Have you ever had difficulties sleeping at night, felt restless, lying awake at night while others slept? It could be that you have insomnia, which is a sleep disorder where you cannot go to sleep or stay asleep for long. I am addressing how insomnia affects our health because I believe many people do deal with insomnia. Plus, I do not think people think it is something that really affects us if we suffer from sleep deprivation.
It is important to get a good night’s sleep as it leaves you refresh, alert, and cognitive throughout the next day to function properly. When you hardly get any sleep at all, you can see how it makes you feel lousy the next day. You are slow in responding and doing things, and your energy is affected as well as your health can be overtime if this continues.
Insomnia Health Risks
Besides being bad for your health, some causes of insomnia could be depression, anger, grief, anxiety, stress, worry, or trauma. Even possibly lack of exercise, bad diet, or medications you are taking can lead to insomnia. This are signs that you might have insomnia if you try to go to sleep and you cannot.
- Waking up in the middle of the night
- Waking up every couple of hours
- Feeling like you did not get any sleep the next morning
- Falling asleep during the day
- Finding it hard to concentrate on your work or task
- Extreme mood swings throughout the day
- Cannot pay attention, making mistakes or causing accidents
Furthermore, according to Healthline, “Science has linked poor slumber with a number of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.”
How insomnia affects our health should be something we also discuss with our physicians, who rarely even ask about our sleep behavior. Whether or not we are sleeping well can be the cause of some of our health problems. The lack of sleep or no sleep can affect our health if on the short and long term depending on how long insomnia lasts. Such as:
- Our daily performance
- Quality of life
- Cardiovascular disease
- Increased appetite
- Psychiatric disorders
- Mental Health
Types of Insomnia
Accordingly, with that in mind, there are three different types of insomnia, acute, transient, and chronic insomnia. How insomnia affects our health also depends on the type of insomnia, like acute is the short term one ranging from a couple of days to about a month. It is considered a situational stressor like getting a new job, taking on new responsibilities, difficult relationships, bad mattress, loud noises at night keeping you up, losing someone, etc.
It causes you sleepless nights until you get used to your new change or correct the situation. The transient one is about a week or less dealing with another illness, disorder, or sudden change in your life. Chronic insomnia can be a month or longer where you are constantly not sleeping at night on and off. Leading to you waking up frequently with shortening sleep on a regular basis. It can also be prolonged due to a medical condition, whether nasal block and sinus allergies, acid reflux, chronic pain, thyroid disease, or sleep apnea.
Ways to Combat Your Insomnia
However, there are some ways to try and combat how insomnia affects our health. Avoid large meals before bedtime, caffeine, and alcohol in the late evening to help with better sleep. Try listening to relaxing sounds, doing things that make or keep you calm at night, or exercising about five or six hours before you go to sleep. You can also avoid bad sleep habits like using electronic devices right when you are going to fall asleep, leaving the TV or lights on when you go to sleep. Also, developing good sleep patterns like going to bed around the same time, and waking up around the same time can help.
Furthermore, even certain food and drinks can make you have a better sleep at night. Having a warm glass of milk, nuts, bananas, honey, or eggs are good before bed. You can have crackers and cheese, cereal with milk, and bread and cheese. There are some good tea choices to help with sleep, including decaffeinated green tea, chamomile tea, and herbal tea with lemon balm. In addition to the teas, you can even have a banana smoothie.
Insomnia and Health
Otherwise, dealing with insomnia can be minimized or non-existence if we work on our overall health. How insomnia affects our health can also be turned into our health controlling insomnia. Being overweight, lack of exercise, and eating the right foods are things we change in our lives to help promote a healthy night’s sleep. Making sure to have a consistent sleep routine and making a few changes at night to what we eat and do will significantly affect our rest.
Until Next Time
Feature Pic By Andrea Piacquadio, Main Pic By Annie Spratt, and Other Pic By Jon Tyson
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