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Insomnia: Types, Causes, and Prevention

Sleep is a major point in our everyday life, and there is a reason why every adult should sleep at least 7 hours a day. Constant sleeplessness at night can be caused by a medical disorder called ‘Insomnia’.

Finding it difficult to sleep, waking up early, and feeling restless throughout the night can all be causes of Insomnia. 1 out of 10 people is said to have long-term or short-term Insomnia.

It is said that around 88% of people tend to develop this disorder due to binge-watching their favorite TV shows and movies. So, scientifically speaking, people tend to develop this disorder independently, and no genetic factors seem to contribute to its existence.

Insomnia is an easy way to depression; therefore, performing some stress-relieving yoga and exercises can help cure it. The longer you leave it without any proper treatment, the easier it paves the way for depression and other mental disorders.

Also Read: Five Easiest Gym Workouts for Beginners 

Types of Insomnia

Just like any other disorder, Insomnia has different kinds as well. Categorizing the condition makes it easier for professionals to handle it. 

Its 2 main types are-

Short-term Insomnia

Loss of loved ones, sudden cause of stress, a pandemic, or even rebounding from any drugs or substance can be the main factors contributing to this kind of Insomnia.

Short-term Insomnia or Acute Insomnia happens only for a shorter time, usually 3 months. It is more common in women than men(obviously, mood swings and menstrual cramps contribute a significant amount to this factor).

The pandemic seems to be contributing about a 37% rise in the disorder’s diagnosis. Around 15-20% of people tend to develop acute Insomnia that lasts over 3 months or less.

Chronic Insomnia

Any disease or disorder is said to be chronic if it is long-term and most frequent. Similarly, chronic Insomnia means losing sleep almost every week or month.

Stress can also be a cause of it. Still, a large number of factors contribute to it, like poor hygiene, irregular sleep patterns, or even a lousy bed pattern.

Again, women top the list. 

Other Categories of Insomnia

Sleep Onset Insomnia

No amount of tossing and twisting, and turning can make you fall asleep if you have sleep-onset Insomnia.

It reduces your total amount of actual sleep, and you are most likely to experience the aftermath of this the very next morning.

Sleep Maintenance Insomnia

Under this, it is harder to maintain sleep. You tend to wake up now and then in the middle of the night, and no, nobody is watching you sleep; you are just an insomniac.

But mind you, you might fall asleep during the daytime and feel tired for no reason. 

Early Morning Awakening Insomnia

Waking up earlier than intended is called Early Morning Awakening Insomnia. This kind of inadequate sleep causes physical damage, although people may appreciate you for waking up early and even call you an early bird. 

Mixed Insomnia

Not every time can you identify the type of Insomnia because its symptoms may change over time like any other disorder.

This kind of mixed Insomnia can also be called the mixture of onset, sleep maintenance, and early morning Insomnia.

You also have to keep in mind that trying to figure out yourself can lead to unnecessary problems. Leave it to the experts when it comes to medications and prevention.

Also Read: Mental Health in the U.S.

Major Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia in itself is a primary problem that can be linked with many other factors. Its major causes can be age, stress, medical condition, overeating in the evening, etc.

Deadlines and stressful work environments can take a toll on your sleeping patterns. Traveling late or early in the morning and unhealthy hygiene are other factors causing the sleep chaos.

Additional causes include alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. 

Around 50% of the veterans of 9/11(a terrorist attack against the US on Sept 11th) have been tested positive for Insomnia.

72% of adults aged 18 to 34 tend to develop sleep clutter due to video games. 60% of them lose their sleep for sports, and around 66% lose their sleep by reading books.

Women are more prone to have it due to various hormonal changes. Shifts in the menstrual cycle and menopause are significant factors for Insomnia. 

People who have Insomnia or its symptoms (loss of sleep and waking up early) have 18% more chances of getting a stroke or heart attack than those who don’t have this sleep disorder. 

Risk Factors of Insomnia

Now, not every sleepless night means you have Insomnia. Nearly everyone experiences occasional sleeplessness in their lives.

The risks of having a sleep disorder can be considered if and only if you have repeated symptoms and constant loss of sleep. 

Such Risk Factors Include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic disorder(PTSD)
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Heartburn 
  • Chronic disease
  • Cancer

Also Read: Solutions to Mental Hurdles That Stop Us From Working Out

How To Prevent Insomnia?

recent 2017 study compared the sleeping hours of someone who sleeps 7 to 9 hours every night and with a person who sleeps less than 6 hours. It found that the latter had a 13% high risk of mortality.

Some of the easier ways of preventing Insomnia are:

Keep a Regular Sleeping Hour

Irregular sleeping hours can cause Insomnia. Therefore make sure to sleep at a reasonable hour and try maintaining a good sleeping pattern.

Avoid binge-watching your favorite tv shows and get to bed.

Create a Good Sleeping Environment

A bright room can make sleeping harder. So make sure your room is comfortable with fewer lights and good ventilation. Having a good mattress is also important.

Take some time to find a good mattress and make sure it fits your comforts. Wearing earplugs and eye masks helps you set the mood as well.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly helps you break down a good sweat. This makes your body tired and want some good rest as well. Follow a good exercise routine to help you sleep better. 

Avoid Heavy Meals

Eating a heavy dinner before bed can cause stomach aches. Avoiding heavy meals will let you have a peaceful sleep and slow down your metabolism process, which causes various digestion problems.

Also Read: Deep Breathing: Physical and Mental Health Benefits

Try to Relax Before Going to Bed

Have a warm bubble bath and listen to some good music before going to sleep. This will help you have a good and relaxed sleep. Reading a good book helps too.

Avoid Afternoon Naps

After a heavy lunch, it is reasonable to feel a little tired but keep in mind that sleeping in the afternoon will make you restless and sleepless throughout the night. 

Around 20% of the preteens tend to have Insomnia symptoms. It is essential to keep in mind that the sleep disorder can be a side effect or a sign of various health conditions. 

So make sure to treat it before it gets out of hand. If the sleeplessness lasts for more than 2 weeks, it is wise to contact your physician.

Avoid treating it yourself by using medications you see on the internet. This can worsen the situation further.

Around 90% of the people suffering from depression tend to suffer from Insomnia; therefore, it is essential to consider it as more than just a disorder. 

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