Don’t you feel sleep is something we all take for granted? Whether you are a sound sleeper or a notoriously light sleeper, we have all had sleepless nights sometime in our lives. Maybe we had to pull an all-nighter to complete an assignment (or watch a few movies) or maybe we were too excited (or stressed) about the coming days that we just couldn’t sleep.
In a recent study conducted, one in five Indians suffers from some form of sleeping disorders. More interestingly only 2% choose to discuss this with their doctor! A mere 2 %! In fact, 20% of Indians suffer from insomnia but due to lack of awareness around it, they don’t know what to do about it.
Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders. People suffering from insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep even if they want to. This leads to fatigue, decreased performance, low energy, inability to concentrate and even depression. Insomnia is not age-bound and is more likely to affect women than men.
People who may be suffering from high level of stress, emotional trauma, heart disease are more susceptible to insomnia. People who travel a lot or work night shifts are also at a higher risk of developing insomnia. People suffering from insomnia often report waking up too early in the morning, lack of satisfying sleep, inability to stay asleep. Other symptoms include irritability, mood swings, low energy, a low performance due to inability to concentrate, etc.
Diagnosis and treatment of insomnia depend on the type of insomnia the person is suffering from.
Acute Insomnia is brief and occurs due to stress or circumstances. It lasts for weeks or days and usually resolves itself without any outside help.
Chronic Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep at least three times a week for more than three months. It may be due to a health condition or emotional imbalance or it may also be the result of another problem like continued stress at work, environment change etc.
There are both medicated and behavioural treatments for insomnia. It is best to consult a doctor before starting any treatment on your own.
Doctors generally recommend sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes as the first steps towards treating insomnia.
In some cases, the doctors might recommend some sleep -aid medication. However, this is done in extremely rare cases and for a short period time lest the person develops a dependency or tolerance towards the medication.
Sleep is a tricky thing. But it’s very important that we maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Sleep is linked to everything we do, right from our performance to our health to even our mood! Make sure to get in 7-8 hours of quality sleep every day and read up on little tricks that might help you sleep better.
Sleep good, wake up better!