- 1 Signs of Chronic Insomnia
- 2 Effects of prolonged insomnia
- 3 Why is insomnia
- 4 What causes insomnia in children
- 5 Causes of Insomnia in Women
- 6 Causes of Insomnia in Men
- 7 Insomnia in old age
- 8 Diseases that may cause sleep disturbances
- 9 Treatment methods
- 10 Folk remedies
- 11 Prevention of insomnia
Almost everyone has a sleep disorder and short insomnia at least once in their life. Anxiety, unresolved problems, intense experiences – all this can lead to the fact that it becomes difficult to sleep.
If such cases are rare, then there is no reason for concern. But if insomnia suffers regularly, and sleep problems have become commonplace, it’s time to sound the alarm. So, how is insomnia manifested in adults and children, what are its causes and what are the treatment options?
Signs of Chronic Insomnia
Prolonged, expressed not by one or two episodes, but regularly repeated insomnia in the medical literature is called insomnia. This is a dangerous condition that adversely affects the health, memory and even intellectual abilities of a person.
Signs of chronic insomnia are:
- sleep disorders 3 or more times a week for a whole month;
- trouble falling asleep;
- bad night’s sleep with frequent awakenings;
- lack of cheerfulness during the day;
- anxiety and stress due to the inability to sleep well.
Such symptoms of insomnia can be observed in people whose work has a shift character or is associated with frequent flights and changes in time zones. In this case, sleep disorders and prolonged insomnia have “professional” causes.
Whatever the cause of insomnia, it must be eliminated, otherwise the lack of sleep will lead to negative consequences.
Effects of prolonged insomnia
An adult for the full restoration of mental and physical strength should be carried out in a dream 8 hours a day. During this time, the brain passes through all the necessary phases: sleep, slow and fast sleep, natural awakening.
And the rest is important at night! If a person does not get enough sleep in the dark, even a 2-3-hour afternoon nap does not solve the problem. If insomnia is no longer exceptional, a rare occurrence and has acquired a chronic form, the following consequences occur:
- Lack of sleep leads to chronic oxidative stress, and it is extremely negative effect on the processes occurring in the brain. A person’s memory deteriorates sharply, there are difficulties with concentration and learning.
- Due to problems with insomnia in the body, osteogenesis is disturbed. This is the process of bone formation. No wonder children are recommended to sleep more: thanks to a long deep sleep, their skeleton grows faster.
- Another consequence of constant insomnia – a violation of metabolism. Lack of sleep the body tries to compensate for the accumulation of calories that should help him overcome stress. For this reason, regularly sleeping people usually grow stout.
- Insomniac people are twice as likely to have heart attacks and strokes, and this is a direct threat to life.
And these are not all the problems that can be caused by insomnia. With a lack of sleep, the person becomes nervous and absent-minded. Such a state often leads to different unpleasant situations, and sometimes tragedies. Chronically sleepy drivers more often than others get into accidents. Workers in hazardous industries are twice as likely to be injured. In general, no matter who the person is working, you should definitely get enough sleep!
Why is insomnia
The diagnosis of “chronic insomnia” is made with multiple sleep disorders during the month. If a person cannot fall asleep for three or more weeks, and after a long-awaited falling asleep, he turns around in bed and wakes up from time to time – these are classic insomnia.
To solve the problem, you should find out what caused insomnia in a particular case. This may be one reason or a whole complex of them.
Of the common factors causing sleep disorders, the following are distinguished:
- diseases resulting in severe physical pain (especially at night);
- symptoms of some diseases that do not allow a person to sleep at night (cough and feeling of lack of oxygen – in case of bronchial asthma, frequent urination – due to kidney problems);
- heart disease;
- post-traumatic stress, depression;
- a change in the situation (loud noises, too bright illumination of the street, a new place of residence);
- change of professional activity, resulting in a change in the daily routine;
- overstrain of the nervous system at bedtime (agitation before the exam, interview);
- abuse of alcohol, coffee, psychotropic drugs;
- apnea – involuntary temporary breath holding during sleep.
What causes insomnia in children
Children also suffer from insomnia, and quite often. According to statistics, 20% of children periodically have trouble sleeping. Regular lack of sleep at a young age can seriously undermine health.
Children who are not falling asleep grow poorly and lack energy. They may experience anxiety, prolonged periods of weakness and fatigue. Because of insomnia and restless night sleep, even mental retardation is possible.
Pediatricians found out why insomnia appears at such a young age:
- Newborns almost always wake up at night due to the underdevelopment of the nervous system. Only a few months later their brain ceases to confuse day with night.
- In the first months of life, babies do not sleep either due to abdominal cutting (colic), ear pain, discomfort caused by diaper rash.
- At 3-6 years old kids are already able to analyze the data. Thinking about everything that happened during the day in the evening, they often cannot fall asleep. Sometimes insomnia causes over-stimulation caused by cartoons seen the day before or some extraordinary events.
- Schoolchildren most often do not sleep because of the unrest that their school life, communication with friends, showdown with their parents cause. An excessive craze for computer games can also lead to sleep disorders and prolonged insomnia.
To solve the problem of a growing child, parents need to adjust his daily routine. Sufficient exercise, walking in the fresh air, reducing the time for using a computer – all this can significantly improve the quality of sleep. Do not let the child eat too late. In general, for all family members to sleep peacefully all night, the atmosphere in the house should be comfortable in the evenings.
Causes of Insomnia in Women
Sleep disturbances often depend not only on age and related problems, but also on gender. Doctors figured out why there is insomnia in women. Lead to sleep disorders can:
- anxiety due to conflicts in the workplace;
- shift operation;
- problems in the family, dissatisfaction with their lives;
- drinking in the evenings of alcohol, coffee or chocolate;
- diseases accompanied by night pains;
- abuse of sleeping pills.
Due to chronic fatigue, the weaker sex becomes irritable and nervous. This is bad for everyone around, including children. Sleep disorder leads to the fact that a woman can fall into a nap in daytime in almost any situation. In order to somehow cheer up, she has to drink a lot of coffee. This worsens the sleep problem even more.
What causes insomnia in pregnant women
Expectant mothers often suffer from insomnia. Especially often this happens in the last months of pregnancy, when the fetus already takes up a lot of space and delivers significant discomfort to the mother. Insomnia at this time provoke:
- heartburn and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract;
- the need to often go to the toilet because of the pressure of the fetus on the bladder;
- uncomfortable physical condition (lumbar pain, calf cramps);
- the need to constantly sleep only on the back or side;
- lack of oxygen;
- anxiety about future birth.
What causes insomnia with menopause
A woman confronted with inevitable age-related changes often observes sleep disturbances. They are caused by night “hot flashes” (feeling of heat, sweating, rapid heartbeat), as well as psychological changes.
During menopause, women become irritable and nervous. Correctly chosen hormone therapy will help to cope with the problem.
Causes of Insomnia in Men
Many men are highly stressed. The reason for this is usually a professional activity. Business men, combining different types of employment or owning their own business, increasingly make the choice between work and full-fledged sleep, almost always to the detriment of the latter.
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That is why insomnia can change the usual way of life of men:
- due to the abuse of coffee, strong tea and alcohol;
- due to a sedentary lifestyle, a long stay behind the wheel or in an office chair;
- due to shift work schedule;
- due to overuse of computer games or watching TV before going to bed;
- Very often, insomnia has psychological causes (stress, depression).
In men who do not sleep well enough, the production of testosterone begins to decrease. This is expectedly leading to impotence. Insomnia men become irritable and angry. In addition, their blood sugar levels are rising, and diabetes subsequently develops.
Insomnia in old age
After 65-70 years, many begin having problems with a night’s sleep. In old age, a person develops brain dysfunction. It affects not only intellectual abilities and memory, but also sleep. Strengthen insomnia can disease and social disorder.
To the question of which diseases in old age insomnia develops cannot be answered in monosyllables. On the one hand, it can be chronic illnesses that haunt a person for the rest of his life (bronchial asthma, heart failure, diabetes). On the other hand, after 65, specific diseases of this age appear, leading to sleep disorders. This is atherosclerosis, angina, etc.
In view of all this, it is worth deciding what diseases can cause insomnia at any age.
Diseases that may cause sleep disturbances
Doctors refer to the list of such diseases:
- heart failure;
- prostatic hypertrophy;
- renal failure;
- changes in the thyroid gland;
- liver disease;
- apnea and other disorders of the respiratory function;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- chronic depression.
In most cases, it is difficult to get rid of insomnia without eliminating the main symptoms of these diseases.
Knowing the diseases in which a person can develop insomnia, you can take the first step towards its cure. However, the complete elimination of the problem always requires an integrated approach. It is impossible to cure insomnia simply by drinking a course of sleeping pills. Required:
- hardware (for example, electrics);
- normalization of work and rest.
It is necessary to warn those who like to self-medicate: in no case should you prescribe a sleeping pill yourself! These are potent drugs that need proper selection and accurate dosage. Properly prescribed medications to eliminate insomnia can only be a doctor.
Such groups of drugs are commonly used:
- Sleeping pills You can take no more than 2 weeks! Despite the popularity of these drugs, they simply remove the symptoms, but do not eliminate the disease itself.
- Tranquilizers. Such funds are prescribed only by a psychotherapist. Preparations of this group regulate the processes of the nervous system, help to relax and get rid of anxiety. Long-term use of tranquilizers is not recommended! Because of it, a dependency can form, compared to which problems with insomnia seem insignificant.
- Homeopathic remedies. The safest, based on natural ingredients preparations. But they should not be acquired “on the advice of a friend.” It is necessary to consult a homeopathic doctor, who will choose the right remedy and prescribe the exact dosage.
- Melatonin. This is a hormonal drug. It is used in the most severe cases, when nothing else helps and the patient has a real threat to remain with insomnia for life. Melatonin has many side effects, but effectively helps regulate the sleep cycle.
List of sleeping pills
To eliminate prolonged insomnia and normalize sleep are used:
- Persen and his analogue Novo-Passit. These are multi-component preparations based on medicinal herbs. Soothe, relax, relieve nervous tension.
- Dormiplant Sleeping pills based on valerian and lemon balm. Natural product with a minimum list of side effects.
- Donormil Well relaxes and helps to fall asleep quickly. Contraindicated in people suffering from apnea. After taking Donormila, drowsiness follows the next day, so the drug is contraindicated for drivers and other occupations requiring high concentration of attention.
- Melaxen. This is one of the drugs that must be prescribed only by the attending physician. Melaxen contains synthetic melatonin, an analogue of the human sleep hormone.
- Motherwort. Natural hypnotic drug based on motherwort tincture. Well relaxes, relieves anxiety, helps to fall asleep quickly. Has a minimum of side effects.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
In combination with medication and psychotherapy are used. Especially well proven cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It usually includes from 10 to 14 sessions. The treatment is carried out under the supervision of a psychotherapist. During CPT, a patient suffering from insomnia learns:
- control your disturbing thoughts;
- change the negative perception of reality to positive;
- eliminate factors that increase anxiety levels;
- do not drive your feelings inward, but seek help;
- accept the support that others are willing to provide.
Any psychotherapeutic treatment is a long and complicated process, so instantly it will not be possible to get rid of insomnia with its help. However, in combination with other means, it gives a very good effect.
In addition to the prescribed doctor pills and pills for the treatment of insomnia, you can use folk remedies. Here are the most effective ones:
- Aromabath with spruce needles. Needles have a whole range of useful properties, one of which is a positive effect on the psyche. To prepare a relaxing bath, fir needles need to be filled with boiling water in the morning and left to stand until evening. For a day, the decoction will become dark brown. It needs to be poured into the water prepared for bathing. Now you can take a bath.
- Kefir with honey. Excellent helps to relax, fill the body with essential nutrients. The tool is very simple. The usual store kefir will suit, in which you need to dissolve a spoonful of natural honey. He needs to drink before bedtime.
- Soothing decoction of medicinal herbs. For its preparation it is necessary to take 2 parts of valerian herb, 3 parts of motherwort, the same amount of mint leaves and 2 parts of hops. All steamed boiling water for 15 minutes. When the broth cools down, drink it in 2 tbsp. l three times a day. Excellent soothes, restores the nervous system, eliminates insomnia.
Prevention of insomnia
All the above means will not work if a person does not observe sleep hygiene. To get enough sleep, you must:
- go to bed no later than 10:00 pm and always at the same time;
- sleep at least 8 hours in a row;
- before bedtime do not drink alcohol, coffee and other tonic drinks;
- eat 3 hours before bedtime (not earlier and not later);
- during the day, to move a lot, to walk in the fresh air, so that the body spends an adequate supply of energy, the blood is saturated with oxygen;
- control the temperature in the bedroom (if the room is too hot, it will be difficult to fall asleep);
- get rid of the habit of thinking about pressing problems before going to bed;
- do not force yourself to sleep (focusing on the problem leads to its aggravation).
You can just better arrange your bed. Buy a new mattress and blackout curtains. The less light and other irritating factors in a room, the sooner you will be able to fall asleep. These rules will be useful to anyone who wants a good sleep and be cheerful throughout the day, and not just people suffering from insomnia.