Insomnia Information, Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

What is Insomnia?

insomniaInsomnia is a condition in which it is difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night even if you have given yourself more than enough time to get enough sleep. Even if you get enough sleep, you still wake up feeling sluggish, which can take a huge toll on your overall  health.  Episodes of insomnia can come and go (episodic), last up to 3 weeks (short-term), or can last for a long time (chronic).  The average adult needs around 7-10 hours of sleep each night, but without it, lack of sleep can sap your energy level, mood, work performance, and quality of life.

Causes Of Insomnia

There are common causes of insomnia which include:

  • Stress – Being apprehensive about work, school, health or family can take a toll on your mental health.
  • Anxiety – Anxieties, either the everyday type or more serious anxiety disorders, can rattle your sleep cycle. Constantly worrying about being able to fall asleep can make it that much harder as well.
  • Depression – Depression, as well as other mental health disorders, can make sleeping difficult.
  • Medical conditions – Chronic pain, troubles breathing, or other medical conditions can cause insomnia.
  • Changes in your environment or work schedule Working swing shifts,  or starting work very early or very late can disrupt your sleep cycle–called your circadian rhythm. Your body’s circadian rhythm is like an internal clock which helps guide your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism, and the temperature of your body.
  • Inadequate sleep habits – Having an irregular sleep schedule,  participating in stimulating activities before bed, poor sleep environment,  or using your bed for other activities other than for sleep or sex can trigger insomnia.
  • Medications – Certain prescription medications can disrupt your sleep, which can include antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, and stimulants. Many over-the-counter drugs can hinder sleep as well including decongestant and weight-loss products that contain caffeine or other stimulants.
  • Nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine – Coffee is a common drink that keeps people awake at night. Even having that last cup of Joe in the late afternoon can disrupt sleep later. Tea, cola, and energy drinks can also cause insomnia.
    • Nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant that can cause insomnia.
    • Alcohol may seem like it puts you to sleep faster—because it is a sedative—but it hinders deep sleep and commonly causes you to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night, even if you don’t remember waking.
  • Eating too much too late in the night – Having a light snack before you sleep is alright, but eating a full meal may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable when you lie down. Some people can experience heartburn after eating which can trigger insomnia.

Symptoms of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia vary from person to person. However, common insomnia symptoms include:

  • Troubles falling sleep and staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Feeling sluggish or unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
  • Feeling tired or sleepy during the daytime
  • Depression, irritability, or anxiety
  • Troubles paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Tension headaches
  • GI issues

People who have insomnia may take around 30 minutes or more to fall asleep at time, and can only get around 6 or less hours of sleep three or more times a week for over one month or more.

Homeopathy and Naturopathic Medicine can Help

Don’t lie awake any longer, call our office today to schedule an exam. There are natural and effective treatment option that can improve your overall health and well-being.