Allow me to start by saying this truth that its quite difficult to differentiate between the normal less sleep nights and insomnia since the difference between the two is also their similarity. Oh, I know I left you more confused but worry not, I will definitely explain in details the difference between the two so that one can easily distinguish if you just have ‘’less sleep’’ or you could be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is basically a sleep disorder which calls for treatment. In other terms, insomnia can be defined as the inability or difficult to fall asleep, staying asleep or uncomfortable sleep. It can be chronic or just acute. Sleep in deficiency is a condition where you just able to remain asleep for a shorter period of time than the normal period stipulated. We shall discuss in details about insomnia in order to somehow answer the question on “do I have insomnia”.
Symptoms of Insomnia
In an attempt t answer the question on “Do I have Insomnia”, I find it very necessary to start by understanding the few symptoms of insomnia which somehow are not in the normal sleep loss conditions. According to a research carried out in a wide range of individuals, a person suffering from this condition is likely to show a few of the following symptoms.
Difficulty falling asleep: This could be one of the universal signs that you could be suffering from insomnia. Most people find themselves rolling in bed for more hours in the night that the hours they could probably be asleep. If this happens for more than three times in a week for more than a month, then it is prudent to ask yourself this question (Do I have Insomnia). The difficulty or if it gets worse even inability to fall asleep when you ought to negatively affects ones productivity during the active hours since the mind does not get enough time to rest.
Difficulty staying asleep: For those of us who understand the value of sleep, you understand damn so well what it means to lose your sleep at the middle of the night; that moment when there is pin drop silence in you “small world’’ and all you want is sleep and nothing less of it. When someone is suffering from insomnia, there are high chances that he or she loses sleep during the night and it becomes so difficult to fall asleep again. In this state, there are high chances the person could be suffering from Insomnia and he or she need to pay attention on what could be causing this particular condition.
Waking up too early in the morning: Well, imagine this, it’s a lazy day, you got no plan for the day, no movies to watch, nobody to chat with, and maybe it’s raining outside. All you want is sleep but with all the attempts to remain asleep, at 4:00AM, no more sleep coming forth. You just can’t understand what could be the reason why you can’t sleep yet that’s all you want. It becomes a trend and it dawns on you that you can’t sleep past 4:00AM despite how free your day is. And it in this cycle of wake up time that you got to ask yourself “Do I have Insomnia” question. The answer will definitely be a yes since Insomnia will take away your sweet morning sleep and therefore corrective measures should be put in place.
Unrefreshing sleep: This basically means sleep that does not allow your body to restore your lost energy. It’s not a wonder to wake up one morning feeling as though you are just from tilling the land the entire day. It worries the more if you have slept for so long hours yet you are not refreshed come morning. If you experience this for a day and it disappears, that could be normal but if it happens for more than three consecutive days, there are high chances you are suffering from insomnia.
Fatigue or low energy: Do you feel extremely tired during your normal days? Are you feeling like you are so weak to even carry yourself around? Then there are high chances you are not having enough rest time in form of sleep. Your body and mind need rest to rejuvenate and in readiness for the next day. If you are still wondering why you so fatigued during the day, then you better ask yourself “Do I have Insomnia?” And the most possible answer is yes.
Cognitive impairment: Now here you are at work or in school, you are experiencing trouble remembering or learning very basic facts, or you just can’t concentrate on your duties or books, this is a condition referred as cognitive impairment. You can easily realize that you are not normal in your reason or learning if you can’t remember something that you were taught the a few hours ago, your boss ask you to do a task and after a few minutes you have already forgotten, someone is talking to you but you are not able to pay attention to him or her, then its conclusive you are in this condition. Insomnia is a major cause of cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment can either be mild or sever depending on the extent to which it has affected you.
Mood disturbance: The mood of a person experiencing insomnia swings from time to time. They are easily irritated by even minute factors like if a pen runs out of ink and they go banging it on the wall. They are unable to control themselves since their brains have overworked and did not have enough sleep to rejuvenate and refresh. A person who is suffering from insomnia is more likely to lose control of his temper easily as compared to one who is in normal condition. They are usually extremely aggressive. If you exhibit such weird feeling in your moods, you could be suffering from insomnia.
If by any chance you are showing any of the above symptoms, then you will obviously test positive for insomnia. Insomnia comes in different types and different classifications.
Primary and Secondary Insomnia: Primary Insomnia basically means that the person is experiencing sleep difficulties which is not associated with any other health condition directly. This is to mean that your lack of sleep is not as a result of illness or other factors in relation. On the other hand, in secondary insomnia the person is experiencing sleep problems as a result of a health related problem such as depression, pain, medications or alcohol which affect the normal functioning of the body thus disturbed sleep. It is important to understand the cause of your state of sleeplessness by analysis the factors affecting you.
Chronic and Acute Insomnia: This is classification depending on how long one is experiencing difficulties with sleep. Chronic Insomnia is where you suffer from insomnia for three times a week for more than one month. The major causes of chronic insomnia are;
- Chronic stress pain
On the other hand, Acute Insomnia is short-term that is, lasts for just a while and disappears and reappears again and the cycle continues. It’s usually caused by;
- Short-lived stress caused by normal life occurrences.
- Emotional discomfort
If the answer to “Do I have Insomnia” is a yes, then you will need to get treatment for the same. For acute insomnia, you will not require the attention of a medical practitioner but rather behavioral change. These include but are not limited to;
- Have a constant sleep schedule. This is to mean you will need to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This streamlines your body and mind and easily falls asleep and gets up without much struggle.
- Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine is usually a stimulant and intake of the same less than 4 hours to sleep time stimulates your mind and becomes very active at a time when it should actually be asleep. If you want to achieve some comfortable sleep, you will need to do caffeine free drinks.
- Avoid taking naps during the day: You will be less sleepy during the night if you have some nap hours during the day. It’s therefore advisable for one to engage in active activities during the day and sleep at night.
- Make bedroom comfortable: Ensure you sleep in a comfortable bedroom with comfortable beddings and conditions. It should be dark, and quiet to sooth your sleep.
Additionally, if you are suffering from chronic insomnia, it’s advisable that one seeks attention of a medical practitioner for prescriptions and treatment all together. Sleeping pills can be of help in this case.
You can’t treat if you are not aware you are suffering. Understanding your sleeping patterns and your behavior during the day when normal, it will be easy to answer this question “Do I have insomnia” If you learn a few of the symptoms or anything you suspect could be causing you insufficient sleep, then you have to test yourself or be tested for insomnia.