Read articles about Insomnia
Head over to Avaana answers for everything you need to know about Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. It can also relate to waking up early in the morning and being unable to fall asleep again.
Some people have insomnia for one night, while others battle with it for weeks or months. In both instances, insomnia symptoms can make you feel tired, sluggish, and unable to give peak performance. It can effect you at home, school, work and during social activities.
Transient insomnia lasts less than 1 month
Short-term insomnia hangs around for 1 to 6 months
Chronic insomnia persists for more than 6 months
Insomnia can also be divided into 2 categories:
When the signs of insomnia do not relate to any other health condition. The majority of insomnia research uses patients with Primary Insomnia.
Occurs when insomnia exists at the same time as another physical or psychological condition. Most cases of insomnia fall into this category, and it often makes the accompanying condition worse or harder to treat. Comorbid Insomnia is common in patients with chronic pain, cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid and Parkinson’s disease.
Health experts recommend that adults get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night. But insomnia doesn’t necessarily exist if you consistently get less sleep than this, e.g. 6 hours. Insomnia is a problem if you want to get more sleep, or feel like you’re lacking sleep, but your body/mind just won’t let you slip into sleep mode.
Insomnia can begin at any age, even childhood.
The Sleep Health Foundation tells us that at least than 50% of Australian adults are dealing with chronic sleep disorders. Insomnia symptoms are particularly common for seniors because of:
Insomnia is also common amongst entrepreneurs and creatives. Many of them wake at 4am each morning feeling tired, but are unable to get back to sleep. They often proclaim that ‘4am is when inspiration strikes‘. While this may be true, if they’re feeling tired from their early wake up call, no matter how productive or creative they’ve been, reality is they probably have a form of insomnia.
Regardless of your age or career, it’s important to understand what causes insomnia for YOU. This is the best way to connect with the insomnia treatments that match your unique situation.
World Sleep Day is celebrated around the Autumn equinox (March/April) each year. It’s a reminder that sleep is essential for physical and mental health, and that lacking sleep is a REAL problem that can lead to health and social issues.
Madonna revealed in a Rolling Stone interview that she’s struggled with insomnia for decades. She also noted that it’s probably her own fault and relates to her crazy routine. Apparently, she would stay in the recording studio until 2am, but still wake up at 7am to be with her children. This is a good example of Primary Insomnia.
Mariah Carey has openly talked about her ‘search for sleep’. A busy schedule, regularly being up late and living an adrenaline-filled life have all made it difficult for her to get satisfying sleep. However, it’s likely that Mariah deals with Comorbid Insomnia as she also has bipolar disorder.
Insomnia symptoms and signs include:
Physical: Difficulty falling asleep at night, waking during the night, waking up too early and being unable to fall asleep again, not feeling rested after sleep, daytime tiredness, increased errors, prone to accidents.
Research-based insomnia treatments that have proven to be useful include:
What causes insomnia for one person, won’t necessarily be the primary cause in another. However, the most common insomnia causes include:
Here are some natural, drug-free insomnia treatments:
Relaxation Techniques nurture your body and mind to promote sleep. Try taking long, slow, deep breaths, massages, meditation, yoga, gentle music and self-care appointments that bring you joy. Anything that helps to lower your stress levels can also ease insomnia symptoms.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia is considered to be just as effective as sleep medications. It involves working with a psychologist to control or eliminate thoughts, worries or actions that keep you awake at night.
Nighttime meals, snacks and caffeinated are best finished at least 2 hours before bedtime. This gives your body time to digest your food before you lay down for sleep, which helps reduce heartburn and nervous system overstimulation.
Switch off devices 1-2 hours before bedtime. This allows your body to produce and use its natural sleep hormone, melatonin, more efficiently.
Acupuncture is an insomnia treatment that can relax the body and mind, without side effects. It’s useful for primary and comorbid insomnia.
Supplements can help induce a deep and healing state of sleep, e.g. Zizyphus, Valerian, Passionflower, Hops and Californian Poppy. A Naturopath can help you find the best herb for your insomnia.
The following health experts can help with signs of insomnia:
Avaana can help you find a trusted health expert in your area.
Here’s how to help someone with insomnia:
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia symptoms can develop for a wide range of reasons. Here are 5 common causes:
What are the 3 types of insomnia?
How can I stop my insomnia?