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Insomnia and your Health



Insomnia 

  • Sleep is a critical component of our health

  • We spend almost one third of our lives sleeping 

  • A lack of quality sleep can cause BIG & SMALL disruptions  in our overall health

  • Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide

  • We can simply call it difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or both, despite having adequate time & opportunity for sleep

  • For some people, insomnia is a minor issue 

  • For others, insomnia can be a major issue 

 

Types Of Insomnia :  Two Main Types

 

Acute insomnia – This last only for a short period of time

Chronic insomnia – This will occur at least three times per week for at least three months

 

Causing / Contributing Factors For Insomnia 

 

Genetics : 39 % chances are that Insomnia seems to run in families 


Stress : In case of stress, our body release hormones that can interfere with sleep. This can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night

Anxiety and depression can also contribute to insomnia by causing racing thoughts or feelings of sadness that keep us awake


Medical conditions : Chronic pain, asthma, Hyperthyroidism , Allergies , Sinus issues , Parkinson’s disease and acid reflux can also disrupt sleep


Pregnancy : Physical, Hormonal & Psychological changes / effects in Pregnancy can significantly affect our ability to sleep 


Medications :  Antidepressants, blood pressure medications, birth control medications , Asthma medications , ADHD medications ,  over the counter cold or allergy medications can interfere with sleep as well

 

Life changes

Short term changes, like jet lag , sleeping in an unfamiliar place or adjusting to a new work schedule 


Long-term changes, like moving to a new home, can also affect sleep

 

Alcoholics: Alcohol consumption can cause insomnia .. Adv to finish drinking at least 3 hours before going to bed  

 

Domestic violence / Abuse : Repeated domestic violence and abuse often contribute to insomnia 

 

Poor sleep habits : Irregular sleep habits , Long hours watching TV, playing video games, checking social media or using electronic devices before bed, napping during the day can also contribute to insomnia

 

Symptoms Of Insomnia 

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • We wake up around 3 am but fall back asleep . most common form, affecting almost 66 % of the population 

  • We wake up too early in the morning and don’t fall back asleep

  • Day time tiredness , sleepiness 

  • Mood disturbances 

  • Decreased performance in work or daily activities

  • Delayed responses, such as reacting too slowly when you’re driving

  • Trouble remembering things

  • Slowed thought processes, confusion or trouble concentrating

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

 

Complications Of Insomnia : 

 

  • Daytime sleepiness, which can be dangerous if you’re driving or doing other tasks that require you to be alert and attentive

  • High Blood Pressure 

  • Stroke 

  • Heart Attack 

  • Depression 

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

  • Diabetes 

  • Obesity 

 

Medications For Insomnia : 

 

Medications can help you sleep, but some mediations may also negatively affect your sleep cycle

 

Nonprescription Medications :  

- Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be effective for short-term use, but they can cause side effects such as daytime drowsiness

- Melatonin : Melatonin is a chemical our brain uses that tells us it’s time to go to sleep . Only use in case you go from one time zone to another & always have a low dose  

 

Prescription Medications : 

- Benzodiazepines

- Non-benzodiazepines

- Herbs & Supplements : Some herbs & supplements can help treat insomnia 

 

How to diagnose Insomnia  ?

 

  • Medical History 

  • Sleep Habits 

  • Diet 

  • Lab Sleep test & Home Sleep test 

 

When Should I Be Concerned ?

  • If Insomnia lasts for more than a few nights

  • If Insomnia starts to affect your daily routine, tasks & activities

  • If you notice Sleepiness during your waking hours while you’re working or driving

 

How To Manage Insomnia :  

 

  • 10 min Deep breathing / Meditation / Yoga / listening to music BEFORE going to bed can decrease stress / anxiety

  • A person develops anxiety over NOT sleeping & it forms a vicious cycle 

  • No Social Media 30 min before going to bed and 30 min after waking up in the morning every day

  • Go to bed & get up at the same time every day including on weekends 

  • Try avoid naps in the late afternoon or early evening, as these can affect your sleep cycle

  • Avoid caffeine & alcohol 3 hours before bed

  • As soon as you get up, open the shades to let sunshine in. This helps to set your circadian rhythm

  • 45 min min regular workouts 

  • The bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) may be helpful

  • CBT -1 is a type of therapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that contribute to insomnia

  • It may include techniques such as stimulus control, and relaxation training

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