Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by trouble staying or falling asleep. People who suffer from insomnia may have the following symptoms:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Frequently waking up in the middle of the night
- Difficulty in falling back to sleep
- Fatigue after waking
- Undisciplined sleeping patterns
Types of Insomnia:
Primary: Primary insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is not accompanied by any other health condition, or is not a result of some health condition.
Secondary: Secondary insomnia refers to the sleeping problems caused by health conditions such as arthritis, asthma depression, heartburn or cancer. This type of insomnia can easily be treated with medication.
Chronic vs Acute Insomnia:
Acute insomnia is a brief phase of sleeping problems that is mostly accompanied by depression or anxiety. Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, can be long lasting. A person suffering from chronic insomnia may spend more than three consecutive nights awake.
Causes of Insomnia:
Insomnia is mostly a condition caused by mental disturbances such as:
- Emotional discomfort
- Stress in personal or professional life
- Environmental changes like light, noise, cold or hot can also disturb sleeping patterns
- Interferences in normal sleeping patterns
Insomnia is a health condition that must be treated immediately as your body may develop immunity for unhealthy sleeping patterns. Most treatment options available for insomnia trigger relaxation in the body. It is often recommended to treat insomnia with natural relaxation practices such as yoga, herbs, meditation and diet, instead of medication.
To begin with, insomniac patients are recommended to avoid caffeine, in all forms. Avoid sleeping during the day to ensure that they are tired enough at night.
Breathing practices and yoga before sleeping can also help trigger sleep by allowing the muscles to open up and relax. Note that exercise and yoga are different, exercising before falling asleep would increase the blood circulation causing you to remain active instead of relaxed.
Yoga on the other hand can have both energize and relax your body. Herbs, such as, California poppy, hops and mint can trigger sleep as they act as sedatives. Improving your diet by adding more herbs and less spices can also improve the quality of sleep. Milk, honey, and olive oil consumption also causes the muscles to relax before sleeping. Milk with honey is an ancient treatment for insomnia.