What causes a person to experience sleeplessness and restlessness despite their being tired or wanting to sleep? Why do people suffer from insomnia? Here are a few of the main causes of this sleeping problem:
What Can Cause Insomnia?
- Depending on the kind of insomnia a person has, the reasons for insomnia can be situational, psychiatric, or medical.
- Some of the causes of acute insomnia that can be called situational, include jet lag, sudden changes in the time you work, high altitude locations, stressful situations like a sudden loss of someone close, and a noisy environment that is not conducive to sleep. Uncomfortable temperatures in your sleeping area and withdrawal symptoms from certain substances can also be called situational causes.
- When chronic insomnia is the problem, usual causes include psychological and certain physiological reasons. Psychological causes of insomnia include depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
- Physiological reasons include chronic fatigue syndrome, nighttime angina, GERD or acid reflux, sleep apnea, and even nocturnal asthma. Other problems that can be included in this list are chronic pain syndromes, degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and strokes or brain tumors.
- Other people suffer from insomnia due to certain stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. Having a bed partner that is disruptive is also a possible cause for insomnia.
What are the symptoms of this problem and how can you tell if you are suffering from insomnia? Here are some of the primary symptoms of this problem:
- One of the main symptoms is the person’s inability to sleep despite being drowsy or being able to sleep for only short amounts of time.
- When a person has insomnia, this often manifests itself in symptoms that are present when he is awake during the day. Some of these symptoms include inability to focus and concentrate on certain tasks, memory loss or difficulty in remembering things, having a short temper and being irritable, and a change in social skills or the sudden lack of them.
- A lot of people find themselves in motor vehicle accidents due to this problem. Drivers who are deprived of sleep due to insomnia usually lack the proper hand-eye coordination needed when driving if they lack sleep. They also suffer from impaired judgment due to this problem as well.
- A person may be suffering from insomnia if when he or she awakes from a night of sleep and they are still tired or fatigued. This means that they were not able to get a good night’s rest for some reason.
Insomnia could be categorized as a medical condition. It is the condition wherein the patient has trouble getting some sleep on a regular basis. Not being able to sleep for a few nights because of work does not mean the patient has insomnia. This condition actually means that the person has trouble sleeping even in the most sleep-conducive environment.
Insomnia can actually cause a lot of complications. Some of these side effects are:
- Lethargy and fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Higher risks of developing ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Higher risks of depression and various anxiety disorders.
- Poor immune system function.
- Lower performance in activities such as work or study.
How To Prevent Lack Of Sleep
Preventing the onset of insomnia is easy enough as long as the situation that the person is in is not conducive to sleeplessness. If a person is living in an area where noise is always present, then he or she might need to soundproof the room to keep the noise out or to use ear plugs or other sound diffusing tools to aid in sleeping.
- One way to help avoid insomnia is to change the sleeping habits or patterns to fall on the same hour every night. This may be possible for people who do not have jobs that shift schedules.
- Try to create a routine before bedtime that will signal the body that it is time to rest and to sleep. An example would be to drink a glass of milk and read a book before bedtime. This kind of a routine will tell the body that it is time to sleep so that it will be easier to fall asleep.
- Try to avoid taking naps in the daytime. Without these naps, the individual will be sleepy enough at night and would have an easier time trying to fall asleep.
- Add 2 tsp of honey in 1 glass of water. Drink this before going to bed.
- Mix 0.25 g to 0.50 g of powdered rauwolfia root with cardamom and water. Drink the mixture.
- Make a juice from lettuce. Add a bit of sugar to taste. Drink this before bedtime.
- Boil 1 tsp of aniseed in 375 ml of water. Simmer for 15 min. Strain the aniseed and drink the remaining liquid.
- Try to keep the bedtime hour the same or at least similar every night. Make it a routine to sleep at a given hour and the body will surely be attuned to this “clock” and wind down when the time is near.
- Do not eat a heavy meal during dinner. This will only make the body want to stay awake to be able to digest these foods before the body slows down to sleep.
- Taking a refreshing shower or bath can also aid in solving insomnia.
Home Remedies For Sleeplessness
People who have insomnia or who may suspect that they have insomnia usually do not go to a doctor for help until things get worse or something bad happens. For those who are just starting to experience some short bouts with this problem, they might want to try some of these treatments readily available at home:
- A banana and roasted cumin seed mixture is said to help induce sleep when need. Just get a ripe banana, mash it, and then add the cumin seeds. After mixing properly, eat this mixture. This is best eaten after the last meal or at dinner.
- Grind some celery leaves and stems and squeeze out the juice from these items. Mix a teaspoon of this celery juice with a teaspoon of honey and drink this before the scheduled bedtime.
- Having insomnia is not a joke. This is a medical condition that can lead to a variety of problems, including a higher risk for developing ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Lacking sleep, the individual will have less concentration and energy to work. Also, it can weaken the immune system, making the individual more susceptible to various forms of ailments. These are just some of the reasons why a person with insomnia should seek medical help or at least try some home remedies to treat the problem.
- One of the most well-known cures for being unable to get some sleep or to fall asleep is warm milk with some honey in it. Just heat up a glass of milk, add a bit of honey and drink right before bed time. This will lull the body to sleep.
- Honey with water can also help put an insomniac to sleep. Just add a couple of teaspoons of honey with some warm water and drink this.
Diet for Insomnia Patient
Insomniacs can try to remedy their sleeping problems and improve the quality of their sleep by eating some of the things that are good for them. Here are some food and drink tips that may help you with your insomnia:
- As much as possible, avoid caffeine before bedtime. Avoid taking food that will also keep your body active and revved up. Such things to avoid include coffee, strong tea, soft drinks, chocolates, and other sweets. Since sugar can keep you active for some time, often referred to as sugar buzz, taking anything sweet before bedtime is a no-no.
- Crackers and a glass of milk before bedtime can also help you go to sleep soundly. Do not eat anything heavy however since it will make your sleep restless due to the digestion of the foods in your stomach.
- Try to minimize your intake of fatty and greasy foods as well, especially a few hours before bedtime. Burgers, pizzas, french fries, and other fast-food items are often eaten by a lot of people for dinner; and these can actually increase the chances of a person having insomnia. If you love eating these fast foods, try to have them during the day when you will have more than enough time to digest these and have these go through your digestive system.