All About Insomnia: Causes, Effects and Treatment

We know how frustrating insomnia can be. If you happen to suffer from this condition, the first step is to get educated on the possible causes and treatments.
All About Insomnia: Causes, Effects and Treatment

Last update: 13 November, 2018

The reasons for which you suffer from insomnia are diverse. Below, you will learn all about insomnia, and we will explain and give you strategies so that you can improve your rest.

If sleeping is so necessary for our health, why do we sometimes undergo large periods of time without being able to sleep? Not sleeping directly affects necessary parts of your day to day that, little by little, worsen your quality of life.

At times, you may resort to using drugs such as sleeping pills, which may seem like essential resources and the only solution. But if you learn about the causes of insomnia and handle them properly, you can treat this condition with natural methods and get better sleep in no time.

What are the effects of insomnia?

Sheeps going over the moon

You should know that insomnia is a very serious reality that will affect many aspects of your life. Not being able to sleep for three, four, or six days in a row will have a direct effect on your health. But, how can you recognize when you are starting to have a problem?

  • Difficulty in getting some rest every night. It is not just five or six isolated days a month, but rather something repetitive.
  • You wake up very early and often throughout the night or you wake up feeling tired.
  • You are irritable, anxious, or even sad.
  • Feeling fatigued or slow all day.
  • Not being able to concentrate or forgetting things.
  • You may have small accidents.
  • Suffering from gastrointestinal problems.
  • Thinking about going to bed makes you anxious.

Causes of insomnia

Woman with insomnia looking at the clock

1. Emotional problems

Sometimes, life brings hard circumstances that you have face. They’re sometimes no more than small things, aspects that keep us worrying all the same.

When this happens, when you suffer from sadness, anxiety, fear, or worry, a chemical imbalance occurs in your brain. This keeps you “alert” and prevents you from being able to rest.

Stress and anxiety are sleep’s enemies. The daily worries end up taking a vivid relevance at night, the moment in which the silence and darkness allow these sensations to flourish, which keeps you awake.

2. Stimulants

The consumption of coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco are stimulants that will prevent you from getting some sleep. 

Some people think that alcohol helps you sleep but this is very wrong. In reality, this substance will prevent you from “getting a deep sleep”, and also causes you to wake up often. Try to avoid these drinks or consume them with caution.

3. Some diseases

Arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid problems, acid reflux and Alzheimer’s disease cause certain effects in your body that will prevent you from getting sleep. Whether it’s due to pain, difficulty breathing, hormonal changes, or at the central nervous system level.

4. Medications

Medications like anti-depressants, allergy or high blood pressure pills can affect your sleep. They sometimes contain caffeine and other stimulants that will cause you to have insomnia.

5. External stimuli

You may be used to using the computer at night or checking your phone regularly. The waves from these devices directly alter your melatonin levels and also stimulate various neuron regions that will prevent you from getting rest.

For example, if you get a text at midnight and read it, it’s likely that you will take awhile to go back to sleep afterwards. Phone and computer screens are stimulants that prevent you from being able to rest normally.

6. Be careful with big dinners

Big dinners are sleep enemies as well. The digestion process will take longer to end. Therefore, your body won’t be able to rest until it’s finished. The acidity and gastric juices will keep you awake without you even knowing it.

That’s why you should always eat at least two hours before going to bed, and if possible, eat light dinners.

How to handle insomnia

Cat sleeping on a computer

  • Manage your problems, worries, and anxieties. Try not to let these things flourish when it’s time to go to bed. Sometimes you cannot prevent it because it’s part of your personality, but try to make sure that these anxieties don’t happen as strongly when you lay down.
  • Always go to bed at the same time.
  • Avoid heavy dinners. At the end of dinner, include a chamomile or passionflower infusion. Both are ideal for getting some rest. If you do it continuously, you body will become accustomed to it and it will be easier to go to sleep.
  • Avoid going to bed with your laptop or phone. Stop using them two hours before going to sleep. If you don’t, they’ll activate and excite your brain, which will prevent you from resting.
  • Before going to bed, take a bath with hot water or a relaxing shower.
  • Try not to take naps during the day and play a sport. This way, you’ll be more tired at the end of the day and will want to close your eyes and find relief in your bed.
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