Common Causes Of Insomnia and Its Management Options

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The CDC asserts that adults should have 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Nonetheless, research among U.S residents revealed that 25% of people battle insomnia annually. Thankfully, 75% of this population only has short-term insomnia. Some people, however, do not realize they are battling insomnia because they are not conversant with the disorder’s description.

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Insomnia is described as a difficulty in falling or/and staying asleep. In most cases, you will also wake up too early when suffering from insomnia. Acute insomnia lasts for a night to some weeks, while chronic insomnia occurs at least three nights per week and lasts for more than three months. Below are tidbits on the causes of insomnia and some treatment alternatives for it.

 

Causes of Insomnia

There are two types of insomnia, including primary and secondary. Secondary insomnia is linked to an underlying health condition, while primary insomnia has no underlying cause. Below are some of the common causes of different forms of insomnia:

Acute Insomnia:

This is caused by:

  • A change in environment
  • Stress
  • Excess light, temperature, or noise
  • Uncomfortable mattress or bed
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Psychological trauma
  • Jet lag
  • Medication
  • Exercise or watching TV before going to bed since these keep your brain stimulated

 

Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder.

 

Secondary Insomnia:

This commonly follows:

  • Medical conditions like back issues and arthritis that cause discomfort
  • Substance use
  • Psychological issues like debilitating anxiety and depression
  • Diabetes
  • Other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea
  • Long-term medication use like antihypertensives, hormonal drugs, and the anti-seizure medication
  • Nasal blockage or sinuses
  • Neurological issues like Parkinson’s

Other causes of insomnia include:

  • Age because sleep satisfaction often decreases as you grow older
  • Childhood behavioral issues
  • Acid reflux, nocturia, and disrupted breathing in pregnancy
  • Excessive alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine use

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Management Options for Insomnia

A doctor will diagnose insomnia after listening to your sleep and medical histories, then conducting a physical exam to rule out other issues. You might also be required to keep a sleep diary and have special tests at a sleep center. Below are the management options the doctor will recommend if you are diagnosed with insomnia:

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy {CBT}

The ACP {American College of Physicians} recommends cognitive behavioral therapy as the first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. Part of the problem in insomnia arises from the fears and anxieties associated with insomnia, which make it hard to fall or stay asleep. CBT helps you cope with these anxieties and calm your mind to sleep.

2. Sleep Hygiene Training

In sleep hygiene training, a specialist will help you pick the behaviors and issues that might be causing your insomnia. The training will then focus on helping you change these disruptive behaviors. Some of the changes that might be suggested in sleep hygiene training include:

  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks, sugary or spicy foods, and exercise before bedtime.
  • Minimizing the time you spend on the bed when not sleeping, such as when watching television or surfing the internet.
  • Developing a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Avoiding daytime naps.
  • Keeping your bedroom sufficiently cool or warm and the bed comfortable.

 

Insomnia
Insomnia can make it hard to fall asleep.

 

3. Medications

In a few instances, medications might be needed to manage your insomnia. One common over-the-counter medication category used for insomnia management is an antihistamine like Benadryl. Even so, these medications only cause you to sleep as a side effect and come with a range of side effects, more so when used for a long time. As such, they should not be used without an expert’s input. Some of the prescription drugs used for the treatment of insomnia include:

  • Eszopiclone.
  • Zolpidem.
  • Benzodiazepines like diazepam, triazolam, and lorazepam.

Most medications used for insomnia can cause tolerance. This is a reduced effect of the medication when used for a long time. To minimize this risk, drugs are often used in combination with other treatments and not for long periods.

4. Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces during the sleep cycle. There are now melatonin supplements that can be prescribed to mimic this natural hormone and help you fall asleep. While there is some evidence that the supplements will reduce the time it will take you to fall asleep, they should only be used for a short time because their long-term safety profile is inconclusive.

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Conclusion:

Insomnia is not an issue that you should take lightly. When left untreated, the condition leads to difficulty in concentrating, mood changes, anxiety, irritability, and daytime fatigue, among other issues. The information above has hopefully increased your understanding of the causes and management alternatives for insomnia. You thus can now make an informed choice on managing insomnia. The management should, however, only be handled by trained specialists.

Contact us today at Mango Clinic or book an appointment to start your journey for getting quality sleep.

 

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