Insomnia is the most common medical complaint when it comes to sleeping. People rarely tell their doctor, “I’m sleeping too much.” Although, this can happen with those who are depressed or who are feeling the side effects of medication. But on the whole, when people complain about sleeping, they are often saying that they’re just not getting enough of it.
Typically, insomnia is either the result of something simple, like drinking too much caffeine during the day or too many responsibilities. Or it’s a symptom of a larger problem. It could be a sign or an indication of a medical disorder or a psychological illness, such as depression or anxiety.
Some of the symptoms of insomnia include:
- Exhausting sleep
- Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired
- Waking up frequently during the night
- Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep
Although there are many reasons why you might be experiencing insomnia, there are a few beginning questions to ask yourself. These can help you begin a process that can lead to answers and possibly solutions.
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Are you depressed or feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
- Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
- Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
- Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
- Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
- Is your sleep environment quiet and comfortable?
- Are you spending enough time in sunlight during the day and in darkness at night?
- Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
Lastly, here are some simple treatments for insomnia:
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid naps.
- Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime.
- Don’t read from a backlit device (such as an iPad).
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
You might find that you put all of these measures in place and you still have trouble sleeping. If this is the case, it’s best to see a mental health professional. Sure, you can find all sorts of remedies and treatments online, even a therapy module online that help you look at the cause of insomnia, but the best step is to see a mental health professional. He or she can help you assess the root cause of the insomnia and create the best treatment plan. Together those two tools – a diagnosis and treatment plan – can eventually lead to having a full and healthy night’s sleep.