Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. People suffering from Insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. This leads to daytime sleepiness, lethargy, feeling unwell both mentally and physically and the effects can be devastating. There are various medical conditions that are associated with sleep disorder.
A sleep disturbance can be a symptom of health issues. The stress of chronic illness can also cause Insomnia and day time drowsiness.
Some of the common health conditions that lead to Insomnia are as follows:
Kidney disease where kidneys have been damaged to an extent that it can no longer filter fluids and remove waste leads to Insomnia. Waste products building up in blood can lead to restless leg syndrome thus causing sleep disorder. The treatment could help the reversal of symptoms.
An overactive thyroid gland can cause sleep problems. As thyroid function affects every organ and system in the body thus this may cause overstimulating the nervous system making it hard to fall asleep and may also cause night sweats. Feeling cold and sleepy is a symptom of underactive thyroid. So, if you notice these symptoms you can get a thyroid test done to check the thyroid function.
Consumption of various fatty and oily food, Coffee, and alcohol can cause heartburn. Lying down on bed often worsens heartburn which can be caused by the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. You can suppress this stomach acid secretion by taking some over the counter medication or you can also use gravity to your advantage by elevating your upper body with an under-mattress wedge.
Shortness of breath or fear of having an attack can make it difficult to fall asleep. The use of steroids or other medications can have a stimulating effect just like caffeine. People having bronchitis can also experience difficulty in falling asleep because of coughing and excess sputum production. A doctor can test you for these conditions and help you manage and treat them.
A woman’s period starts to end, insomnia may begin. During this time woman’s body slowly stops making progesterone and estrogen. This shifting balance of hormones can make you more sensitive to stress that can affect sleep. Progesterone is a sleep-promoting hormone that usually drops during menopause also changing levels of estrogen can cause sudden waves of intense body heat and sweating which can cause sleep disruptions.
Depression is considered as one of the major possible cause for Insomnia as 90% of people with serious depression experience Insomnia. Waking up too early in the morning is the hallmark of depression. In low-grade depression, insomnia is the most prominent symptom. Anxiety can also leave you wide awake due to the inability to relax. Changes in lifestyle and appropriate medication can help ease depression and anxiety.
Arthritis patients with chronic pain who must shift positions during the night often find it hard to fall asleep again. Fibromyalgia condition which causes painful ligaments and tendons has also been linked with sleep disturbance. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be useful to relieve the pain and swelling just before bed which can avoid sleep disturbance.
Phobias & Panic Attack
Phobia which is intense fear from a specific object or situation may lead to restlessness (such as fear of nightmare or any future event). Panic attack on the other hand often strikes at night. Treating this problem with an anti-anxiety medication can solve the problem.
Headaches, Strokes &Tumour
People who are prone to headaches or migraines must avoid sleep deprivation. Some migraine problems can be solved through sleep. Sleepiness along with dizziness, weakness, or vision problems may signal some serious problems like a stroke or tumor. This requires immediate medical aid.
Affect of sleep on body and mind
Lack of sleep can make you moody, anxious, cranky, and depressed. It can majorly affect your work efficiency. Insomnia is directly linked to conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease too.
How you can get back to normal sleeping habits?
To help get your sleep cycle on track your bedroom environment should be quiet, dark, comfortable and cool.
Avoiding caffeine, hot bath, reading and light stretching before bed. Avoid difficult discussions and heavy fatty food, Exercise and do meditation earlier in day and get some morning sunlight.
When all of the above doesn’t help consult your doctor before it starts affecting your health adversely.