You May Be Suffering From Sleep Insomnia

Sleep Insomnia is a condition that affects your ability to fall asleep or to stay asleep and is thought to be one of the signs of stress as well as other medical or psychiatric disorders. 

For the purpose of this article I will be speaking to the issue of insomnia due to stress and not due to other health conditions.

photo courtesy of you mee on Flickr

Sleep Insomnia Symptoms
How to tell if you are suffering from sleep insomnia

  • Do you have trouble sleeping ?
  • Do you find that when you eventually fall asleep you just can’t stay asleep?
  • Do you wake up extra early in the mornings – even when you planned to sleep late on the weekend?
  • Do you feel tired when you wake up – like you were running a marathon in your sleep ?

You may find that as a result of the lack of sleep, during the days you are:

  • Tired and cranky
  • Yawning and sleepy
  • Having difficulty focusing and remembering the little things

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Benefits of Sleep: Why Sleep Is Important

The average person needs 7 to 9 hours sleep in order to feel refreshed and alert during the day. 

There are quite a lot of health benefits of sleep and if you don't enjoy a good night's rest, here are some of the benefits of sleep that you may miss out on.

photo courtesy of harinaivoteza, on Flickr

It is important to have good quality sleep because:

  • It helps to improve your memory
  • It helps you cope with stressful situations
  • It may help you lose weight - researchers have found that poor sleeping habits affect the hormones that regulate your appetite
  • During sleep is the time your cells regenerate and your body repairs itself - recovering from the harmful damages of stress and the environment
  • It helps you to be more alert and energetic
  • It helps to foster good heart health.  It lowers your blood pressure and inflammation within your body, making you less likely to suffer from a stroke or a heart attack
  • It helps to improve your mood; therefore you are less anxious or depressed

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Types of Insomnia

Sleep Insomnia can be classified as :

Transient – the condition lasts for a night to a week
Acute – the condition lasts for a month
Chronic – the condition lasts for more than a month

Factors Leading to Insomnia

You may be experiencing insomnia because of stress due to:

  • Job loss or a new job
  • New work environment
  • Recent arrival of a new born
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Change in living situation
  •  A troubled marriage, separation or divorce
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  •  Illness

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My Relationship With Sleep

When I am very stressed, my sleep pattern is a tell-tale sign of my level of stress.

I go to bed at nights and it takes me a long while to fall asleep ( sometimes I even count sheep, just to fall asleep - but it never helps ).  When I do eventually slip off to sleep, I get up at odd hours, 12 a.m., 2 a.m. then 4 a.m. and then the alarm clock goes off at 5 a.m.   Aaargghh!

I must confess those are the mornings that if you see me coming in your direction, you best bid me a quick good morning and then keep it moving.  Cause I am grouchy, irritable and far less patient. 

But that is not healthy for me or my interaction with others at home or at work. 

So what do I do About It ?

I work out in the mornings ( yes, even with the lack of sleep I draw upon my last ounce of strength to do a workout). 

My energy level determines how vigorous I do the exercise session but what is important is that I keep moving. 

When I am done I have a more positive attitude.  I feel like I gave the devil a proper flogging.  My day is more manageable. 

I also make sure I have a well-balanced breakfast and at bedtime I have a relaxing bath and fall asleep listening to soothing music, whether instrumental or sounds of nature.

Of course, you may not choose to handle things the way I do and so there are several other relaxation techniques that you can do at home to help relieve sleep insomnia. 

If you find that the condition lasts for more than a week and is becoming chronic, you must see your doctor for them to examine you and provide treatment.

For more information on sleep insomnia symptoms and treatment for sleep insomnia, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has discussed it in a bit more detail in this PDF document.

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