Insomnia- Importance of good sleep

Sleep is an important part of our daily routine, in fact we spent one third of our life sleeping.Good sleep is the foundation of a promising physical and mental health.Latest studies suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.Sleep helps to rejuvenate our body cells and help to maintain a balance within our body. Good restful sleep controls body homeostasis,body temperature, hormone, blood pressure and metabolism, it ensures that all are regulated properly.

Having trouble sleep at night:

Having trouble sleeping at night or lack of sleep lowers our immune system and may cause hormonal imbalances. Lack of Sleep can also cause mental health problems like irritability, depression,anxiety . The fact is Sleepless Night can deteriorate overall quality of life.

Insomnia- the most common sleep disorder:

There are several sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome,narcolepsy, sleep apnea but Insomnia is the most common sleep issue. A survey “how India sleep” done to see the sleep pattern of Indians after Covid19 reveals around 55% of Indians aren't getting enough sleep or sleeping for less than 6 hours and 61% Indians go through restless Nights and Indians are the second most sleep deprived people in the world . Several people complain “I can't sleep” but Insomnia is more than that, can make it hard to initiate sleep, hard to stay asleep or wake you up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. This can make you feel tired when you wake up and can decrease your energy level and mood and at the same time can also impact your health,work performance and overall quality of life.

Types of insomnia :

People can be affected by Insomnia in different ways. Individuals struggle with sleeping problems at different levels. Many have difficulty sleeping at night, some find it difficult to maintain sleep and many are not able to sleep at all. Insomnia is broadly categorised under 2 main types: short term Insomnia also known as acute Insomnia and long term Insomnia also known as chronic insomnia.

Short term Insomnia : Also known as acute Insomnia, in this the episodes of difficulty in sleeping are brief. It lasts for less than 3 months and the symptoms fade on their own as individuals cope with the stressful incidence that has given rise to sleep less disorder .If not sorted out persistent short term Insomnia can become chronic insomnia.

Long term Insomnia : It is known as chronic Insomnia where the difficulty in sleeping is long term. If an individual is having trouble in falling asleep or maintaining the sleep at least 3 Nights per week for 3 months or longer he is said to be suffering from chronic Insomnia disorder.

Causes of Insomnia: Chronic Insomnia has many potential causes like irregular sleep patterns, poor sleep hygiene, underline physical or neurological problems,specific medication, mental health disorder or certain other sleep disorders.

Insomnia symptoms :

  1. Difficulty in falling asleep.
  2. Difficulty in maintaining sleep.
  3. Waking up in the middle of night.
  4. Waking up too early.
  5. Not feeling fresh after night sleep.
  6. Daytime sleepiness, anxiety, lack of focus and concentration.
  7. Increased error and accidents.
  8. Fatigue and nausea.
  9. Ongoing worries about sleep.

Diagnosis of Insomnia :

There is no specific test for diagnosis of Insomnia. Your therapist will take your medical history, lifestyle and behavioural approach. There are certain logs and questionnaires to be filled to clarify all the parameters and the past experience. If needed, your therapist may suggest some blood tests before preparing your treatment plan.

Treatment of insomnia :

Treatment consists of improving sleep habits, behaviour therapy and identifying and treating underlying causes. Short term Insomnia can easily be treated with sleep hygiene and few relaxation techniques.

Chronic Insomnia treatment :

Along with sleep hygiene to treat chronic Insomnia disorder your therapist will use CBT-I that is, cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia. It can effectively treat long term sleep problems and is generally the first treatment that is recommended.
Initially your sleep specialist may ask you to keep a detailed sleep diary for 1 to 2 weeks.

How does CBT-I works:

Unlike sleeping pills CBT-I helps you overcome the causes of your sleep problems. Depending on your requirement your therapist may recommend various sleep therapies like sleep control therapy, sleep restriction therapy or cognitive therapy along with the sleep hygiene points and the relaxation techniques.

The cognitive part of CBT looks for and changes the beliefs that impact your sleep. This therapy helps you control or get rid of your negative thoughts, worries and anxiety. The behavioural part helps you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviour that impacts your sleep. The most effective treatment approach is the combination approach of cognitive and behavioural parts.

CBT-I versus Pills :

Many times individuals try to find quick fixes for their sleep issues in the form of pills but generally sleeping pills are not the best long term treatment for insomnia for many people. Pills also come with some side effects like dependence, withdrawal symptoms, amnesia etc. It can also make you tired and sleepy the next day, so CBT-I is a good treatment choice. Unlike pills CBT-I work on the root cause for insomnia rather than just relieving the symptoms. It may take time and effort to make it work but the best part is there are no side effects of CBT-I.

Home remedies for insomnia:

Certain remedies and tips can help you to improve your sleep.

Sleep hygiene points to be followed:

  1. Have a fixed sleep and wake up timings.
  2. Avoid gadgets at least an hour before bed time.
  3. Room temperature, bed, bedding, must be comfortable.
  4. Avoid heavy meals at dinner.
  5. Finish your dinner 2 to 3 hours before bed time.
  6. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
  7. Have a more of Balanced and fibre rich diet.
  8. Drink at least 10 glasses of water per day but finish it 2 hours before bed.
  9. Do exercise regularly and finish your exercise schedule 3 to 4 hours before sleep.
  10. Avoid day time naps.
  11. Follow breathing and relaxation techniques.

These are just the tips if you feel you need help connect with your sleep therapist or sleep coach for professional help.

Conclusion :

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. It can result from various reasons that can be either physical or mental or Lifestyle factors. Anyone who experiences sleep troubles that are impacting their daily life must visit their therapist to identify the cause and to get its solution.

If you or your family member is suffering from insomnia let our sleep Counselor and specialists at NK's Snoring and Sleep Apnea Centre help you please call us on +91 63 6690 9091 or connect with us on NK's Snoring and Sleep