Insomnia has got to be one of the most frustrating disorders in the world. Night after night you cannot sleep, trying everything to beckon Mr. Sandman to your door. Some people watch TV, others read a book, while others even get up and walk around the room. Sometimes it seems there is no cure for this restless disorder. Oftentimes, it may be difficult to determine what to blame for your insomnia, as it could be the result of multiple factors.
Before you can treat insomnia, study these common symptoms to determine if you have it:
- Trouble falling asleep at night
- Frequent awakenings during the night
- Daytime exhaustion
- Mood swings and irritability
- Worrying about sleeping
- Difficulty focusing or remembering things
If any of these insomnia symptoms are making it difficult for you to function throughout your day, consult a doctor on possible treatments. To get to the bottom of treating your insomnia, it is often helpful to know what is causing it.
Consider these common causes, as they may be affecting you as well:
- Anxiety or stress about anything in life
- Medical conditions
- Environment changes such as a move or a change in work schedule
- Certain medications
- Consuming caffeine, alcohol, and/or nicotine
- Eating a hefty snack before bed
You are at a greater risk for insomnia if you are advanced in age, as this often brings with it changes in health. You are also at greater risk for insomnia if you:
- Are a woman
- Have a mental health disorder
- Work nights or frequently change work day times
- Travel frequently across time zones
- Are stressed out
As far as treatment for insomnia goes, oftentimes the best changes to make are changes in behavior. Tricks like waiting to go to bed until you are extremely tired may prove fruitful in the long run, although they can initially be miserable to experience. Relaxation techniques, exercise, and yoga can slow your heart rate and prepare your muscles for sleep. Fostering a comfortable, darkly lit sleep environment can help you ease into sleep. Cutting off screen time an hour before bed also prepares your brain and eyes for rest. For those who need more help with their insomnia, your doctor may prescribe medications or sleep aids.
If you feel your insomnia may be rooted in sleep apnea, our sleep apnea doctors can provide proper consultations and treatments for sleep apnea.