Insomnia means sleeplessness. Are you suffering from sleeplessness? Find the causes of sleeplessness and its symptoms are explained in below health letter.
Insomnia: Causes and Symptoms
Letter to the patient suffering from insomnia
Don’t be dizzy with a question who is writing to you? Well, long story short… I am a doctor having 16 years of experience. I agree we never met before. But I could guess what made you to Google the term ‘insomnia’.
Let I come to the reason why I am writing to you.
Decades back when I was a medical student I have read about this sleep disorder. In fact, sleep, anxiety, and memory disorders were the main subjects of my thesis while graduating as Ayurveda professional. Then after I joined clinics and had an opportunity to learn from well-known physicians in my district. Back then I was witnessing more than hundred patients and their prescriptions on daily basis. Surprisingly around 10 to 15 patients had sleep pills prescribed in.
Just to know you… this sleeplessness disorder is widespread!!
Today I feel confident while writing to you. As a person, as a doctor or as a blogger I wish I could help you to deal with the problem of insomnia. With my practical experience, I could add something which may prove more vital to you.
Before we beam on insomnia cures…let we try to understand more about this disorder.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia definition: – Practically the sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep is called as insomnia. So the person suffering from sleeplessness misses the natural state of rest and rejuvenation. He just remains wakeful, especially during the night hours. And you may guess the after effects!!
The next question comes to mind…
Who can suffer from insomnia??
The answer is all inclusive. No matter what age you are at. No matter what gender you belong. Anyone who sleeps on this earth can suffer from difficulty in sleeping. His sleeplessness maybe for a couple of hours. In a severe situation, he may remain wide-awake throughout the night. Suffering from unending wakefulness…just tossing and turning in his bed…!!!!
Let we talk about how much sleep is needed for an individual. Scientifically an adult human requires seven to nine hours of sleep. The sleep requirement is higher for younger ones. Newborns need 12-18 hours of sleep. The children require 10-13 hours of sleep. The sleep requirement is also affected by your health condition.
Let we turn towards the topic of this letter-article.
What are the causes of insomnia?
A wide number of people experiencing the disorder of lack of sleep. Broadly speaking we can categorize common insomnia causes in an abbreviation: SEEMS
- S: Stress (physical/mental stress),
- E: Emotions (emotional imbalance),
- E: Environmental (disturbing surrounding),
- M: Medicines (some medicines may cause insomnia) and
- S: Schedules (disturbance in your regular schedules).
It’s necessary to find out the cause behind. Sometimes awareness regarding the cause helps in preventing or alleviating the problem of insomnia especially if the condition is acute. In the case of chronic insomnia sufferers usually, a multi-prong approach is needed.
Anxiety is the prominent reason of insomnia in chronic sufferers. And to help sleep, the list of prescribed medications by the Psychiatrist includes a number of sedatives.
Be aware!! Other health conditions may trigger insomnia. We will discuss such causes in the separate article.
Imagine a person suffering from an accidental injury. Or imagine the player suffering from a leg cramp. Will pain allow them to have a good quality of sleep throughout night??
Medically we differentiate insomnia as primary or secondary. If a person is directly suffering from sleeplessness then his insomnia problem is primary. If another health condition is making him sleepless then we term that insomnia as secondary. In both situations, a person remains continually active or moving especially during the night.
What are different types of insomnia?
To know you the condition insomnia can be acute or chronic. And with current lifestyle each individual may suffer from insomnia at some or the other day. If it started recently meaning a few weeks ago then it’s acute. This condition is chronic if an individual has sleepless nights in-between for months or years. It can be episodic for few individuals.
What symptoms a sleepless person may have??
The person suffering from insomnia either has difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining his sleep. You may notice red or strained eyes due to lack of sleep. The person may suffer from heaviness around his orbital area. He may complain of a headache.
The lack of sleep usually results in dizziness the day after. Along with dizziness, sleepless nights may cause tiredness, poor concentration or even sometimes make the person irritable.
Just imagine a student appearing for an exam that had a sleepless night before and could not remember the things he studied. His all efforts would turn in vain!!
Sleeplessness impacts brain functioning!!!
How much a sleepless night can cost?
The answer differs for each individual. The professional driver who had a sleepless night before may end up with the serious accident. One sleepless night has a definite impact on your tomorrow’s working ability. And you know how important it is. I think this is the reason what made me start with my first health letter for the people who have sleeplessness disorder.
What about the chronic sufferers?? What is the effect of long-term sleep deprivation??
One may notice tired and fatigued person because of sleeplessness. Chronic sleeplessness may cause hormonal imbalance. It can affect blood sugar level or blood pressure levels. It can compromise person’s immunity also. Chronic insomnia alters defense mechanism of the human body.
Be aware… lack of sleep impacts the whole body!! Your brain will ache or toe may fracture. Yes, sleepless persons are usually accident prone. Sleeplessness affects cognitive brain functions. The person may have difficulty in coordination. He may lose keenness in performing tasks.
Mood, Mind, Memory and Movements… Almost everything gets affected. Often insomnia is of a recurring type in case of chronic sufferers. Recurring sleeplessness not always associated with anxiety.
Sleep is the precious gift of rest offered by Mother Nature… and rest is the mother of rejuvenation.
Dear XYZ, after reading above information you would have understood the importance of sleep. You know our current lifestyle is making us more sleepless. Be it because of a birthday party or be it because of your favorite late night movie…we consciously or unconsciously excusing our inherited gift of sleep. In conclusion, difficulty in sleeping may take origin from such habitual sleeplessness.
I hope you would have now realized the reasons of sleepless nights. So far I have witnessed thousands of patients suffering from this sleep disorder. I have seen hundreds of them depending on pills just to have a good night sleep. I have also witnessed few of them suffered from pill withdrawal symptoms. And many times they had a wrong approach to resolve their in-somnolence.
The current methods of controlling insomnia focus on diets and schedules. But I think one more vital aspect we should not forget about… Mind… the aspect necessary for falling asleep… the aspect necessary for achieving the dream of good quality sleep… Yes, my friend… Your mind!!
You follow the hygienic sleep habit but what if you remain awakened till 3 am? Or what if disturbed once you cannot sleep again??
Should you end up with the dizzy day after or would you prefer sleep pill to avoid the next dizzy day?
I have seen people puzzled with this question. I know how helpless or lonely they feel at that moment. Hence I am posting my first health letter to such people.
Regarding how to fix insomnia…
Is there anything we can do before Psychiatrist opt to prescribe sleep pill? What could be alternative insomnia therapy without side effects??
Well…purpose of this letter is only to understand medical term insomnia.
Before arriving how to treat insomnia, we will try to further reveal it. We will also focus on what are the natural remedies for severe insomnia.
I hope anyone suffering from insomnia would benefit from my next health letter articles.
Dr. Suraj Awadhani