28 Aug Insomnia And How It Affects Your Mental Health
Have you had day s that you were unable to sleep despite all the conditions needed for a good night sleep being in place? Then you have experienced insomnia. Read on to see how this condition can affect your health and what may help.
Insomnia And How It Affects Your Mental Health
So, it is night and time to go to bed, but even when you are securely tucked in with the lights off, you are still unable to sleep. Soon enough, it is daybreak, and you have to get up. You are all snappy and irritated but just as confused because you do not understand what is going on. Well, this is a typical case of insomnia.
What Is Insomnia?
It is a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. The inability to sleep could be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). It is described as short-term when it lasts from one night to a few weeks and long-term when it spans at least three nights a week for three months or
Although categorized as acute or chronic, insomnia is actually of six different types, with two being outstanding.
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Types Of Insomnia
● Primary Insomnia: The first of the two major types. This type is not linked to any underlying medical condition. Simply put, it means your sleep problems are not a result of any other health problems.
● Secondary Insomnia: This is the second of the two main types of insomnia. It indicates the presence of an underlying medical condition. Examples of such related illnesses are asthma, depression, etc.
Other forms of Insomnia include:
● Sleep onset insomnia: This is when you have trouble falling asleep at night.
● Sleep maintenance insomnia: Occurs when you can not sleep all through the night. It results in waking up too early!
● Mixed Insomnia: Cases where you find it hard to fall asleep and when you finally do get to sleep, find it very difficult to stay asleep.
● Paradoxical Insomnia: Underestimation of the time you sleep(sleep period). You end up feeling like you slept a lot less than you did.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia arises due to various factors. The reasons why they vary differ according to their types. The following include the reasons why insomnia could occur.
● Stress due to major life-threatening or mentally disturbing events.
● Mental health issues such as depression
● Excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco.
● Environmental factors such as noise, light, etc
● Genes: Experts have discovered that the tendency to suffer insomnia tends to occur in some families.
Insomnia and your mental health
Naturally, our body requires sleep as your body tends to heal during sleep. It equally restores chemical balance and forges new thought connections in the brain.
With all of the importance tied to sleep, it is needless to say that sleep deprivation will have a negative effect on the human body and your mental health as well.
Effects of Insomnia include:
● Headaches: A painful sensation in any part of the brain, ranging from sharp to dull, that may occur with other symptoms. It affects daily life processes and can equally affect output.
● Low energy: Due to feelings of irritability, the energy level is low. This can affect the way we carry out daily activities.
● Impaired cognitive function: During sleep, new thought processes are forged, and as such, the inability to sleep properly can result in either short-term or long-term memory problems.
● Poor concentration: Decreased ability to focus your thoughts on something. This is another effect of insomnia. It results in low productivity; you can’t get things done quickly and correctly.
● Lack of creative ideas: When the body cannot get at least 7-9 hours of sleep, brain processes are affected, which results in the inability to form creative ideas.
● Mood swings/irritability: The inability to sleep properly leaves you feeling cranky and irritated throughout the day. It equally affects our good moods.
● Accidents: People who suffer from insomnia tend to be groggy and drowsy during the daytime, leaving them prone to accidents and other injuries.
● Weakened immunity: While sleeping, your body produces protective substances like antibodies and cytokines, which protects your body against infection and other diseases. Failure to sleep properly affects body processes.
What Is The Way Out?
The following are ways to effectively manage insomnia –
● Lifestyle therapy such as CBT( Cognitive behavioural therapy) is generally recommended for people with insomnia as it helps to control or eliminate negative thoughts and actions that can
keep you awake.
● Get out of bed when you are not sleepy.
● Practice Paradoxical intention: This means instead of trying hard to sleep, you try hard to remain awake.
● Ensure your bedroom is always neat and comfortable. A healthy environment equally sponsors restfulness.
● Stick to a sleep schedule: The ability to maintain regular sleep time and wake time increases the tendency to fall asleep.
● Avoid or limit the use of caffeine or alcohol as these could act as stimulants preventing sleep.
Natural foods to eat to avoid insomnia
● Nuts like cashew nuts
In general, eat foods rich in magnesium and tryptophan, and you will be able to catch on to some sleep without looking at your ceiling and counting from 100-1.
In summary, Insomnia, though not the best feeling in the world, can effectively be managed and eventually eliminated. Practice a healthy lifestyle, and don’t be ashamed to seek medical help where necessary.
Think healthy! Stay healthy!