Updated: Jul 29, 2022
What is insomnia?
A major chunk of the population today is complaining of one and only one thing – less sleep. Sleep disorders and insomnia have become as common as cold and cough! This is alarming in today’s fast-paced day and age where relaxing sleep is becoming a luxury rather than a necessity in everyone’s life. If you genuinely struggle with less sleep and find yourself asking absurd questions like “how to sleep 8hrs in 4hrs”, you may be dealing with a case of insomnia and you may need help!
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder which makes it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep for long or get restful sleep. It is characterized by insufficient, disturbed and non-restorative sleep.
If asked, “How much sleep do I need?”, we must admit that it is not possible to standardize the required amount of sleep you need to get a good night’s rest. However, medical professionals worldwide recommend that you get at least 7-8 hours of relaxing sleep every night to function properly during the day.
If you are curious about what is insomnia and how to sleep fast, this is the perfect blog for you! Read more about insomnia remedies from our established team of medical experts at Sunil Khattri and Associates.
Is Insomnia common?
Less sleep, insomnia and other problems like sleep apnea are becoming increasingly common among people from all age groups. While the quality of sleep does get progressively worse as we age, it is surprising to note that insomnia has become an alarming concern even among teenagers and the young working population! Insomnia for pregnancy is also a common concern that many women face during their second and third trimesters.
You may also experience short-term insomnia lasting for a few days to a few weeks due to sudden changes in your environment and daily routine, or after having encountered a traumatic incident.
Not feeling fresh or rested after sleep is a common complaint among many people worldwide. However, research studies over time have shown that issues like insomnia (less sleep) and hypersomnia (excessive sleep) are more common among women, senior citizens above the age of 60 and people suffering from chronic physical and mental illnesses.
How to Identify Signs & Symptoms of Insomnia?
The most important aspect of dealing with sleep disorders is timely identification. It is essential that you are able to identify the signs and symptoms of chronic insomnia early on so that you can consult with the right person at the right time.
Here are a few symptoms of insomnia that will help you understand sleep disorders better.
If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night despite being burned out from a full day of work, you may be experiencing insomnia. This is the most common complaint among insomnia patients.
Falling asleep is hard, but being unable to get restful sleep is worse! Many insomnia patients aren’t able to stay asleep for long and complain of waking up in the middle of the night due to lack of sleep.
One of the common insomnia effects also include waking up too early and being unable to fall back asleep later.
Even if you sleep through the night, not feeling well-rested or adequately restored is also a sign of insomnia.
Less sleep or poor quality of sleep at night also leads to daytime tiredness or sleepiness. This adversely affects work and other commitments that one may have.
Sleep is an essential process that the brain requires for stable functioning. It is greatly linked to our moods and mental health. Thus, feeling irritable, depressed or anxious due to less sleep is also very common.
If you’re not well rested, you may experience difficulty in completing your daily tasks due to reduced attention, lack of focus and a general sense of restlessness.
Insomnia is no joke! Sleep disorders like insomnia can also lead to disastrous accidents and errors.
Watch out for these signs and symptoms of insomnia to keep you and your loved ones safe from extreme insomnia effects and other debilitating sleep disorders.
Does Ageing Cause Insomnia?
Several factors may impact the quality of your sleep. With increasing age, you are more likely to experience discomfort in your regular sleeping pattern. A few key aspects that may result in insomnia at an older age are listed below.
As you grow older, you will experience increased sensitivity to environmental stressors such as noise and pollution. What once wasn’t a trigger for your sleep before would become one with increasing age. That’s why elderly people find it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for long.
Age also has a drastic impact on your activity levels. While you are energetic in your young age, your body is able to achieve much less in old age. This change in activity levels can cause insomnia.
As you grow older, your health may deteriorate and make it easy for sleeping disorders to creep in.
One of the biggest factors that influence the onset of insomnia in old age is the regular intake of medicines and drugs due to various health factors. The chemical imbalance between the combination of medicines you consume may be the cause of your insomnia too!
Do I have insomnia? When to Consult a doctor
If you always keep wondering how to sleep fast and frequently find yourself researching insomnia remedies, you may need to consult a doctor soon.
While it is difficult to ascertain when in your experience of insomnia you should consult a medical professional, experts recommend that any signs of chronic insomnia, sleep paralysis or sleep apnea should be dealt with at the earliest stages. When you note that the daily activities in your personal and professional life are starting to get hampered due to less sleep, it is vital that you seek medical attention.
Did you know that the Indirect costs of sleep-related accidents in the USA are as high as $100 billion?
Moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the effects of insomnia and try to seek help for insomnia remedies as early as possible!
Sleep disorders are highly complex and insomnia cure greatly depends on the reasons behind your disturbed sleep. Now, although there is no single cure for sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea, here are a few ways by which you can prevent sleep disorders with good sleeping habits.
Regulate your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. People tend to lose quality sleep over addiction to such things which further cause insomnia effects.
Try and attempt to regulate your sleep schedule according to your daily routine. Establishing a consistent schedule can help your body get used to a specific bedtime too.
Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent every day.
Try your best to avoid untimely naps such as unusual naps during the afternoon which may hamper your ability to fall asleep at night.
Consume healthy and nutritious food at periodic intervals during the day. Avoid eating large meals right before bedtime.
If you are working from home, and particularly working from your bedroom space, it is essential for you to establish work-life balance. You should be able to distinguish between your work environment and rest environment to prevent untimely stress.
Some Other Sleeping Disorders
With lack of sleep becoming a more and more pressing issue among people of all age groups, it is important to take note of a variety of sleep disorders commonly affecting us today. Insomnia is the most common of all which is then followed by other sleeping disorders like Sleep Apnea, Parasomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Paralysis.
Overall, Insomnia and lack of sleep have become common problems in today’s day and age. If you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep, please know that it is completely normal and can be treated like any other illness in your body.
There is no one remedy or cure for sleeping disorders. Management of insomnia is multidimensional which involves psychosocial, behavioral and pharmacological approaches.
Psychological experts also recommend controlling stimulus by breaking the negative association of sleep with unpleasant emotions like anxiety and reinforcing positive associations. Thus, there are a range of remedies that you can explore in case of insomnia and there is absolutely nothing to worry about!
If you or any of your loved ones are struggling to get quality sleep, we recommend that you consult a medical professional at the earliest for insomnia cure. Stay up-to-date with all information related to sleeping disorders and likely solutions by reading our blog and following our specialized team of medical experts.
The Author :
Dr. Sunil Khattri
Dr Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.