The Bollywood flick Shaandaar showed the main leads, Shahid Kapur and Alia Bhatt, as insomniacs who could not sleep until they fell in love. But the reality is less fancy and more complicated than that. Insomnia is known as a condition where a person is not able to fall asleep. An insomniac is also one who wakes up in the middle of the night and lays awake for hours. It can be categorized as the inability to sleep or stay asleep during the night.
Since different people have different sleeping needs, insomnia is categorized on the quality of sleep that one gets. The sleeping disorder is often looked upon as the main problem when it is more of a symptom. The main problem could be something as simple as drinking coffee late in the day or something serious like an underlying medical condition.
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders. But the good news is that you could take care of it by making a few changes in your lifestyle. To find the culprit causing you the sleepless nights, you will have to become a spy! Many times, the cause of insomnia is stress, depression, or anxiety. To find the main factor triggering insomnia, you need to ask yourself some questions.
- Do you feel hopeless or depressed?
- Is anything causing a lot of stress in your life?
- Is your sleeping environment quiet, safe, and comfortable?
- Do you struggle with worrying thoughts and anxiety?
- Do you have any health issues that may be causing insomnia?
The answers to the questions will help you understand what might be triggering insomnia. Along with that, take a look at your daily habits and try to figure out if any particular routine might be making insomnia worse.
Treatment for Insomnia
For many people, making small changes in sleeping habits and taking care of issues like anxiety and stress takes care of sleepless nights. However, if these measures do not work, it is better to see a doctor as insomnia can affect other parts of the individual’s life.
Depending upon the intensity of insomnia, your doctor may prescribe any of the following treatments.
Cognitive therapy helps you control and completely erase negative thoughts and actions. It is generally the first treatment that is recommended for those who can’t sleep due to overthinking. Cognitive therapy also helps to recognize the habits that cause you to worry and replace them with better habits that would help you sleep.
You can opt for many over-the-counter medicines that would help you sleep. Your doctor may even recommend an antihistamine. It makes you feel drowsy and will help you sleep. However, this is not meant for regular use as they also have side-effects; it is better to cross-check with your doctor before you take them.
Prescription medicine can help insomniacs fall asleep or stay asleep. Usually, doctors are not keen on prescribing medicines like these as they can be addictive. It can be hard to get off of the medicine once you are used to taking it to fall asleep. There are some medicines that are only meant to be used on a short-term basis. But for more serious cases of insomnia, there are long-term options as well.
Tips to fall asleep
Regardless of your age or the problems that you may be going through, insomnia can be hard to deal with. Here are some small tips that may help you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
- Stay active
You know how parents try to tire children out so they can put them to bed? You want to try the same thing here. Be as active as you can be throughout the day. If you work out regularly, then make sure there is a gap of at least a few hours between your workout and sleeping time. Being tired makes it easier for the body and brain to rest and fall asleep.
- Stick to schedule
One of the reasons that people often struggle with falling asleep is because they do not have a set timetable. To help you fall asleep better and quicker, stick to a tight sleeping schedule and continue it even on weekends.
- Don’t nap
Naptime is one of the most fun parts of the day. The little time away where you can simply turn off is amazing. But you have to limit it or even completely stop if it makes it harder to fall asleep in the night. If you cannot get through the day without a nap, make sure you do not sleep for more than 20-30 minutes.
Insomnia can be hard to deal with. Only those who go through it know how difficult it can be. But the good news is that it can be easily treatable. Make use of the many treatment options to overcome the problem. If left untreated, it could take a toll on your mood and the ability to be productive throughout the day.