What is Insomnia?

by Dr. Pavan Yadav

Insomnia, a common sleep disorder, affects millions of people worldwide. The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being

What causes of Insomnia? 

  • Stress and Anxiety: Persistent worry or emotional stress can disrupt the mind's ability to relax, making it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep schedule, excessive napping, or stimulating activities before bedtime can contribute to insomnia.
  • Medical Conditions: Chronic pain, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and hormonal imbalances may lead to sleep disturbances.
  • Medications: Certain drugs, including antidepressants and stimulants, can interfere with sleep patterns.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption and smoking can disrupt sleep.

How to manage Insomnia?

  • Sleep Hygiene: Adopting good sleep habits, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, can help improve sleep quality.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): This therapy addresses the thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to sleep problems and offers effective coping strategies.
  • Medications: Short-term use of sleep aids or sedatives may be prescribed in severe cases, but they should be used cautiously and under medical supervision.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Engaging in relaxation practices like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can reduce stress and promote better sleep.

Practices for a Good Night's Sleep

  • Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Ensure your bedroom is quiet, cool, and dark, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Limit Screen Time: Avoid screens (phones, laptops, TVs) at least an hour before bedtime, as blue light can disrupt the production of sleep-inducing hormones.
  • Regular Exercise: Engage in moderate physical activity during the day, but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.
  • Watch Your Diet: Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime; opt for a light, sleep-promoting snack instead.
  • Establish a Bedtime Routine: Engage in relaxing activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music.

Insomnia can be a frustrating and exhausting experience, but by understanding its causes and adopting healthy sleep habits, you can improve your sleep quality. If insomnia persists, consult a healthcare professional to identify any underlying medical conditions and develop a personalised treatment plan. Remember, a good night's sleep is vital for overall physical and mental well-being.


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