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In our dynamic world, insomnia is a common disorder, associated with difficulties to get asleep. The violations in the rhythm of sleep are manifested in shifting of the sleeping time, or in the disturbance of sleep in the night time. Insomnia is officially considered a sleep disorder if it lasts for at least several weeks. The main cause of insomnia is currently psychological problems, such as chronic stressful situations, nerves, depression, and others. Common factors that adversely affect our ordinary sleep include caffeine-containing drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola, and energetic beverages; too much fatty food before bed, alcohol, and smoking; and an intense physical activity before the bedtime.
The sleep disorders may be of different types:
– Insomnia, generally meaning sleep disorders and the ability to sleep.
– Hypersomnia is considered as a disorder, accompanied by a pathological drowsiness.
– Parasomnia is a functional disorder, associated with sleep, sleep phases, and incomplete awakening, such as walkings at the sleep, nighttime fears and anxious dreams, enuresis, nocturnal epileptic seizures and so on.
– Situational or psychosomatic insomnia, lasting up to several weeks and having, as a rule, an emotional nature.
Depending on the disturbances in the sleep process, pathologies are divided into the following groups:
- Difficulties at the beginning of sleep are usually called the pre-somnolent disorders. Such patients are afraid of insomnia to occur again. A desire to sleep disappears, as soon as this patient finds himself in bed. He does not give rest to thoughts and memories, he searches for a comfortable pose for sleep for a long time. The slightest sounds easily interrupt the sleep.
- Frequent awakenings while sleeping, after which it is difficult to fall asleep. Such “superficial” sleep is characteristic of the pathology disturbance of the sleep process. This is also called intrasomnia. Such a person can be awakened by the slightest noise, frightening dreams, and urges to the toilet. These factors affect everyone, but these patients have increased sensitivity to them and difficulties with falling asleep afterward.
- A “sleep apnea” syndrome is a separate kind of the sleep disturbance. This is a situation with a periodical sleep during the slowing down of breathing until its complete stop for some periods of time. Patients, suffering from it, have a significant risk of the preliminary death due to the stop functioning of the cardiovascular and the respiratory systems. This syndrome is usually combined with a whole set of other symptoms, as increased blood pressure, headaches in the morning, decreased potency, decreased mental abilities, personality changes, obesity, and severe snoring and increased motor activity during sleep.
- Anxiety after awakening present post-somnolence disorders. This is a problem with early morning final awakening decreases the quality of the rest at nights and leads to the daytime drowsiness. Insomnia is the inevitable companion of various diseases, such as depression, arthritis, heart diseases, harmful effects of medications, renal insufficiency, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, etc. Also, insomnia can disturb anyone because of the physical pain or physical anxiety.
Therefore, we can cope with insomnia by several simple methods. First of all, the sleep hygiene is very important. Try to stay in a familiar environment for you, in a comfortable bed with proper sheets and pillows, with closed curtains and without sharp sounds and smells. Go to bed at the same time, even on weekends. Before going to bed, air the room. Taking a short walk with a warm relaxing shower after it, are also advised. Read the book before getting asleep.
The rational activities, as at work and at home, should be combined with the time for the rest and for the sleep. Many people know, but not often follow these guides, that for our healthy life, both mentally and physically, is much better to go bed relatively early, in the period from 21 and 22 hours in the evening. The duration of the sleep must be at least of 7 hours, but in the periods of an excessive physical and emotional stress, this time should be extended. Taking herbal sedatives, as valerian extract, is possible in some cases, but not to be addicted to them.
Insomnia may be the first sign of a serious disease, such as neurosis, depression, and chronic stress. It dramatically aggravates and reduces our work capacity, social adaptation, and quality of life. Therefore, do not underestimate insomnia and especially avoid the self-healing methods. In the case of the sleep disturbance for several weeks, it is advised to visit a doctor, psychotherapist, neurologist. A doctor, assessing the general condition of the patient, can find out the cause of insomnia, and prescribe a drug that will not hurt you.