Insomnia – causes, symptoms, effects and treatment methods
It would be difficult to find a person who sometimes does not roll over in bed, looks at the ceiling or the window and cannot fall asleep for hours. As long as such a state happens relatively rarely, once every few or a dozen nights, there is usually no reason for alarm. But if it is a permanent phenomenon, meeting us practically every day, it may mean that we suffer from insomnia, one of the diseases considered to be civilization diseases and affecting more and more people. At the same time it is a disease so serious that in no case should we underestimate it, because if untreated it can become the cause of many other ailments affecting our general health. On a constant shortage of sleep, will suffer not only our psyche, but also physical condition, and its total absence for a long time is even a threat to life. So it is worth knowing what causes insomnia, what are its characteristic symptoms, effects and how it is usually treated.
Insomnia – what it actually is
Looking for, e.g. in the Internet, a simple and understandable definition of insomnia, we can read that it is an insufficient amount of sleep during the day or its poor quality. Putting it in a more scientific way, we say that insomnia, also known under the Latin name insomnia, is a disturbance of our natural daily rhythm, the time we allocate to work and rest and the depth and duration of sleep. However, regardless of the definition, such a condition can have an extremely negative impact on our entire body, especially when it persists for many weeks or months. What is interesting, until recently such disorders were considered normal, especially in middle-aged and elderly people. Everyone has surely heard the saying that an old man does not need much sleep, although in fact he needs it as much as a teenager, preferably the recommended 8 hours per night. Unfortunately, the lifestyle we lead causes insomnia even for young people, who are stressed, busy and not taught to rest properly. Statistics are merciless here, saying that already one third of Poles complain about sleep problems, and doctors diagnose chronic insomnia in most of them. The only positive thing here is the fact that medicine’s approach to this issue has also changed, and sleep problems are no longer treated merely as a symptom of some disease, but as a separate disease often requiring specialized treatment. It has even been classified separately, and apart from typical insomnia we may also encounter:
- sudden uncontrolled attacks of sleepiness during the day, called narcolepsy, which cannot be controlled without implementing appropriate treatment;
- snoring, which can be extremely troublesome even for the rest of the house;
- sleep apnea;
- constant feeling of sleepiness, which can have various causes and be caused not only by lack of sleep, often it is also a symptom of a serious illness, which should not be underestimated;
- sleep disorders consisting in accompanying anxiety, spasms and involuntary movements of the lower limbs, i.e. restless legs syndrome or sleepwalking.
Insomnia – the causes of this disease
As with many other diseases, also insomnia can have different faces and be caused by many reasons. Our susceptibility to it changes with time and more women than men suffer from it. It also affects more often people belonging to the so-called risk groups, and we can count to them people who have undergone various mental illnesses, especially depression or who are in the menopause, in the case of women, or andropause in the case of men. It usually begins innocently enough, with small but gradually increasing problems with falling asleep or shifting the time at which we go to bed. It can also be the opposite, we go to bed and get up earlier and earlier. As we have already mentioned, the reasons for this are varied and can be divided into two distinct groups. The first are those that we actually have any influence on, as insomnia is often due to our fault. The second, on the other hand, are causes independent of our will, resulting from developing conditions in the body, of which we may not currently be aware.
Causes of insomnia, for which we ourselves are to blame
Sleep disorders encountered by us are very often our own fault, neglecting many important factors significantly affecting its quality. So before we go to the doctor, let’s check whether something in our bedroom, or even in our diet or lifestyle, is not the reason that we sleep badly. The most common causes of insomnia within our control are:
- an uncomfortable bed with an ill-fitting mattress that makes our body lie in the wrong position, which can cause, among other things, pain that makes it difficult for us to fall asleep. When buying a mattress or bedclothes, choose only those made of natural, breathable materials;
- improper bedroom temperature, too low or too high. Specialists indicate that the optimum temperature, allowing us to fall asleep quickly and get a good rest at the same time, varies from 18 to 22 degrees. It is also worth eliminating all stimuli making it difficult to fall asleep, going to bed turn off the TV, laptop and do not take your smartphone or tablet to bed;
- a heavy, fatty diet, overloading our digestive system before bedtime, which can become the cause of nighttime digestive problems and instead of going to bed we may spend the night in the bathroom. Doctors also do not recommend going to bed with an empty stomach, but the last meal should be a light dinner, preferably eaten about 2 – 3 hours before going to bed. Let’s avoid all stimulating supplements, caffeine-containing coffee and above all alcohol, after which our sleep will certainly not be healthy and pleasant;
- lack of any physical activity during the day, especially outdoors. Sedentary lifestyle can cause problems with hypoxia, which also adversely affects the quality of sleep and causes difficulties with falling asleep. A good idea is to go out in the evening for a short walk, after which we will sleep peacefully until the morning, or practicing a sport, crossfit, running, swimming or cycling;
- going to bed at different times causing almost immediate disruption to our natural daily rhythm of rest and activity. It is better to establish a fixed time of going to bed and strictly observe it.
Causes of insomnia resulting from other diseases
While all the above-mentioned factors causing insomnia we are able to change immediately, those independent of our will often require a professional diagnosis, which can usually only be done by a doctor. Continuous, repeated daily lack of the right amount of sleep is also caused by:
- diseases of psychotic origin, first of all, strong stress, which is increasingly difficult for us to avoid. Insomnia is also a symptom of neurosis, various anxiety states, hallucinations, hallucinations and depression;
- damage to the nervous system that disrupts its normal function;
- hypertension and other diseases of the heart and the entire circulatory system. Symptoms of these diseases include severe pain and shortness of breath, often of such intensity that it impedes normal breathing, which automatically affects the quality of sleep and problems with falling asleep;
- diseases of the respiratory system, complications after pneumonia and especially asthma manifested by attacks of shortness of breath occurring also at night and requiring immediate medication;
- ailments of the urinary system, kidney disease or inflammation of the bladder causing the necessity of frequent urination, also at night. In men, a common cause of insomnia is prostate hypertrophy;
- the mentioned menopause in women, causing serious disturbances in the hormonal economy of the body, and an inappropriate level of estrogen secretion may significantly prolong the REM sleep phase;
- thyroid gland diseases, especially hyperthyroidism, causing sleep disrupting symptoms such as nervousness, excessive sweating, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath;
- disorders of melatonin secretion, a hormone, whose inappropriate, too low level is one of the most common causes of insomnia.
This is only a part of causes responsible for our problems with falling asleep and sleeping. We can also come across the so called primary insomnia, whose reasons for occurrence until now have not been fully recognized, which makes it also the most difficult to cure.
Insomnia – effects and treatment methods
Regardless of the causes, insomnia is a disease that requires immediate treatment. If this is not done, it will get worse, gradually leading the body to a state of total physical and mental devastation . Lack of sleep leads to the development of many dangerous ailments, primarily such as:
- concentration and memory disorders leading even to the impairment of cognitive abilities and problems with logical speaking and correct formulating of sentences;
- a constant feeling of fatigue causing a growing discouragement to perform even the simplest daily activities;
- problems with proper digestion, which leads to increasing overweight and obesity. At the same time, the appetite increases, which does not allow to control excessive appetite;
- too high a level of sugar in the blood, leading to the development of stage I or II diabetes;
- diseases of the heart and the entire circulatory system, primarily the above-mentioned hypertension, and in many people there is also an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias, or life-threatening heart attack or stroke;
- potency disorders, and in many cases almost complete inhibition of sexual desire resulting from fatigue, and even the mentioned extreme exhaustion of the body caused by too little sleep;
- cancers, connected with lowering our natural immunity, threatening the development of, among others, prostate cancer in men, ovarian and uterine cancer in women, as well as breast or colon cancer
- mental illnesses, such as severe neurosis, sometimes manifested by an increase in the level of aggression, or depression, often requiring treatment in hospital conditions.
The consequences of insomnia can be really tragic. Therefore, as soon as we notice the first alarming symptoms in ourselves, and the number of sleepless nights grows at an alarming rate, it is time to start counteracting it effectively. There are many ways to treat this disease, but most specialists try to avoid giving their patients strong pharmacological agents, such as sleeping pills. Their effectiveness is certainly high, but taking them, we must also reckon with serious side effects in many cases. These include the aforementioned decrease in immunity or problems with concentration, drowsiness, mood swings, varying degrees of cognitive impairment and even addiction. It is better to use natural methods, take the help of a psychologist who will show us how to properly take care of the recommended sleep hygiene. You can also decide to use preparations based on popular herbs with a relaxing, calming and facilitating falling asleep effect or agents supplementing melatonin deficiency. The latter show effectiveness sometimes even comparable to pharmaceuticals, and one of the most frequently recommended by specialists is Melatolin Plus .
Melatolin Plus – a supplement that helps you fall asleep
This is a modern and completely safe dietary supplement consisting of components carefully selected in order to support the treatment of insomnia. It contains only natural substances, most of which are of plant origin:
- melatonin, called the sleep hormone by specialists, which allows to re-regulate our biological, internal clock;
- camomile, which has a calming effect and eliminates the negative effects of physical and mental fatigue;
- Hop cone extract, full of lupulin, which also helps to calm down even after the hardest and most stressful day;
- Ginseng root, the most effective in removing the effects of stress, which also has a significant impact on the quality of our sleep and helps the body regenerate quickly.
If you use Melatolin Plus regularly, you will be able to relax, calm down and unwind in the evening. We will get rid of all the negative emotions that have so far made it difficult for us to fall asleep, and our sleep will finally be strong, thanks to which we will feel fully rested in the morning. You can buy the supplement directly from the manufacturer, placing an order through their website, with a guarantee of not only effectiveness, but also the lowest promotional price.