Insomnia is difficulty staying asleep. It’s considered chronic whenever it happens at least 3 nights per week for a period of three months or longer. Almost all of us have undergone the brief periods of insomnia, also known as acute insomnia. However, how to know if you have insomnia? We all have an idea of the irritability that comes with staying awake staring at the ceiling almost all night and wishing to fall asleep. This is a common occurrence especially after a travel or when you’re overwhelmed and anxious of life circumstances.
So how does one tell apart a normal sleep problem from a serious form of insomnia that requires medical intervention? Medically, people with insomnia will have one of these symptoms:
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Difficulty falling asleep.
- Low energy or fatigue.
- Mood disturbance, such as irritability.
- Feeling impulsive or aggression.
- Non-restorative sleep.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Difficulty in relationships, such as friends, family and caregivers.
- Difficulty at school or work.
According to researchers, insomnia is a problem with one’s brain being not able to stop being awake. See, humans’ brain has a sleep cycle and a wake cycle which are created in a way that when one is turned off, the other is turned on. Irrespective of the cause, if insomnia occurs frequently, it’s prudent to talk to your doctor.
How to Know If You Have Insomnia
The question that how to know if you have insomnia is as easy as ABC… Once you feel that your sleep is not sufficient in some way, then you have insomnia, period. You may also be having daytime consequences such as irritability and fatigue. If you sleep well and then your mood and energy improve and concentration problems subside, it may be a suggestion that you’ve insomnia. Even though daytime sleepiness is a result of insomnia, it’s not a reliable indicator.
In Case You Feel You Have Insomnia, What Should You Do to Subside It?
First, I would advise you to start practicing good sleep hygiene. For instance, start waking up daily at the same time and avoid napping during the day. Shun stimulants that may result into insomnia, such stimulants are tea and coffee. After daytime chores, prepare yourself for bed with a relaxing bedtime routine. Importantly, you ought to prevent insomnia by embracing a safe and comfortable sleep environment.
Insomnia experts normally pay attention to the details of the problem which often allude to varied causes and treatments. It could be only trouble falling asleep or type of insomnia that’s related to stress. Varied specifics of the sleep disturbance will result into varied approaches to the problem.
For some insomnia, the underlying cause may be sleep hygiene problems, psychological problems, stress, pain and discomfort, rhythm disturbances, and ingestion of certain stimulants and medications like tea and coffee
In Case of Insomnia, When Should You Seek Medical Help?
Quite simple, it’s simply when you think the problem is serious enough. In fact, once sleep problems start impairing your ability to function or mood in any way, seek medical advice.
Recommended Methods of Insomnia Treatment in Case You Have It
Undoubtedly, medications can prove effective in several cases. Today, there exist various medications that are effective and safe to use. Sedating antidepressant medications or sleeping pills often differ in the duration of their action and how fast they act towards controlling the situation. As such, settling on the best medication, timing and dose administration overly lies on the traits of the sleep problem.
Cognitive behavioral therapy mechanisms are usually the most recommended since they’re effective for variety of insomnia causes. This technique calls for combination of various stimulus control instructions, sleep restriction therapy and addressing the cognitive aspect of sleep disorders such as misconception about sleep and tendency to worry about insomnia.
Circadian rhythm treatments: These include exposure to bright light or some ingestion of melatonin. These normally reset your body’s clock thus allowing you sleep better over the night as well as function as required during the daytime
Some insomnia is as a result of living problems or mood disorders, and it may be helpful to seek psychotherapy help in case the need to talk about the underlying issue arises. There exist psychiatric medicines that are known for treating in anxiety disorders and mood disorders.
Importantly, you just need to realize that there’s no need of suffering from insomnia. There are renowned treatments available. In a nut shell, addressing insomnia may require input of some effort, well, it’s worth it.
Misconceptions About Insomnia
Evidently, there are myriad myths and half truths about lack of sleep that are floating around. Gathering advice from well wishers can create an inaccurate and in accurate depiction of insomnia. These are the truth behind common misconceptions about insomnia:
- Everyone has difficulty with sleep and so it’s just a matter of putting up with it. See, 3 out of 10 people suffer from insomnia, this is totally inevitable. By the virtue of having others suffer from the same, it’s no guarantee that you too can experience this condition.
- Lack of 8 hours sleep per night means something is wrong: The fact is we’ll all have varied amounts of sleep. In case you usually sleep for less than 8 hours but don’t suffer from any of these symptoms, chances are you’re not insomnia tic.
- how to know if you have insomnia? I often wake up during the night, do I have insomnia? Well, not really, unless you experience problems falling back to sleep again. It’s totally normal to wake up after a light sleep.
- I’ve not been able to fall asleep for decades. I’m untreatable: It doesn’t always trickle down to that. By improving your sleep hygiene and stopping mind chatter and adapting a healthy sleep schedule, no matter how adverse your insomnia is, you can overcome it all.
- You can only beat insomnia by using powerful sleeping pills: NO, that’s not true. If anything, sleeping pills are only recommended for special cases of acute insomnia. They seldom help with chronic insomnia. Well, they might mask the symptoms but will never tackle the root cause. What’s more, sleeping pills can result into nasty side effects especially if taken in large doses for long.
Are There Any Negative Effects of Insomnia?
The answer is yes. How to know if you have insomnia is significant since insufficient sleep usually has adverse impacts on someone’s health. Considering this, it’s vital to get help soonest possible. Some of evident negative effects of insufficient sleep include:
- Heart disease
- Reduced immune system
- Stomach problems
- Increased risk of infections
- Premature aging
- Chronic memory loss
In case you’re suffering from any of the above, kindly consider taking a medical test. Evaluate the list and select options that you feel properly reflect what you’ve been undergoing for the past two weeks.
Sleep Habits for Beating Insomnia
Good sleep hygiene can go a long way into helping you get good night’s sleep thus beating insomnia. Here are some tips that will undoubtedly prove handy:
- Exercise regularly. However, avoid exercising close to bedtime since it stimulates you and makes it hard for you to sleep. Research shows that those who are fond of not exercising 3-4 hours before bed time always have more cozy sleep.
- Avoid eating heavy meal late in the day. On the other hand, a little snack prior to bedtime may help you sleep better.
- Adopt a regular bedtime by going to bed the same time and getting up same time every morning. Avoid daytime naps since they cause lack of sleep at night.
- Shun nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day. These normally cause you to wake up in the night thus interfering with your sleep’s quality.
- Avoid use of phones and e-books before bedtime. These may make it hard to fall asleep.
- Avoid using your bed for anything else apart from sex and sleep.
- In case you go to bed and fail to feel drowsy, wake up and engage in any activity that’s not very stimulating until you sleep.
- Make your bed very cozy. Ensure it’s dark, moderate in terms of temperature and quiet.
- Make a to-do-list before going to bed to help you focus on those worries that you may be encountering overnight.
When it’s all said and done, there are great untold opportunities for one to address insomnia, such as practicing relaxation techniques and sound sleep hygiene. Importantly, doing the over-the-counter medications is never among the best options. Their major risk is daytime impairment, cognitive problems and drowsiness. The question of how to know if you have insomnia is very useful. Ultimately, detecting early symptoms and knowing if you have insomnia is very important. As the adage goes, ‘prevention is always better than cure.’ Considering the importance of healthy sleep and the adverse effects of insomnia, let’s endeavor to never gamble with our sleep. How to know if you have insomnia is easy. Hopefully, the above insights will help us in that endeavor, I just shared knowing that a candle loses noting from lighting another, let’s keep that spirit on.