We all need our sleep in order to keep our minds and bodies in tip top shape. Insomnia often steals away hours and even entire nights worth of rest that we need in order to function properly. We are going to walk you through some of the basic information and answer some common questions in our guide to insomnia.
All so you can understand it better, and hopefully get some helpful answers and information in order to get some much needed rest. If you want to learn more about insomnia, follow along in the below guide to insomnia.
What are The Different Types of Insomnia?
You might not realize it but insomnia can happen in several different ways. While some types of insomnia may come and go, others are more long term that may require professional help to overcome. Below are five forms of insomnia that are most common.
Acute Insomnia generally refers to anyone who has had difficulty sleeping for less than 3 months and has an identifiable cause.
Let’s say, you are in college and your finals are coming up. Your anxiety is high, and so is your caffeine intake. You are staying up most nights studying (or partying) and you are finding it is difficult to sleep. This is a great example of acute insomnia.
Or perhaps you are sick and your medication is making it difficult for you to sleep, this is something to discuss with your doctor and is also a case of acute insomnia.
The most commonly thought of type of insomnia is Chronic Insomnia. This is any kind of insomnia that has a long-term pattern. Which means anyone who consistently has trouble sleeping for three nights a week for three months or longer.
While we all have trouble sleeping from time to time, chronic insomnia is long lasting and in some cases can be a real issue for overall health and well being. While some people with chronic insomnia have a long history of having trouble sleeping, others may not have.
The term “comorbidity” refers to when multiple chronic diseases, or in this case, psychiatric disorders are compounding or causing an issue. Anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder are some common psychiatric disorders that can cause or enhance insomnia.
There are also other medical conditions that cause insomnia or simply make it more difficult to sleep at night. These would all be cases that would be considered as Comorbid Insomnia situations.
Sleep Onset Insomnia
For Sleep Onset Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep is triggered in the evenings. While a nap during the day would come easily as the time arises for a full nights rest, someone with Sleep Onset Insomnia will find themselves unable to get to sleep. Some may even find this triggered for naps as well as evening rest if they nap regularly.
This is a term for when someone is able to fall asleep relatively easily. However, they have trouble with staying asleep throughout the evening until morning. While individuals without insomnia have lighter phases of sleep throughout an evening, they are typically able to fall back asleep with relative ease. While those who suffer with Maintenance Insomnia tend to stay awake if they rise at all throughout the night.
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Do I Have Insomnia? When Should I Talk To My Doctor?
With acute insomnia in the picture, pretty much anyone who is struggling to get to sleep is experiencing some kind of insomnia. However, not all insomnia is chronic, dangerous, or difficult to get rid of. Most insomnia goes away on it’s own as external triggers are discovered and taken care of. If you are concerned, you should definitely talk to your doctor.
However, there are a few things you can start doing immediately. Start a sleep journal in order to track when you struggle to sleep, for how long, and other potential factors. For example document the stresses in your life, what you ate and drank, caffeine and alcohol intake and so on. Also write down your medications.
This is all information that will be very helpful for your doctor to know. Typically chronic insomnia is considered to be three or more days a week for 3 or more months. While you should not wait to speak to your doctor, if it has been this long that you have been suffering you should absolutely reach out to your doctor sooner rather than later.
Learn more about Sleep Coaches and how they could help you get to sleep in our post: What Is A Sleep Coach?
Guide To Insomnia – Common Causes:
Psychological Distress or Disorders:
- Bipolar Disorder
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Food & Drink:
- Acidic Foods
Learn more about foods that make it difficult to sleep in our post: Best And Worst Foods Before Bed
- Common Cold
- Chronic Pain
- Gastrointestinal Distress (Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion, etc)
A healthy sleep schedule helps support your immune system. Learn more on our blog post: Sleep and Your Immune System
- Lack of Melatonin
- Aches & Pains
- Sleep Apnea
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Other Sleep Conditions:
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Jet Lag
Want to know more about RLS? Head over to our post: Top Tips & Products to Ease Restless Leg Syndrome
Is Insomnia Treatable?
Yes, insomnia is absolutely treatable. In fact there are several views of thought when it comes to treating insomnia. You can treat the source if you can track it. For example if your insomnia is caused by chronic pain or depression, you find ways to ease the pain or therapy for the depression and often sleep will follow.
Or you can treat the sleep with sleep aids, cognitive behavioral therapy, or sleeping pills. Each individual will need something a little different and it is important that you consult your doctor before attempting any of these treatments.
Common Treatments For Insomnia:
- Sleep Coach & Therapists
- Relaxation Techniques – Breathing Exercises, Meditation Practices, Mindfulness etc.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Holistic view on changing behaviors instead of medicating in order to achieve better sleep. Commonly used with the help of a sleep coach or therapist.
- Sleep Aids – Prescription and over the counter sleep inducing medications.
- Alternative Medications – CBD Oils, Melatonin, Magnesium, along with many other natural sleep aids.
- Treatments for other medical issues causing insomnia. (Example: Treat the chronic pain, and the sleep will follow.)
Guide To Insomnia Final Thoughts:
Insomnia is often literally exhausting. Not being able to get the rest you need in order to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on your day is frustrating and often creates many negative impacts on your life. Which is why we hope this guide helps you to navigate insomnia easier. While also learning more about what causes insomnia and how it can be treated.
If you have any lingering questions, feel free to Contact Us and send in your questions. We would love to help out in any way we can.