What is Insomnia?
Do you find yourself struggling to get a good night's sleep even when you are tired after a long day? Do you often wake up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep for several hours, feeling restless and lethargic the next morning?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above and these symptoms have persisted for a few days, weeks, or maybe even longer, then you may be suffering from insomnia, a common form of sleeplessness.
Medically, insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, often resulting in non-restful, interrupted and non-refreshing sleep. Insomnia is a serious disorder that deprives the body of the rest it requires to be restored and refreshed physically, mentally and emotionally. Sadly, this sleep disorder is a very common problem regularly affecting millions of people globally. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about 20% of non-alcohol related car accident injuries are caused by driver sleepiness. Insomnia can negatively affect energy, mood, and the ability to function normally during the day. In fact, chronic insomnia has been linked to several health problems. Furthermore, a prolonged inability to get good sleep has been linked with an increased risk of accidents and chronic fatigue. Mood swings, lethargy, irritability, daytime sleepiness and anxiety are also common symptoms associated with insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia has been linked to several psychological and physical causes. Chronic insomnia, which is a protracted inability to sleep, is usually tied to an underlying mental or physical issue. On the other hand, transient insomnia which only lasts a few days and goes away on its own, may be due to a recent event, habit or temporary cause, such as stress over an upcoming presentation or examination, a painful breakup, or jet lag.
Chronic insomnia is commonly tied to anxiety, stress, and depression. Consequently, having difficulty getting quality sleep can also worsen anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms. While insomnia by itself is a sleep disorder, it can also be a symptom of other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and circadian rhythm disruptions. Other common psychological causes of insomnia may also include anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma. Treating these underlying problems is essential to resolving your insomnia.
Additionally, many medical conditions and diseases such as asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, and cancer, can also trigger insomnia. Also, chronic pain, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, brain lesions, tumors, and stroke can induce insomnia.
Furthermore, many prescription drugs have been known to interfere with sleep patterns and ultimately induce insomnia. These kinds of medications include antidepressants, stimulants, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure drugs, and even some contraceptives. Other kinds of drugs in this category include cold and flu medications containing alcohol, analgesics that contain caffeine, diuretics, and many slimming pills.
Other factors that may cause sleeplessness include sleeping next to a snoring partner, genetic conditions, overactive mind and hormone shifts during menstruation and pregnancy, and daytime habits such as having an irregular sleep schedule, eating sugary foods, too many liquids or heavy meals too close to bedtime, and not getting enough exercise or exercising too late in the day.
Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
Usually, insomnia itself may be a symptom of another medical condition. However, many signs and symptoms that are commonly associated with insomnia include: difficulty falling asleep at night, waking earlier than desired, feeling tired after a night's sleep, daytime fatigue or drowsiness, irritability, depression, or anxiety. Other symptoms of insomnia are poor concentration and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Treatment of Insomnia
Most times, many types of insomnia can be resolved when the underlying cause is treated. In general, treatment of insomnia focuses on cultivating good sleep hygiene such as avoiding electronics before bed, exercising daily, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding alcohol and smoking, avoiding caffeine at night, and ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment.
Insomnia can also be treated medically by administering prescription sleeping pills, antidepressants and melatonin.
Our Recommendations for Overcoming Insomnia
At SpineAlign®, we know that a good sleeping environment is important for a restful sleep. This is why our mattresses and pillow stand out amongst others. Our mattresses offer real spinal support while providing you with the comfort of a cool sleeping surface.
We believe that overcoming insomnia begins with your mattress and pillow and this is too often overlooked. Because of the knowledge we have in the importance of keeping your body properly aligned as you sleep, our mattress collection is custom designed to enhance the great night’s sleep you deserve and help keep you in correct sleeping posture all night. SpineAlign® mattresses and pillow promote spine health by helping you stay in correct posture as you sleep. Our mattress collection is built to last and 100% made in the U.S.A.! So, if you have been looking everywhere for a great night’s sleep but can’t seem to find it, then let SpineAlign® put an end to your search!