Insomnia is a sleep condition that causes difficulty sleeping and/or staying asleep.
The disorder can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). It may also appear and disappear.
Acute insomnia can persist from one night to many weeks. Insomnia is considered chronic when it occurs at least three nights per week for three months or longer.
Although insomnia is classified as a mental health illness by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5), it is frequently a symptom of a larger problem or issue in the afflicted person’s life. However, the reasons for insomnia are so varied that many individuals who suffer from it feel disillusioned with the treatment process since determining the specific cause can be difficult. Identifying and treating the underlying cause of insomnia can help patients regain their normal sleep patterns and obtain higher quality sleep than ever before.
Stress is a significant cause of sleeplessness. Of course, stress is the root cause of many physical and emotional issues, including sleeplessness. Stress can interfere with your ability to fall and/or remain asleep since the events, issues, and anxieties you carry with you throughout the day will inevitably accompany you home and into bed at night. In other situations, stresses are something you may avoid or push to the back of your mind during the day as you try to work, go to school, care for family, and carry out your daily responsibilities. It would be best to have a clear head to go through the day, but when nightfall arrives and you lie down, you finally get mental and physical rest. Worrying is frequently at its greatest when you have nothing else to distract you while you lie in quiet and are alone with your thoughts.
Stress and other emotional issues such as sadness and/or worry can all contribute to chronic or short-term insomnia. In fact, sleep disruption is a sign of Major Depressive Disorder, when patients either sleep too much or not enough. People suffering from anxiety disorders may also experience insomnia since anxieties, fears, and/or panic might keep them from sleeping and/or staying asleep.
A variety of physical health issues can cause insomnia. As a result of a sickness or condition, sleeplessness undoubtedly works as a symptom in these instances. Furthermore, medicines used to address physical/medical disorders (and mental health issues) can have adverse effects, one of which is sleeplessness.
Diet and exercise habits are another cause of insomnia, both physical health-related and connected with lifestyle/environmental variables. What you eat (or don’t consume) can have a big influence on your overall health. You can even feel the impact of your diet after only a few days of consuming unhealthy, processed meals! It does not take months or years to complete. Insomnia is a possible side effect, particularly if you eat large meals before night and/or consume high sugar or high carbohydrate (which converts into sugar) foods throughout the day. Caffeine, of course, is a substantial cause of insomnia, even if consumed many hours before bedtime.
The severity of the repercussions of insomnia is frequently determined by whether your sleep problems are temporary or persistent. Short-term insomnia caused by a big life event or stressor may interfere with your day-to-day functioning, but it is unlikely to have long-term consequences if the stressor is controlled or addressed.
Chronic insomnia, which lasts more than a month, can negatively influence your physical and emotional health. Because sleep is crucial for immune system functioning, not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep might lead you to become ill more frequently (e.g., colds, flu). If your immune system is weak, you are more vulnerable to other, more serious ailments.
In terms of your emotional health, sleep disruption can cause the beginnings of sadness, anxiety, and, in severe cases, psychosis. Sleep is so important to our health than a person’s personality can alter significantly if they are chronically sleep-deprived. In certain circumstances, people might become irritated, furious, or even violent.
The therapies for insomnia are as diverse as the causes of the disease. Insomnia has been treated using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness interventions. Stress management and acquiring coping skills to deal with life stresses are essential since both short-term and chronic insomnia may be exacerbated by stressful life events such as a hectic work schedule, burnout, and a lack of self-care, among other things. Very stressed people may frequently worry about their problems when lying in bed when they should be calming down and relaxing to fall asleep.
Assuring that the individual suffering from insomnia practises good sleep hygiene is a crucial element of therapy. Most sleep hygiene routines may appear to be self-evident, yet many people who have insomnia fail to do these essential tasks. For example, sleep hygiene is going to bed and getting up at around the same time most days of the week (i.e., 5-6 days). Furthermore, sleeping in a cool, dark environment and not eating or drinking anything before the night is essential. Sleeping with dogs or children is also frequently prohibited while attempting to treat insomnia. If your insomnia persists, don’t hesitate to reach out to the top verified Psychiatrist in Karachi. Happy sleeping!