Sleep is among the three essential elements of good health. It is also a part of exercising and nutrition. It is recommended that you sleep at least 7 hours every night. The World Health Organization recommends 7-9 hours of rest each day. Yet, each night, millions of people across the globe suffer with insomnia, averaging 10% to 30% of the world's population.
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Is insomnia a real thing?
Insomnia is classified into four categories:
It is difficult to fall to sleep (initial insomnia)
Sleeping, only to wake up in the mid-night and difficulty getting back to sleep (maintenance insomnia)
Early waking and inability to fall asleep (terminal insomnia)
Combination of all the preceding
Sleepiness can be severe, lasting for a single night, or perhaps for a few days, but it may be chronic if it impacts the person for at least three nights per week for a period of three months.
What is the cause of insomnia?
Work, environment sleep problems, stress
The physical condition or the underlying disease like the thyroid or heart disease, menopausal depression and dementia, sleep apnea, GERD, restless legs syndrome, etc.
Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
Who is most at risk for sleepiness?
Sleepiness is more prevalent in women than in men. This is due to hormone changes that occur during menstruation, after menopausal transition and during pregnancy. Conditions such as depression anxiety, stress, muscle pain and difficulty in holding urine or a cyst on the ovary may also impact sleep.
People who are elderly (over 60 years old) who suffer from physical or environmental changes or chronic illness may also be afflicted with insomnia.
When is the best time to see your doctor?
Consult a doctor If you suffer from insomnia at least 3 nights per week for a period of three consecutive months or if it affects your everyday life in ways like feeling tired or irritable, not concentrating and sleeping through the time of the day.
How severe is insomnia?
Many people believe the insomnia issue is not a nagging problem however, chronic insomnia can have an adverse effect upon your wellbeing. It can lead to both mental and physical health issues like:
Irritability, depression, and anxiety
Memory impairment and cognitive impairment
Behavior problems like aggression or hyperactivity
A lack of concentration
High blood pressure
Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping during the day)
Obesity and weight gain
Dozing off during the day can increase your chance of having an accident while driving or at work.
What are the signs of insomnia?
Your doctor will conduct an extensive physical examination and will take a thorough history, including asking you questions about your sleep issues and signs, medical conditions and the use of medications that can affect sleep. If you are suffering from persistent insomnia, or your doctor suspects you may have sleep-related disorders, for example sleep apnea or other disorders, they'll include an examination for sleep.
What is the treatment for insomnia?
The short-term sleepiness can go away by itself and does not require intervention. However, in the case of chronic insomnia, your physician might suggest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (CBTi). The goal of this treatment is to change your thinking process and also your behavior and to help you learn about proper sleep hygiene. It includes relaxation therapy and stimulation control to help you adjust your sleeping. The treatment typically lasts for eight weeks.
In certain situations the doctor may prescribe temporary medications to help you rest.
What can I do to prevent sleepiness?
Changing sleep hygiene can help you sleep better:
Beware of eating large meals or drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages prior to the time you go to bed.
Establish a routine before bed, and get up at the same time each day.
Don't watch television or use your mobile phone or computer for at least half an hour prior to the time you go to bed.
The bedroom should be peaceful, dark and quiet with a temperature that is comfortable
Engage in physical activities like working out throughout the day.
The best position to sleep is for those who suffer from insomnia sleeping on your back with your knees bent toward your chest. It eases pressure on the spinal column and allows muscles to relax.
You should get up whenever you're unable to sleep.
Make use of the bed only for sleeping and only for sexual activities.
Bumrungrad International Hospital's Comprehensive Sleep Clinic consists of a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled specialists that specialize on Sleep Medicine, from pulmonologists (doctors treating respiratory tract conditions) as well as otolaryngologists psychiatrists, neurologists as well as dental surgeons (maxillofacial surgery) who collaborate to treat and diagnose insomnia. If you're suffering from insomnia or suspect you have a sleep disorder Our team of experts can provide the diagnosis and treatment needed to improve your life quality.
A common recommendation given to those suffering from insomnia is to do sleep study. This aids in identifying conditions that could cause sleep disturbances. For a lot of people, a sleep study uncovers a breathing disorder that is related to sleep that could be sleep apnea, for example and treatment for the breathing issue can help with their insomnia. If you're one of the people being diagnosed as having sleep apnea this diagnosis and the treatment plan that follows could be the start of a very difficult journey towards better sleeping.
According to current research, 38% of people suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) also suffer from insomnia Disorder.1 This may sound simple, considering that their bodies struggle to breathe and, consequently often waking up to satisfy this need. This number is important but it illuminates the relationship between the two conditions. While OSA is a possibility and definitely can disrupt sleep, insomnia Disorder is a separate issue that causes or maintains sleep, which often occurs in conjunction with sleep apnea.
If these two issues are present simultaneously the condition is referred to by the term Comorbid Insomnia and Sleep Apnea or COMISA. Patients suffering from COMISA suffer from more illness and more issues in daytime function and more sleep-related thought that is unhelpful and a lower quality of life and disturbed sleep than those who suffer from either alone.2-10 If patients or providers think that insomnia-related symptoms are due to OSA The majority of the time, they start by addressing the sleep-related breathing problem first (for instance, attempting the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy or one of the oral appliances).
However, some people receive treatment for OSA and find they are still experiencing insomnia-related symptoms no matter the degree to which they follow the treatment guidelines. In reality, around 50% of patients suffering from OSA suffer from insomnia-related symptoms even if their OSA is being treated effectively. In these patients, it's crucial to consider insomnia as well as OSA as distinct issues which require separate treatment. New research is pointing us towards an appropriate direction. Recent studies suggest that those suffering from COMISA tend to be good sleepers and also experience relief from their insomnia in the event that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) can be added in CPAP treatment.