Insomnia or sleeplessness is a health condition, where the affected person either fails to fall asleep or struggles to retain it for long. In particular, if you are not taking enough sleep as per your health on a regular basis, you might be suffering from insomnia. However, researchers believe this health condition can cause long-lasting complications and increase the risk of several other issues as well.

Insomnia or sleeplessness is a health condition, where the affected person either fails to fall asleep or struggles to retain it for long. In particular, if you are not taking enough sleep as per your health on a regular basis, you might be suffering from insomnia. However, researchers believe this health condition can cause long-lasting complications and increase the risk of several other issues as well.

In this case, you must be aware of the common causes of insomnia. Particularly, untreated underlying causes of insomnia turns it into a chronic disorder. Hence, it is important to know what leads to insomnia and prevent its severe complications on health.  

Causes Of Insomnia

There are a number of factors, which can be responsible for causing sleeplessness or insomnia. Most common causes of this health condition include:

  • Disturbances in the circadian cycle due to a shift-work disorder or travelling frequently within different time-zones
  • Neurological disorders including bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and dementia
  • Poor sleep hygiene and routine
  • Excessive consumption of psychoactive products-caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines and alcohol
  • Consumption of or withdrawal from pain-relieving medicines
  • Life’s stress such as fear, anxiety, emotional turmoil, the sudden demise of a family member or a beloved one and  financial stress
  • Respiratory issues during night hours
  • Hormonal shifts, particularly during menstrual cycle and menopause
  • Heartburn, constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Periodic limb movement disorder
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Genetic defects
  • Pain-related complications, including rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and a severe headache

In many cases, the birth of a child can cause sleeplessness, too. Especially, new parents struggle a lot to attain sound sleep while raising a neonatal. Moreover, if both the parents are working, it becomes even harder for them to manage a sleep routine.

What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia?

You can check the following signs to know if you are suffering from insomnia. Later, you can consult your healthcare expert to diagnose it medically.

  • Difficulty attaining a sound sleep
  • Frequent awakenings
  • Waking up too early
  • Feeling of restlessness even after a night’s slumber
  • Daytime drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Increased errors
  • Fatigue and mood swings
  • Worries about sleep

These signs indicate the person is suffering from insomnia or sleep-related disturbances. Also, insomnia symptoms may vary as per individual’s health, age and other underlying health complications. Moreover, these signs differ with the types of insomnia one may suffer.

Types Of Insomnia

In general, there are two types of insomnia, namely primary and secondary insomnia.

Primary Insomnia

Under such circumstances, individuals suffer from sleeplessness due to changes in the circadian cycle. Particularly, its causes are environmental conditions and an irregular schedule.

Secondary Insomnia

This sleep disorder is a ramification of other underlying health conditions. You can get secondary insomnia due to your own lifestyle habits, which may disturb the sleep pattern. In addition, extreme health conditions, including neurological imbalances, pain-related complications and respiratory issues.

Furthermore, insomnia can be divided into two categories on the basis of severity, causes of the occurrence and duration.

Acute Insomnia

This kind of insomnia is a short-term health complication. You can suffer from acute insomnia due to emotional distress, extreme climatic conditions and interference in the sleep-wake cycle. Hence, it can come and go, depending on the condition.

Chronic Insomnia

Medical practitioners state acute sleeplessness for more than 3 nights a week and lasting for 3 months or longer is said to be chronic insomnia. In this case, depression, anxiety, and pain-related discomforts are the primary causes of such health condition. Individuals suffering from chronic insomnia may get other health conditions as well. Hence, insomnia can be a chronic disorder if it lasts for long.

Risk Factors With Insomnia

Insomnia or lack of adequate sleep can increase the risk of several other disorders. This may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obesity issues
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Narcolepsy

Diagnosis Of Insomnia

Insomnia can take severe form if not diagnosed early and cause adverse effects on health. In this case, you can consult a medical professional and opt for an effective method to diagnose this health condition. In general,  you can check insomnia through a mental health exam. This test helps find the primary cause. Other ways to test insomnia are polysomnography, actigraphy and electroencephalogram. In addition, your doctor may ask if there is any medical or family history of insomnia. Also, the doctor can suggest a genetic blood test to diagnose it better and prescribe a suitable treatment.

How To Treat Insomnia?

In general, following a sleep routine can help treat insomnia to a great extent. However, there are a number of insomnia sufferers, who required additional aids to acquire symptomatic relief. These may include:

Medicines

In particular, you can use sedatives prescribed by medical professionals to treat insomnia. Generally, non-benzodiazepines medicines help alleviate the complications of a sleep disorder. You can buy Ambien or buy Zopiclone online to combat sleeplessness. These medicines are proven treatment and help improve the quality of nocturnal slumbers as well. Their primary functions include increasing the function of GABA receptors and inducing sound slumbers. However, any sleeping tablet should be taken only in the direction of a medical expert. You can get the best results from a sleeping tablet when you use it judiciously.

Natural Aids

You can treat insomnia through natural supplements, including lemon balm, magnolia bark, lavender, valerian root,  passion flower, nuts and fruits. These aids help regulate the chemical balance and hormonal flow to induce sound sleep. Also, these supplements help improve neural functions as well as mood. Although one can avail sleeping pills in UK, treating insomnia with natural aids cause negligible adverse effects on health.

Counselling and Therapy

In addition to medicines and natural supplements, therapy helps release stress and reduce anxiety to fight insomnia. In this case, you can consult a therapist and opt for the most suitable therapeutic treatment. Particularly, it helps treat insomnia caused by anxiety and stress-related complications.

In conclusion, insomnia can be a chronic disorder. It can increase the risk of other health conditions. Moreover, untreated insomnia can increase mental imbalances. Hence, you should avoid ignoring its early signs and seek immediate medical assistance to sustain health in the long-run.

Catherine Sykes

Dr Catherine Sykes is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). She is an Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is on the BPS register of Coaching Psychologists.

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