It’s 2 am, and you can’t sleep. You’re exhausted, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to settle down. Maybe you manage to doze off, but the slightest sound wakes you up. This is a problem that millions of people face each night. It’s insomnia, and it is not only frustrating, but debilitating. It can affect your health, your performance, and quality of life.
Do you have insomnia?
Contrary to popular opinion, insomnia isn’t just how much you sleep but how well you sleep. Many people get 8 hours of sleep, but wake up exhausted. They also get very sleepy during the day time, or have trouble paying attention or concentrating on a task. That is a sign that their body is craving for more rest.
Insomnia can also be indicated by light sleep. For example, there are those who wake up at a slight sound and have trouble going back to sleep.
Another sign of insomnia is that the person can’t fall asleep without some kind of crutch. It can be sleeping pills, alcohol, or a long TV marathon.
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia is a symptom of a problem. It is often triggered by unmanaged stress, but can also be caused by health problems that make it difficult to fall asleep. For example, the hormonal changes during menopause can cause insomnia. Back pain or chronic pain may also be the culprit. It is also important to look at one’s medications. Some diet pills can contain caffeine, which may disrupt the sleep cycle. Flu medications and high blood pressure medications can also have similar side effects.
The first step to dealing with insomnia is to look for the cause. Identify sources of stress, or possible conditions or medications that may be interfering with one’s sleep patterns. Make the necessary change and find routines or rituals that can make it easier to fall asleep.
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