Why Cases of Insomnia are Becoming More Frequent
Today, on Redhead Mom, we’re sharing about Insomnia as a partnered guest post.
Humans have evolved on a rotating planet with consistent patterns of light and darkness; because of this, our bodies undergo certain behaviors during the night and day. Our kidneys produce less urine and our overall body temperature drops at night. Our blood pressure and energy levels rise during the day. Our bodies have their cycles that cause us to feel sleepy or not, these are called circadian rhythms.
Today, insomnia is becoming more and more frequent. It may be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, as insomnia may have many causes—these can be medical, psychiatric, biological, or merely the result of unhealthy sleep patterns. It’s crucial that we understand the importance of sleep and how it can negatively impact us in the long term. If ignored, insomnia can cause problems with your emotional stability, memory, reaction speed, and hand-eye coordination. It may lead to more serious illnesses, risking physical health.
Insomnia can be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Restless leg syndrome is a neurological condition in which a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move their legs, which can, in turn, lead to insomnia. Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts a person’s sleep pattern. The airway becomes partially or completely blocked which causes the person to wake to breathe. The frequency of the pattern may lead to insomnia.
Behavioral factors that can cause insomnia include working at home in the evenings, making it difficult to unwind and be ready for sleep. Daytime naps, sleeping in late, and irregular work shifts during non-traditional hours can be confusing for your body clock.
According to research, more than one in ten people take measures to aid sleep, with two-thirds of adults suffering from a disrupted night’s sleep and nearly a quarter not managing to clock in over five hours a night.
One of the most manageable yet frequent causes is light. Blue light which is emitted from smartphones, tablets and some streetlights can interfere with our sleep. We have light-sensitive cells in the back of our eyes that are particularly sensitive to the blue light that our devices emit, so much so that the American Medical Association issued guidance on LED lights, asking people to avoid blue-white LEDs and opt for warm-colored ones.
Thankfully, there are many tips and tricks available for those wanting to improve their sleep habits in an attempt to prevent, or in some cases assist, with insomnia. First and foremost, it’s advised to keep regular sleep hours by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (even on weekends!).
Next up, is to focus on your sleeping environment. Your bedroom needs to be the ultimate place for rest. This includes factors such as the temperature, lighting, and noise, to the comfort of your bed. An unfortunate truth is that many people compromise their quality of sleep because they are not aware of mattress quality. It may be that it’s too soft, hard, or small, without a sleeper realizing it.
Luckily, there are many types of mattresses available nowadays, one of the most popular being the memory foam, which has been proven to aid sleep more than older innerspring models. However, even then there are many different types to choose from, so be sure to do your research so you can identify the best memory foam mattress for you.
Other tips to beat insomnia include regular exercise, although it’s advised not to do this close to bedtime as it can keep you awake. Once the late afternoon hits, swap caffeinated drinks for a warm, milky drink or perhaps a herbal tea.
Your body must have time to unwind before you go to sleep. A warm bath or mindful breathing can sometimes help this process. If you’re feeling anxious or concerned about anything then writing down your worries and creating a to-do list for the next day can assist in emptying your mind readying it for sleep.
Finally, if you cannot get to sleep, don’t just lie there. If you get up and do something relaxing you’ll find that you become sleepy a lot more effectively than if you lie in bed letting your mind run wild. If none of this helps, and your sleep issues persist, then you must speak to your GP about the best course of action.