Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder. It’s about sleeplessness when we go to sleep or wake up recurring in the middle of the night. Here we will see the reasons why insomnia arises.
Types of insomnia
Insomnia can be acute (short term), it is very common and the most frequent causes are stress at work, traumatic events, family problems, etc. It usually lasts a few days or a few weeks.
There is also chronic (long-lasting) insomnia that lasts about a month or even longer. Most cases of chronic insomnia are due to other factors, such as health problems and other sleep disorders. Substances such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can also be a cause.
The causes of insomnia
- Depression and anxiety: the quality of life, physical health or some psychiatric disorders can be the causes. Depression has increased due to the social pressures we have around us.
- Technology: the excessive use of technological devices modifies our internal clock and alters the hormones that generate the sensation of fatigue and help reconcile sleep. In the last hours of the day, the body needs to slow down the pace of its activities, the use of any electronic device tends to keep the body active and “excited”. This will prevent you from falling asleep or make you wake up tired.
- Bring work home. Bringing work home is a common practice among managers, which affects the ability to sleep and the quality of sleep. Experts advise respecting the time spent on work, hobbies and rest. The sum of working hours and the lack of free time produce stress.
- Health problems: for example, diseases with chronic pain such as arthritis, headache, asthma and heart failure, thyroid and gastrointestinal disorders.
- Stress. Too much stress, or its long duration, causes insomnia; as well as alterations of the emotional state. To reduce stress you can plan to better manage your time, learn strategies to react to different situations, find the right channels to express your emotions, ask for help if you need it.
- Drugs. Some medications can disturb sleep. In this case, you can contact a doctor who will identify the drugs that negatively interact with the quality of sleep and find alternative treatments that will allow you to rest.
- Menopause. Some solutions to improve insomnia in this phase are: keeping the room cool to avoid night sweats, avoid the use of sleeping pills, exercise every day, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening and eat cereal products and milk before to lie down or during the night.
- Bad habits. Taking a nap, training in the hours close to resting, eating heavy meals, drinking too much liquid or not going to bed at the same time, are habits that should be avoided. The ideal would instead be to get used to doing activities that calm you and relax you, like reading a book, listening to soft music or taking a hot bath.
- Take caffeine. Caffeine is a very powerful stimulant that has effects on sleep. It is present in coffee, tea, some soft drinks, and chocolate. You should avoid consuming them in the six hours prior to the night’s rest. You should also avoid the “shooting” that causes a lighter than normal sleep.
An option to treat insomnia without drugs is cognitive-behavioral therapy which involves talking with a therapist, individually or in group sessions, to analyze your ideas and perceptions about sleep. The goal of this type of therapy is to relax and clear the mind.
There are also many drugs that can be prescribed for insomnia. Some should be used for a short period of time and others for a longer period. Ask your doctor about the benefits and side effects of these drugs: many can cause discomfort or addiction.