Insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or get adequate sleep time. People who experience sleeplessness tend to feel tired even when they wake up. Insomnia saps your mood and energy levels and can also impact your work performance, quality of life, and your health in general.
The majority of adults require an average sleep time of six to eight hours every night. However, adequate sleep time differs from person to person.
Many adults experience acute (short-term) insomnia at some point. This type of sleeplessness often lasts for several days or weeks. A traumatic event or stress typically causes acute insomnia. However, some people can experience chronic (long-term) insomnia that could last for months.
Fortunately, you don’t need to put up with all those sleepless nights – you can incorporate some straightforward changes in your daily routine, which can help a great deal. This post will discuss the signs and symptoms of insomnia and outline some handy tips you can do to prevent sleeplessness.
Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for to determine whether you’re experiencing insomnia:
- Finding it hard to fall asleep at night
- Waking up too early and not getting sleep afterward
- Waking up at night
- Not feeling well-rested when you wake up
- Daytime sleepiness or tiredness
- Anxiety, depression, or irritability
- Increased accidents or errors
- Finding it hard to pay attention, recall, or concentrate on tasks
- Experiencing worries about sleep
When should I visit a doctor?
If sleeplessness affects how you function in your daily activities, you can visit your healthcare provider to determine what’s causing your sleep problem and come up with a solution. When your doctor concludes that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, they may refer you to a sleep center for specialized treatment.
Causes of Insomnia
Sleeplessness can either be the primary problem or linked to other conditions. Chronic insomnia is typically caused by traumatic events, stress, or habits that impact good sleep. This can be resolved by treating the underlying problem, but it can take years for some people.
Here are two main causes of insomnia:
1. Poor sleep habits
Irregular bedtime schedule, stimulating tasks and activities before bedtime, having an uncomfortable sleeping environment, or using your bed for watching tv, eating, or work – are associated with insomnia. In addition, if you use computers, smartphones, video games, or other screens before bedtime, it can hinder your sleep cycle.
Concerns about your health, school, or work can keep your mind active at night, making it hard to sleep. Stressful life events, like the death of a loved one, can also cause insomnia.
8 Tips for Preventing Insomnia
As mentioned in the introduction, sleeplessness can be prevented by incorporating various behavioral changes into your daily routine. Here are eight of them:
- Consistency – make sure you adhere to your regular wake time and bedtime hours, even during weekends
- Be active – being active during the day helps to encourage sound sleep at night
- Medications – check them to assess whether they cause sleeplessness
- Limit naps – you need to reduce how often you take naps during the day. If you can, avoid them completely
- Alcohol and caffeine – avoid them or limit their consumption. Don’t consume nicotine either, as it affects sound sleep
- Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible and only use it for sleep or sex
- Develop a calming bedtime ritual – for instance, you can listen to soft music, read a book, or take a warm shower