What Is Insomnia ?

July 12, 2017 Pallavi Madhukar

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.

How long does insomnia last?

Insomnia may be characterized, based on its duration.
Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can't fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment.

- Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, other clinical disorders, and certain medications could lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep. People with chronic insomnia may benefit from some form of treatment to help them get back to healthy sleep patterns. Chronic insomnia can be co morbid, meaning it is linked to another medical or psychiatric issue, although sometimes it's difficult to understand this cause and effect relationship.

Tips to help you sleep
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening (tea, coffee, cola, ‘energy’ drinks, etc.)
  • Do something you find relaxing before you go to bed (don’t go to bed straight after doing the books for hours!)
  • Get up at the same time every morning regardless of how long you have slept
  • Establish a regular sleep-wake cycle
  • Don’t eat too close to bedtime
  • Don’t nap during the day
  • Get some exercise during the day, but not just before bedtime
  • Avoid screen time just before bed (TV, phone, tablet, etc.)
  • Learn some meditation techniques to help you relax at bedtime
  • Write down whatever is worrying you before you go to bed to help you to put things aside until morning
  • Try to leave your problems at the bedroom door.

How is insomnia affecting farmers in India?

The stress which our farmers take is huge. Be it unfavourable climatic conditions that causes irreversible damage to their crops ,  any financial and health issues that trigger sleeplessness .While talking to few farmers i came to a conclusion that the number of hours they spend in fields ,exposed to harsh climatic conditions also contribute to sleeplessness and  various eye -related issues.

Lifestyle changes often help improve sleep for people with short-term insomnia. These include avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, and avoiding heavy meals, exercise and bright lights before bedtime, according to the NIH.

For people with chronic insomnia, a type of therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy may help reduce anxiety linked to insomnia, such as anxiety about sleep loss, the NIH says. Studies have shown that the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy are more long lasting than those of medications, Magalang said.

But if other methods don't work to relieve insomnia, doctors may recommend prescription medications, such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) or ramelteon (Rozerem). These medications are usually taken for only a few weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Sleep medications can have side effects — patients may feel groggy the next day, or rarely, they may sleep walk or drive while sleeping.

Patients should speak with their doctor before using over the counter products that contain antihistamines. These medications have not been proven effective for treating insomnia, and they can have a long-lasting effect and make people feel drowsy the next day, Magalang said.

Melatonin has also not been proven effective for chronic insomnia, but it may be beneficial for certain sleep conditions, such as jet lag, Magalang said.

Source:Live Science

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