Insomnia

 “Do I Have Insomnia?”

You ask yourself as you’re laying wide awake in bed for the third night in a row. First things first, let’s go through a series of questions to help you better understand what you are going through.

 

Are you experiencing any insomnia symptoms? Sleepless nights? Waking up continuously throughout the night and can’t get back to sleep? Do you wake up in the morning feeling extremely fatigued? Are you nauseous and unable to eat? Can't focus at work or school or in general conversations with family and friends? Are you having difficulty mustering up energy and strength to study, go to work, even go out and have fun? Are you feeling depressed and lethargic? Are you feeling irritable and easily annoyed? Are you falling asleep during the day, or exceedingly tired and less energetic through the day?

 

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia, on average, affects 33% of American adults who struggle with sleeping. At least 17% of these adults feel that their symptoms are quite serious. But what is insomnia, exactly? For an insomnia meaning we can refer to psychologist Dement (1972) who referred to insomnia as "an illness that is caused by the treatment." This refers to how prescribed sleeping pills that are supposed to help regulate sleep actually contribute to sleep disturbance. At first, pills prescribed by a registered medical doctor may lead to more sleep, but if the dosage is not eventually increased, the effect will eventually become habitual and no longer work. On top of that, prescription medication can often remove the rapid eye movement stage of sleep (REM). After a patient comes off of these pills, that individual will often experience what is known as rapid eye movement rebound effect. The rapid eye movement rebound effect leads to increased subjective experiences of dreams, which then leads to the continuing ongoing cycle of sleeplessness and insomnia.

 

There are different types of insomnia within the literature of sleep disorders and disorders of consciousness. Sleep-onset disorder, which refers to an individual being unable to fall asleep or having great trouble in initially entering a state of sleep is considered one type of insomnia. Another type of insomnia is an individual who seems to continually wake up throughout the night, and finds themselves unable to go to bed. Acute insomnia is suffered for a brief period of time, while chronic insomnia is suffered over long periods of time. 

 

What Can Insomnia Do to Your Body?

There are many effects of insomnia on daily life. 

 

Want more information? Click on the effects below! 

 

Impaired Cognitive Function -
It is recommended by the scientific and medical community that seven to eight hours of sleep per night are optimal for physiological well-being and cognitive functioning. Research and subjective reporting suggests that individuals who are suffering from insomnia may experience great difficulty in memory, attention, and even simple mental tasks.
Depression/Anxiety -
Having experienced a lack of sleep may cause one to become extra sensitive and easily irritated, unable to tolerate what was normally easily handled. Emotions, in combination with exhaustion, can fluctuate beyond normal limits and cause you to feel depressed or overwhelmed. Occasionally, when you are not able to rest, you can find yourself feeling hopeless and sad.
Changes in Appetite -
The amount of sleep that you get affects your appetite. When experiencing insomnia symptoms, you can either be affected by an increased appetite, as you are awake longer and your circadian rhythm has been interrupted. Or, with the onset of anxiety and residual exhaustion, a person can also experience nausea and decreased appetite.
Hallucinations -
If a person is severely sleep deprived, they may experience visual hallucinations or spontaneously fall asleep, which can be very dangerous if you’re operating heavy machinery or a motor vehicle.

 

What Should You Do If You Are Experiencing Symptoms of Insomnia?

If you are experiencing symptoms of insomnia, you don’t have to run to the doctor’s office. Instead, try some insomnia home remedies, which will not have the side effects of the standard prescribed sleeping medication. Home remedies are also cost effective and much healthier convenient alternatives to prescription medication.

 

Natural herbal remedies are safe alternatives that you can find online and at general health stores, to help curb the effects of insomnia. Most cultures, established many millennia ago, have developed safe and effective natural herbal remedies that are still in use to this day and are available in the modern world for us to use.

 

Herbs such as Passionflower Aerial Extract, Valerian Root, and certain vitamins such as B-6, magnesium, the naturally occurring chemical melatonin, and the amino acid L-Theanine are clinically researched and known to be effective aids in counteracting the symptoms of insomnia. Historically, Native Americans have used Passionflower to remedy a variety of conditions and Spanish explorers later used the same remedy due to its calming effects on the body. Valerian Root has been used since the times of Greeks and Romans for its powerful medicinal qualities. You can buy an effective combination of these in a single supplement just by looking online. The most important part about trying home remedies for insomnia is not to lose hope. There is help out there that’s available to you.

 

 

Sources:

National Sleep Foundation http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/ National Institute of Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/valerian
Dement, W.C. (1972) Some must watch while some must sleep: Exploring the world of sleep.
Wallace. B (2011) Consciousness and Behavior Fifth edition (Sleep Disorder)
http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/calming-effects-of-passionflower#overview1
http://www.herballegacy.com/Purcell_History.html
https://web.stanford.edu/~dement/insomnia.html
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