Insomnia is a sleep-related condition that is the inability to get the amount of sleep that you need. It could mean you struggle to fall to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night feeling wide awake and finding it hard to fall back to sleep again. We all know the feeling, but some people suffer more consistently and severely than others; as most of us will experience a difficulty to sleep or waking in the night on rare occasions, whereas others will suffer most nights with consistent sleeplessness, which is otherwise known as insomnia.
It is quite a common problem that varies in severity from person-to-person and it is unlikely that people will suffer in exactly the same way. It unfortunately can lead to sleep deprivation and take a huge toll on your energy, mood, health and your overall ability to function properly the next day. Although it is the most common sleep complaint, it is not usually a condition on its own but is a symptom of another problem. Here are some of the top problems that may be causing you to suffer from insomnia:
Stress, anxiety & worry:
These are all top causes of sleep deprivation and insomnia, as they can lead you to not being able to switch off properly at night. If you’re under a lot of stress, you will find that it’s something you can’t escape and stressful situations can play on your mind. Anxiety and worry will have the same effect and it may be all you can think about before going to bed when you have nothing else to distract you. This will prevent you from feeling fully relaxed, which is essential for falling to sleep. Certain situations that cause stress, anxiety and worry will usually cause insomnia to last a few days until the situation has passed.
Alcohol & drugs:
Alcohol and certain drugs are stimulants, which obviously are likely to keep you awake and drinking too much alcohol and taking drugs is likely to affect your sleeping pattern. Other stimulants like nicotine through smoking and caffeine from coffee and energy drinks can also have a big effect on your sleep.
While some medications cause drowsiness, others can have the complete opposite effect. These medications include some antidepressants, high blood pressure medication, hormone replacement therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stimulant drugs and some medications for asthma or epilepsy.
Bad sleeping environment:
Our bedrooms need to be a nice and relaxing environment in order to encourage sleep. If you watch telly in bed with a lot of bright artificial light in the room, you will definitely find it hard to wind down and sleep. Making sure your bed is comfortable and your room is dark and quiet is the best way to achieve a good night’s sleep. Our bedrooms also need to be a relaxing space so maybe take a bath before you get into bed and wind down before sleeping.
Various psychological problems like depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder can all have a negative effect on your sleeping pattern and cause insomnia. Depression is one of the top causes of sleep deprivation, but a lack of sleep can only make depressive symptoms worse. That’s why it’s so important to treat the underlying issue in order to get some decent sleep.