Insomnia: What is it, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Insomnia is a condition experienced by many people.
Insomnia is a condition experienced by many people. While this condition lasts for a few days in some people, in others it progresses seriously, affecting every aspect of their lives. Severe ongoing insomnia is called insomnia and requires treatment. Many factors such as working conditions, stress, and various diseases can cause a person to experience insomnia. However, untreated insomnia can cause other serious disorders in the future.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia can cause a person to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting quality sleep. This condition can develop even if the person has the time and the right environment to sleep. Due to insomnia, it may make it difficult for the person to carry out daily activities and may cause him/her to feel sleepy during the day. Short-term insomnia may be caused by a person’s stress or changes in their schedule. Insomnia is divided into two types: chronic and acute:
- Acute Insomnia: Acute insomnia is short-term, lasting one or two nights, up to several weeks or months, but lasting less than three months.
- Chronic Insomnia: Chronic insomnia is long-term difficulty sleeping. It is defined as having trouble falling or staying asleep three or more nights a week for three months or longer.
What are the symptoms of insomnia?
Insomnia problem can cause different symptoms in each person. A person’s life may change over time with sleep problems. Insomnia symptoms include:
- difficulty falling asleep
- short sleeps
- Waking up frequently throughout the night
- Wake up
- Not being able to wake up rested
- difficulty focusing
What are the causes of insomnia?
Insomnia may have many causes and may also be affected by many factors. At the same time, insufficient sleep can also bring other problems. Teens may be particularly susceptible to overload and stress from school, work, and social obligations. At the same time, increased use of electronic devices is also among the causes of insomnia. As in younger people, stress, physical ailments, mental health problems and poor sleep habits can cause insomnia in the elderly.
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia is believed to result from a state of overstimulation that disrupts falling asleep or staying asleep. There are many known or unknown causes of insomnia, and insomnia may become more severe as a result of a complex interaction of mind-body connection, medical history, environmental factors and external influences.
What are the Risk Factors for Insomnia?
There are some factors that can trigger insomnia. Risk factors include:
- Stress: Stress can cause a reaction in the body that results in poor quality sleep. The body’s physical and mental response to stress contributes to overstimulation and can bring on insomnia.
- Sleep Pattern: The body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, refers to the daily pattern of day and night. When this rhythm is disrupted, a person may experience insomnia. Shift work may require a person to work throughout the night and sleep during the day, and disrupted sleep patterns can lead to problems.
- Mental Health: Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder often lead to serious sleep problems. But at the same time, it cannot be ignored that insomnia can exacerbate mood and anxiety disorders.
- Medication Use: Insomnia can be a side effect of many types of medications. Especially blood pressure medications, anti-asthma medications and antidepressants are among the medications that can cause this.
- Age: Increasing age can bring insomnia due to various increases in health problems and medication use.
What are the complications of insomnia?
The most common complaint about insomnia is a constant feeling of fatigue. The effect of this also contributes to problems with being able to concentrate and focus sufficiently for normal daily function. The risk of developing mood disorders may often increase during periods of insomnia. It also increases the risk of:
- Immune weakening
- high blood pressure
Is “Sleep Disorder” Just Insomnia?
Sleep disorder is not just insomnia. While some people experience sleep disorders, unlike insomnia, they sleep more and may spend most of the day asleep. But insomnia is also a type of sleep disorder.
How to Relieve Insomnia?
In order to eliminate insomnia, the person must first be diagnosed and an appropriate treatment plan must be drawn up by the doctor. This treatment plan also includes lifestyle changes for the person. In addition, adjustments may be required regarding sleep schedules and habits.
How is Insomnia Diagnosed?
In addition to various tests to diagnose insomnia, the person may be asked to keep a sleep diary. This diary includes the time they try to fall asleep, their sleep duration, and any problems they experience during the day. At the same time, some people undergo diagnostic evaluations in sleep laboratories.
How to Treat Insomnia?
While there are medications that can be prescribed by a doctor to treat insomnia, lifestyle changes are also among the recommendations. Medications provide effective results in the short term, but they are not considered a suitable treatment for every person experiencing insomnia. In some cases, it may be necessary to provide people with psychological support such as therapy.
What to Pay Attention to in Drug Treatment for Insomnia?
There are medications that can be prescribed by doctors to solve the problem of insomnia. However, these drugs are not given to every person who has insomnia problems. Because there is a risk of addiction among the drawbacks of using medication to treat insomnia. Additionally, sleep medications do not treat the underlying causes of insomnia, so many people must use these medications for long periods of time to be able to sleep, and the conditions that cause insomnia may still remain when the medications are stopped. Therefore, medications should be used under the supervision of a doctor and as prescribed.
What is the Ideal Sleep Duration?
A baby may need up to 17 hours of sleep each day, while an older adult may only sleep 7 hours a night. However, the generally considered ideal sleep times are as follows:
- 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
- 4-11 months: 12-16 hours
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
- 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
- 18-64 years: 7-9 hours
- 65 years and older: 7-8 hours
Suggestions for Quality Sleep
Improving sleep quality is closely related to activities done before and after sleep. In particular, trying to sleep and wake up at the same times as much as possible every day of the week helps create a routine. In addition, calming activities and meditation can make it easier to fall asleep. Stopping food intake before going to sleep and stopping caffeine and alcohol intake hours before can also help prevent insomnia. It is also recommended to exercise during the day and not to use electronic devices in the bedroom.
What are the Benefits of Regular Sleep?
Regular sleep helps a person be more energetic during the day. Apart from this, there are various benefits that regular sleep provides to the person. These benefits:
- boost immune function
- Running the metabolism as it should
- improve memory
- feeling energetic
- Supporting mental health
Insomnia can be seen as a problem that can be encountered in every person. If a person has problems falling asleep for long periods of time or wakes up frequently during sleep, he or she may need to seek support from a healthcare institution.