Insomnia Ruins A Person's Chance To Feel Rested

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Sleeping is a very important activity that everyone must partake in daily. When a person sleeps, they are allowing their body to recharge itself both mentally and physically. Sleep helps keep the body and mind strong. Adults need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night for adequate behavioral and mental function the next day. Babies, kids, and teens need even more shut-eye because they are still developing and need the extra energy to grow. Many people can fall asleep the minute their heads hit the pillow and sleep straight into the morning without waking up. They feel refreshed and ready to start their day. But there are others who have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, and/ or are waking up prematurely. These disruptions can really affect the quality of sleep. If sleep eludes a person for many days, months, or weeks, then insomnia may be the culprit. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that keeps you feeling tired because it is hard to unwind when you are in bed. Insomnia can be chronic or acute.

Causes of Insomnia

There are many reasons why insomnia may occur. Stress is one cause of acute insomnia. People can be stressed about work, school, or a traumatic event. Stress can cause the body’s heart rate and blood pressure to increase and this can affect the sleep cycle. Also, anxiety can cause sleep difficulties. Feelings of anxiety can build up if a worried individual is trying to fall asleep, but is unable to. They may start to overthink why they can’t sleep and this can exacerbate the whole situation. 

Diet is another reason why people have trouble sleeping. Eating too much right before hitting the sack can be physically uncomfortable. Laying down on a full stomach can make it hard to fall asleep. Those who suffer from heartburn usually experience acid reflux and this can keep them from getting a good night’s rest. Acid reflux causes an unpleasant, burning sensation in the chest area and worsens when laying down. Refrain from eating spicy foods, greasy foods, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, and onions before going to bed. 

Some types of medications are known to cause insomnia. Prescription drugs of many different types have been known to potentially disrupt the normal function of the body’s sleep hormones.

Effects of Insomnia

When the body lacks the sleep it needs, several things happen. Daytime fatigue may occur and as a result, this makes it hard for the insomniac to focus and concentrate on tasks. Car accidents are likely to occur because the sleepy driver may fall asleep at the wheel. Mistakes are easily made because it is hard to focus when exhaustion has set in. Work and school performance will be negatively affected. Feelings of crankiness and depression are often experienced. Insomnia can decrease a person’s life expectancy. It can increase the risk of stroke, asthma attacks, seizures, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, sensitivity to pain, depression, inflammation, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

Treating and Preventing Insomnia

There are several options for treating insomnia. Melatonin supplements are proven to be effective for many people. They are OTC pills that can help the body produce more melatonin and make you feel sleepier. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating sleep. A doctor can also prescribe sleep medication for more severe cases of insomnia. If insomnia is caused by a medication, then a doctor may choose  (one that does not affect the sleep cycle). In addition, prevention is a key method to treating insomnia. Try to limit consumption of coffee or similar drinks before bedtime and avoid naps during the day. Implement a consistent wake time and bedtime schedule because it promotes sound, quality slumber. Specific lifestyle changes, like staying active and not smoking, can help prevent insomnia too.