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Insomnia

Insomnia

Sleeplessness is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing non-restorative sleep. Did you know today’s sleep experts estimate 10% to 30% of adults live with some form of insomnia? People with insomnia often have trouble getting the amount or quality of sleep they need to feel refreshed and alert during the day.

Common symptoms and features of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at bedtime.
  • Waking up during the night and having trouble returning to sleep.
  • Waking up too early in the morning and being unable to go back to sleep.
  • Feeling unrefreshed upon waking in the morning.
  • Daytime fatigue, irritability and impaired concentration or memory.
  • Increased anxiety or stress related to sleep.
  • Frequent use of sleep aids or alcohol to help with sleep.

There are various causes of insomnia including:

  • Stress and anxiety: Worries work-related stress, or life events can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Poor sleep habits: Irregular sleep schedules, excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, and using electronic devices before bedtime can contribute to insomnia.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical issues, such as chronic pain, asthma, heartburn or menopause, can make it harder to sleep.
  • Medications: Some medications can interfere with sleep as a side effect.
  • Mental health disorders: Conditions like depression and anxiety are often linked to insomnia.
  • Environmental factors: Noise, light, and an uncomfortable sleeping environment can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Treatment for insomnia depends on its underlying causes and severity. In many cases, lifestyle changes and good sleep hygiene practices can help improve sleep quality. These may include:

  • Establishing a regular sleep schedule.
  • Creating a comfortable and quiet sleeping environment.
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bedtime.
  • Managing stress and anxiety through relaxation techniques or therapy.
  • Avoiding stimulating activities before sleep, such as electronic devices.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia(CBT-I), a structure therapy that helps change thought patterns and behaviors related to sleep.

In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend medications to help with insomnia, but these are typically prescribed for short-term use due to potential side effects and the risk of dependency.

If you or someone you know is experiencing chronic insomnia, it’s essential to seek advice from a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner or sleep specialist, to determine the underlying causes and appropriate treatment options

Sleep is a Quality Longevity Lifestyle pillar. Chronic insomnia over time has debilitating effects in the body system, leading to cognitive and physical impairments and shortening our lifespan. To get answers to your health and wellness questions, sign up for my newsletters and check out my blog post on www.asknursesherrie.org. Follow me on instagram and facebook at AskNurseSherrie, on X at @AskSherrieRN, YouTube at @AskNurseSherrie and on my podcast on Spotify….AskNurseSherrie. To your Quality Longevity Lifestyle.

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#insomnia #CBT-I #sleepdisorders #qualitylongevitylifestyle #healthandwellness

References

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2014). The lnternational Classification of Sleep Disorders–Third Edition (ICSD-3). Darien, IL.
https://aasm.org/

National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health. (2015, September). Sleep disorders: In depth., Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
https://www nccih.nih.gov/health/sleep-disorders-in-depth

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (2022, May 12). Changing your sleep habits. MedlinePlus., Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000757.htm

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