In urban areas, Insomnia or sleeplessness has assumed in frightening proportions in present times. Sleep is a regular state of rest for the body, which is completely necessary for its efficient functioning. Sleep gives relief from stress and any kind of tension, rests the brain and body and a person wakes up in the morning fresh and relaxed after sleep.
Normal adequate sleep cycle is 7-8 hours every night in most of the individual. However, some people sleeps only 4-5 hours every night is also normal, because their sleep is deeper and more refreshing.
A very common sleep disorder, insomnia which can make it hard for an individual to fall sleep or to stay asleep or an individual wake up to early and later not able to go back to sleep.
According to various studies, women and older people are at higher risk of insomnia or sleep disorder. With age, there is a gradual reduction of interval of deep sleep. The older person, therefore gets awaken easier and feels tired when waked up. However, in women, insomnia is prevalent with both the onset of menses and menopause.
Insomnia or sleeplessness can be acute (short term) which might be for 1 night to about a few weeks or chronic (long term) insomnia which last for 3 times a week for more than 3 months.
There are 2 types of insomnia, one is primary insomnia which is not associated with any other medical or health conditions, on the other hand, secondary insomnia is trouble in sleep because of any medical condition like depression, pain, medications, asthma (difficulty in breathing), heartburn
The most common causes of insomnia are
- Mental tension induced by anxiety or stress induced insomnia: stress of work (worries, overwork) or death of family member or any family issues-divorce or any trauma.
- Constipation, gut health is not good, dyspepsia, over-eating at night, going to bed hungry may also lead to insomnia.
- Excessive intake of tea or coffee or alcohol.
- Irregular timings of sleep due to travelling or rotational shifts at work or night shift.
- Irregular menses, menopause, PMS
- Sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
- Genes- influence of genes also leads to insomnia. Genetic influence along with other factors like environmental, cultural and behavioral affects how much and when we sleep. Tendency for insomnia also runs in family.
Some of the signs and symptoms of insomnia are
• Reduce duration of sleep or the quality of sleep,
• Lapses of memory
• Lack of concentration during day time
• Fatigue and grumpiness