• 5 Things That You Didn't Know About Insomnia

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Aug 16th, 2018

While we’ve all experienced difficulty sleeping on more than one occasion in our lives, for more than 10% of Americans insomnia presents a chronic problem, which can last for a month or longer.

Characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, untreated insomnia can become a serious (sometimes even life-threatening) issue for the individuals suffering from it. A consistent lack of sleep can not only cause headaches, back pain, lowered immunity, and irritability, but also increase the risk of us having everything from high blood pressure to depression. In worst-case scenarios, insomnia can even cause death.

The good news is that insomnia can be treated once your doctor finds the root of the problem and prescribes the best therapy for you that will help you enjoy a good night’s sleep once again. However, before you head over to your appointment, here are some things you might not have known about insomnia, but definitely should.

1. You may be more prone to insomnia than someone else.

People who have trouble falling asleep at night might have a biological reason due to which this is happening. Certain research has linked insomnia with a particular biochemical glitch, and while there isn’t a lot of proof, scientists believe that genetics plays a role in whether or not someone will have insomnia in their life. For example, you are more likely to develop insomnia if someone in your family suffered from it.

You may also be predisposed to insomnia if you grew up with bad sleeping patterns, i.e. not having a consistent bedtime routine or a regular sleeping schedule.

2. Insomnia may be caused by two factors.

If you’ve never had trouble sleeping before and you suddenly find yourself tossing and turning every night, there might be two reasons for that: the precipitating cause and the perpetuating cause.

The precipitating cause presents a stressful event (it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad) that triggers the initial disruption of sleep, while the latter presents the reason insomnia persists even after the event has passed. This stressful event can be anything from failing a test to planning your wedding, but more often than not, insomnia occurs when we don’t go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

3. Insomnia is linked with GAD and depression.

You’ll often hear that depressed people can’t sleep all that well, but did you know that lack of sleep can be the cause of depression? In fact, sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish which of the two came first.

Some time ago, an Australian study showed that insomnia in teenagers was linked to not only depression, but also generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder. It also found that insomnia can intensify the problems that come with each individual disorder. A Canadian study from 2013 found that if you treat insomnia and one of the disorders linked to it, you can improve symptoms of both.

4. It might be the best to ignore insomnia.

It might sound ridiculous, but one of the best things to do if you have insomnia is to try and ignore it altogether. Scientists have found that analyzing your sleeping patterns and keeping sleep diaries can actually make the whole situation worse due to overthinking. In short, the more you think about it, the harder time will you have falling asleep.

One of the best ways to tune yourself out and ignore any thoughts about insomnia is to take up meditating. According to a Rush University Medical Center (from Chicago) study, people who practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks said that their sleep patterns improved significantly in that time.

5. Medication isn’t the answer.

While sleeping pills might be a short-term solution for insomnia, they are far from a long-term one. After some time, their effects starts to wear off and you all but become immune to them.

If you want to fall asleep without medication, there are some rules you can follow:

 

Are you having trouble sleeping? If you need a consultation and assistance in getting back to your normal sleeping patterns, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Best and the Neuroscience Center.

Schedule your consultation as soon as today:

Phone: 847-306-8938

Email: pm@mind.md

 

Author Caroline Ryther

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