s advice?

If this sleeping trouble is affecting your daily life you should see the doc and find out the actual cause of your inability to sleep.

What are the causes of insomnia?

Common causes of insomnia include:

Stress and anxiety

Freaked out woman

When you are concerned about work or family, your mind can remain active at night keeping you awake. Day to day anxieties or anxiety disorders can affect your sleep. If you worry about not being able to sleep can make falling asleep even harder.

Medical conditions

You can develop insomnia due to too much of pain, difficulty in breathing or frequent visits to the washroom. Illnesses linked with insomnia are arthritis, cancer, heart trouble, lung disease, acid reflux disease, thyroid disorder, stroke, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

Change in work schedule or environment

Working in late night or early morning shifts can affect the body’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythm of the body is an internal clock that guides the sleep wake cycle, body’s metabolism and the body’s temperature.

Poor sleeping habits

Irregular sleeping hours, doing stimulating activities before going to bed or having an uncomfortable sleep environment can cause insomnia.

Medication

Certain medicines can affect one’s sleep that includes antidepressants, heart and BP medicines, allergy medicines. Even weight loss products containing caffeine and other stimulants can lead to sleeplessness.

Caffeine and nicotine

Both caffeine and nicotine are stimulants. Consuming coffee later in the day can cause sleeplessness at night. Nicotine in tobacco products can also cause insomnia.

Alcohol

Alcohol, a sedative can help you fall asleep but it does not allow you to enter deeper stages of sleep that will cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

Over eating before bedtime

If you happen to overeat just before bedtime, you will have difficulty in falling asleep. Some people have heartburn and acid reflux that can keep one awake.

Risks of insomnia

Almost everyone has experienced sleepless nights but your risk of insomnia is higher if:

You are a woman

More than men, women are likely to have insomnia. It is mainly due to the hormonal shifts that happen during menstruation and menopause. Just before menopause, women have hot flashes and sweating that can disturb their sleep. Pregnancy can also be a reason for insomnia.

You are above 60

People above the age of 60 face health issues that are a leading cause for insomnia.

You travel to different countries often

If you are an avid international traveler, you might suffer from jet lag and this can be the reason behind your sleeplessness.

If you have difficulty in sleeping check with your doctor.

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