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What Is Insomnia?

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Insomnia is a sleep condition in which you're unable to fall asleep at night that results in non-restorative or unrefreshing sleep. It's a common problem faced by many and takes a toll on your daily functionality, energy, and mood. If the condition persists for the long-term, it may cause serious health problems. Short-term or acute insomnia can last from a night to a couple of weeks. Long-term or chronic insomnia can last from three nights a week to three months or more.

The sleep required varies from person to person. So, insomnia is defined by the sleep quality and how you feel after the sleep and not how long or quickly you slept. Even after sleeping for more than eight hours, you may feel fatigued during the day. If you're struggling to sleep even after you're tired or get up and stay awake in the middle of the night, then you have insomnia.

Causes of Insomnia

To treat and cure insomnia, you need to know what's causing it. The causes of insomnia may vary from person to person. Emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression, and stress, amounts to half the insomnia cases. It may be caused due to drinking too much caffeine, a medical condition, or stress. Insomnia can occur because of bad dietary habits and lifestyle choices, irregular sleeping times, and suffering from physical ailments.

You may be suffering from chronic insomnia due to stress, anxiety, and depression. Some other psychological and emotional causes include bipolar disorder, grief, anger, worry, and trauma. Attending to these disorders may help you from insomnia.

Many diseases and medical conditions, such as chronic pain, Parkinson's disease, asthma, allergies, kidney disease, cancer, acid efflux, and hyperthyroidism, can contribute to insomnia.

Many prescription drugs may disrupt your sleep, including antidepressants, stimulants, and high blood pressure medications. Some common over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers, cold and flu medications, slimming pills, and diuretics, may also interfere with sleep.

How to Fight Insomnia

Most inexpensive ways to fight insomnia are available to you at your home. You need a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a natural sleep-wake cycle. If you follow these two steps regularly, you feel refreshed and energized during the daytime.

Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. If the room temperature is too hot or cold, it may disrupt your sleep. Noise, light, and an uncomfortable pillow or mattress may become a hindrance to your sleep. Use earplugs to cancel the outside noise, and a fan or an open window can keep the room cool. Use an eye mask or black curtains to blackout the light. Change the pillows or mattresses according to your comfort level.

With small dietary and lifestyle changes, you can fight acute insomnia. For chronic insomnia, consult doctors.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Holly Springs, N.C.

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