Feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, specifically good quality sleep, lately? Well, you might be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes us to have a hard time falling and remaining asleep. Other people may also face the issue of waking up too early or constantly throughout the night, resulting in them having sleep deprivation during the day. Regardless of which type you’re facing, insomnia can negatively impact one’s quality of life and prevent one from functioning properly. While insomnia is a common disorder, it is particularly prominent in older adults aged 65 and above. As such, here’s more information about insomnia symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Symptoms of Insomnia
The most common symptoms of insomnia include trouble falling asleep in the evening, waking up constantly throughout the night, and having short sleeping schedules. All these sleep conditions can lead to the body and brain not getting enough rest, causing the individual to become sleep deprived, restless, and extremely tired during the day. Other mental health conditions can arise as well, such as easy irritability, depression, anxiety, and overall low mood. For some people, insomnia can also cause concentration problems, in which they find it increasingly challenging in paying attention and complete tasks. If you are working in a high-risk environment, insomnia is especially dangerous as a lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be a result of just one condition, while other times it can be a combination of lifestyle and environmental factors. People who are most likely to suffer from insomnia typically deal with stressful situations, irregular sleep schedules, and poor sleeping habits, such as taking long naps during the day, eating a large meal right before bedtime, and consuming too much caffeine. However, these factors can be easily remedied as compared to illnesses and neurological problems faced by other people. In such cases, insomnia can be inevitable and there are only a few ways to treat it. Poor mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as pain in the body can also prevent someone from getting a good night’s sleep, resulting in insomnia. Do note that some medications for older adults can be a reason for insomnia too.
Treatments for Insomnia
If you have been suffering from insomnia lately, we recommend consulting with a doctor or personal medical professional for a proper diagnosis before getting any treatment. This is extremely important as only a healthcare professional would have the experience and knowledge in understanding and treating your condition. From there, doctors would treat insomnia through a number of ways, such as addressing any underlying issues and providing instructions on how to change sleeping habits, to name a few. However, common treatments for insomnia include cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, light therapy, and medication, if required.
While we may not recommend over-the-counter prescription medication as the main treatment for insomnia, they can sometimes come in handy if you’re unable to seek immediate assistance from a doctor. These medications can make you feel drowsy, resulting in you falling asleep easier and quicker during the night. Do be aware that such medications can worsen daytime sleepiness, confusion, and cognitive decline in older adults, so they should be consumed cautiously.