How Insomnia Can Affect Your Life Without Even Know It
Insomnia is still one of the disorders which science struggles to explain the exact causes and even more to discover a cure.
Sleeping is an essential activity for Man. Recurring lack of sleep may have dire consequences on the health and psychological balance of every human being. This is why it is important to quickly treat insomnia!
Insomnia is usually defined as trouble falling asleep or the inability of sleeping enough and getting enough restorative sleep.
The various forms of insomnia can affect all age groups. You can experience insomnia at any time without warning signs, especially the first time it occurs. Insomnia can occur anytime in a lifetime, no matter how old you are!
A multiform disorder that occurs without warning!
For instance, you know you are coming down with the flu when you begin to have a fever, suffer from headaches, cough, and feel stiff…
But, as far as insomnia is concerned, even if you have never experienced any episode for years, you may fall victim to it one day for some unknown reason!
Yet, suffering from an isolated episode of insomnia would not be a big problem, but this annoying experience may occur again several times over the following weeks or even days! Often, if nothing is done to address it, these insomnia episodes can last for years!
One night, you go to bed thinking you will fall asleep as usual but you just can’t sleep!
You toss and turn in your bed but there is often nothing you can do… You can’t fall asleep in spite of your efforts and your desire to sleep!
You see minutes and often hours go by yet nothing changes: you still can’t fall asleep, while time passes by slowly!
For those who have to get up and go to work the next day in the morning, tension increases as time goes by!
Caught in an unexpected infernal cycle!
Questions start filling your mind, especially since insomniacs are often well awake and their brain works at full throttle instead of falling into some kind of numbness propitious to sleep!
Insomniacs are then dragged – unbeknownst to them – into an infernal cycle from which it will be hard to get out since they feed it with their anxiety, which does not help them sleep but, instead, leads them to prolong their insomnia!
The first reaction you have is to worry, especially when you have to go to work the next day! You worry yourself sick thinking you must absolutely sleep to wake up on time in the morning and, above all, be rested enough to be able to carry out your daily tasks… without falling asleep!
A wrong reflex, one that should be avoided!
Worrying, or getting nervous due to the fact that you can’t fall asleep does not make things any better. In fact, acting this way even worsens the situation!
This wrong reflex adds fuel to the fire of insomnia, which is already burning due mainly to the worries you can’t get rid of insomnia!
Furthermore, when experiencing an episode of insomnia, you tense up and get irritated instead of relaxing your body by taking deep breaths. This would partially solve the problem, even temporarily – for one night or the following ones!
Most of the time, insomniacs end up falling asleep… only to wake up again a bit later! As a result, they sink into the infernal cycle of untimely awakening and get the impression they are powerless! And this goes on and on.
Whether they go through a single insomnia episode or several sleep deprivations during the same night, insomniacs always find it hard to wake up in the early hours of the morning. They feel physically and psychologically exhausted!
Whether they have to work the next day or not, insomniacs start a difficult day during which it will be hard for them to remain focused, fulfill their duties or perform their activities. They will nod off all the time due to the fatigue they feel and/or may lose consciousness at any time!
Often, when the person comes home completely exhausted and hoping for some restorative sleep, a new night of insomnia (even several episodes) awaits them! The infernal cycle often starts over and over, alas!
What treatment for what type of insomnia??
Of course, if insomnia persists, the person will surf the Internet to find the solutions that are recommended or they will turn to their pharmacist or doctor to be given adequate treatment. This is often when things get complicated!
Indeed, as every good physician knows, to properly diagnose and determine the disorder from which the patient suffers, he will first need to know the exact causes that lie behind it.
And to know them, he needs to look into the symptoms – both physical and psychological – linked to the disorder. That is when everything starts becoming confusing!
Even though modern Western medicine has greatly improved the well-being and increased the lifespan of a big part of humankind thanks to its physiological approach to the different disorders, the fact remains that it still falls short in its psychological approach!
In other words, although modern medicine is very accurate when it comes to explaining how disorders are triggered and the physical process that takes place, it is only starting to open up to the psychological and mental aspects related to them.
As a result, it often confuses causes and effects by turning the physical symptoms connected to some disorders into causes when they are often mere consequences. Medicine then only treats said consequences.
Alas, the condition or disorder often returns because the cause or psychological component was not taken into consideration from the start.
The striking example of insomnia
Analyzing how insomnia is triggered will help you understand how crucial psychological factors are to put an end to most – even nearly all – conditions. Modern medicine has progressively started to take this aspect into account.
Officially, insomnia is usually defined (as mentioned above) as trouble falling asleep or the inability to get enough restorative sleep due to the number of times you wake up during the night!
When someone consults a doctor, the practitioner tries to determine the reasons for which this person can’t fall asleep by analyzing their symptoms.
Insomnia can rapidly become recurrent, except for temporary insomnia that is related to isolated problems (stress at work, family problems, bereavement, problems that need to be solved), for which few people consult a specialist!
Even temporary insomnia may quickly turn into chronic insomnia if it is not carefully dealt with or if it is not properly taken care of!
In any case, visiting a doctor usually makes it possible to discover the reasons that lie behind it quite easily, depending on how regular and serious the insomnia is!
The official causes
Although they do not explain everything, it can be useful to mention the causes that are officially known to try and prevent insomnia as quickly as possible!
Many psychological and physical causes are already officially known, but the fact that they abound makes things more complicated when it comes to finding the real causes of insomnia experienced by someone in particular.
Among the main causes of insomnia can be found psychological factors such as a tendency to be pessimistic, entertain dark thoughts, be nostalgic and have regrets…
Poor sleep regulation could also be one of the causes of insomnia. Therefore, it is important for you to know or determine how many hours of sleep you need as a minimum requirement.
Do not neglect the physical surroundings of the room where you sleep either. Is this place ventilated regularly? Are your bedding and pillow or bolster pillow comfortable enough and suited to your morphology? Do you adopt the right position? Is your head too high or too low?...
Likewise, is your room soundproofed enough? If you sleep with someone by your side, does this person have trouble sleeping (this might have repercussions on you, just like someone who snores, moves a lot, talks or shouts when they sleep…) or is this person an insomniac?
Also, avoid going to bed too late and changing the time when you go to bed and wake up because such a change could trigger insomnia in people who are extremely sensitive to these changes.
Losing sleep over insomnia!
Excesses of all kinds – whether it is indulging in too much coffee, alcohol, tobacco, food, energizing drinks… – need to be avoided before going to bed.
Obviously, one of the perverse effects of having had insomnia… is that you know what it’s like to have insomnia! In other words: knowing the torment and suffering it brings makes you fear insomnia!
Usually, after the first episode of insomnia, you go to bed fearing you might fall victim to it again. You fear – in advance – the consequences on your health you will have to deal with the next day as well as the consequences it will have on the relationships you maintain with others and your productivity at work...
This apprehension engenders stress, anxiety, and fear nearly automatically… which prevent you from sleeping and lead to… insomnia!
Although these purely physical factors do not always suffice to explain insomnia, they can be part of the cause of your sleeping problems.
Sleep must be restorative and enable you to rest enough every day so you can perform your daily activities, solve your problems and bring your life-changing projects to completion!
The partial cause or rather the exacerbated effects of insomnia may also stem from substances you take on a regular basis (medications such as analgesics or products containing caffeine).
There is a certain number of disorders that disrupt sleep, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
The person suffering from restless legs syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom disease, feels itching, tingling or even painful sensations when they lie down.
This disorder may sometimes be accompanied by leg movements during the night, which, of course, prevents the person from falling asleep.
As regards sleep apnea, the person affected by this disorder experiences difficulty breathing or even momentarily stops breathing if the difficulty is prolonged.
These problems may even lead to sensations of suffocation. When the person starts breathing normally again they do so loudly, which wakes them up. After that, they will fall asleep and stop breathing again as the infernal cycle repeats itself eternally!
It is obvious that the fear of stopping breathing represents an obstacle when the time comes to fall asleep because the person is afraid of not waking up or, worse, passing away while they sleep. As a result, they wake up early in the morning, exhausted, depressed and apathetic.
Admittedly, there are specialized devices designed to avoid stopping breathing during the night but those are not really practical when the time comes to sleep since they force the person to adopt an uncomfortable position to sleep, usually on their back.
All forms of insomnia lead to the same consequences!
All forms of insomnia cause the same consequences to happen during the following day: general tiredness, loss of attention, trouble focusing…
All these secondary effects make insomniacs’ life difficult and expose them to problems of all kinds, including domestic accidents.
Under these conditions, not only are insomniacs a threat to themselves but also to others.
They may indeed involuntarily put the lives of others in jeopardy over the course of their activities, notably when they drive or when their job requires being alert.
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