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Deprived Of Sound Sleep - Insomnia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

  • August 09, 2022

You worked all day in the office, returned home, prepared dinner by yourself, cleaned the dishes, mop the floor, dusted your cupboard, and folded the clothes. You're finally ready to tuck in your sheets and have a good night's sleep. It's 12 a.m., 1 a.m., 2 a.m., and you're staring at the clock or the ceiling in the middle of the night. You are exhausted, but unable to sleep. After hours of exhaustion, your eyes feel heavy and you have a continuous headache. You put on soothing music and a cool eye mask. Nothing seems to be working. This is how you know you have a common sleep issue called 'Insomnia.' Where you are either unable to fall asleep within a few minutes or wake up frequently in the night.

The causes of insomnia can be various and differ from person to person. You know how miserable one night of poor sleep can be. Now compound that one terrible night by weeks, even months, and it's simple to see why insomnia can have such a negative emotional and physical impact on individuals. You're not alone if you have trouble sleeping. Various studies conducted throughout the world have revealed that insomnia affects around 40% of the worldwide population. It is more prevalent in elderly folks, women, and people suffering from physical or mental illnesses. That is why coping with insomnia and seeking treatment is vital. So, how can you tell whether you have insomnia, and how can you diagnose and treat it? Continue reading to discover solutions to your burning questions.


What are the signs and symptoms of insomnia?


  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Frequently waking up in the middle of the night
  • Being weary or exhausted during the day
  • Irritability or a gloomy mood
  • Attention or memory issues
  • Frequent errors or mishaps in daily chores
  • Drowsiness or fatigue during the day


Know that Insomnia is not a disease, it's a health disorder.  There are mainly two types of insomnia (i) Acute Insomnia (II) Chronic Insomnia. One in three adults experiences episodes of sleeplessness that last a few days or a few weeks, that's called acute insomnia, unlike chronic insomnia which lasts for months. However, acute insomnia can still be a concern since, if neglected and untreated, it can develop into long-term chronic insomnia.


Factors that contribute to insomnia


There are several reasons for insomnia. They can include any or all of the following:


  • Medications that disrupt sleep


  • Excessive caffeine intake during the day (More than two cups of coffee)


  • Work stress and working overtime throughout the week


  • Disturbing thoughts


  • Anxiety and depression disorders


  • Recent alterations in your life


  • Hormone fluctuations, such as those associated with menopause


  • Bedtime behaviors that do not promote healthy sleep, such as spending too much time staring at a smartphone device


  • Acid reflux, thyroid issues, stroke, or asthma are examples of medical ailments.


  • Alcohol and nicotine are two examples of substances


  • Frequent travel, particularly across time zones


  • Alzheimer's disease and/or Parkinson's disease


  • Physical inactivity


Every adult requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day, although the quantity of sleep necessary to function optimally varies per individual. The quality of your sleep is equally as important as the amount.


Diagnosis of insomnia is based on physical exams and questions asked by your doctor. Your doctor will inquire about your sleep patterns and habits in addition to reviewing your medical and family history. When describing your symptoms to your doctor, you must be specific. Your doctor may advise you to have a blood test for sleep disorder to know certain medical conditions that can interfere with sleep, such as thyroid issues or decreased iron levels.


Your doctor may prescribe the following to treat and manage insomnia:


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): It's a systematic intervention for insomnia that assists you in identifying and replacing thoughts and behaviors that cause or aggravate sleep difficulties with habits that promote sound sleep.


Prescription drugs: Long-term sleep restoration is best achieved through behavioral and lifestyle modifications. However, in certain circumstances, using sleeping medications for a brief period might help you in fighting insomnia.


Other structured techniques: Breathing exercises, guided meditation, and other approaches are used to relax your mind by reducing muscular tension and controlling your heart rate.


How can you prevent insomnia?


  • Walk for 15-20 minutes each day to stay physically active


  • Reduce your coffee and soda consumption throughout the day


  • Go to bed and get up at the same time (including weekends)


  • Avoid using a smartphone, computers, or tablet, and do not watch TV for at least 30 minutes before going to bed


  • Spend a few minutes each day doing yoga and meditation


  • Stop smoking


  • Make sure your sleeping place is quiet and dark

In today's competitive world, work stress has increased the levels of anxiety and depression in individuals which results in acute or chronic insomnia. Employees that have insomnia cannot perform their daily assigned tasks which impacts the company's overall business and market reputation. It's time you take a wise step and opt for insomnia diagnosis package and never let your workforce stay deprived of a good night's sleep!