What is insomnia and what cause insomnia? Best natural and medical remedies to treat sleep disorders
Sleep disturbance or insomnia is a generalized concept that implies poor sleep, problems with maintaining sleep and waking up too early. As a result, during sleep, a person cannot fully restore strength and efficiency, which reduces the quality of life. Sleep disturbance to one degree or another is observed in almost half of the adult population, but only 9-15% of people have a similar problem that becomes clinically significant. In the elderly, chronic insomnia is observed much more often than in the young - in more than 55% of cases.
Depending on the cause of sleep disorders, primary insomnia and secondary insomnia are distinguished. When making a diagnosis of primary insomnia, organic, psychiatric, neurological reasons for sleep disorders are not noted. Secondary insomnia is the result of various diseases, taking stimulant drugs or any unfavorable external conditions.
Sleep disorders can be acute (transient), short-term (up to 6 months) and chronic (more than six months). Acute sleep disturbance can occur in every person under the influence of stress, overexcitation, due to a change of time zone. Chronic insomnia develops in people predisposed to this. Usually, elderly patients, women, people who for one reason or another sleep no more than 5 hours a day, as well as those who experience prolonged absence from work, marital divorce, psychological and psychiatric injuries, patients with chronic diseases are susceptible to this condition.
Difficulty falling asleep is the most frequent complaint of patients. The desire to sleep, which a person experiences before going to bed, but it disappears under the influence of a variety of factors when a person goes to bed. These may be unpleasant thoughts and memories, the inability to find a comfortable position due to anxiety in the legs, pain or itching, extraneous sounds. Light drowsiness is disturbed even at the slightest noise, and sometimes a person who has fallen asleep believes that "he has not slept a minute."
There can be many reasons for such difficulties falling asleep, in particular, insufficient fatigue, being in bed for a long time during the day, irregular falling asleep time, anxiety, diseases that cause itching or pain.
A frequent complaint is unpleasant sensations in the lower extremities (crawling goosebumps, trembling, tingling, burning, twitching), which make you change the position of your legs all the time (restless legs syndrome). Symptoms significantly weaken or disappear altogether when moving. The best effect is most often provided by ordinary walking or just standing. Recently, the proportion of patients who have a problem falling asleep due to the use of stimulating drinks (tea, coffee, energy drinks) in the evening, as well as the abuse of medications (caffeine, psychostimulants, some antidepressants, neuroleptics, nootropics) has increased.
Problems with maintaining sleep mainly consist in frequent awakenings, after which it is difficult to fall asleep again, and a feeling of "superficial" sleep. The causes of awakening can be very different (dreams, fears, nightmares, respiratory disorders, palpitations, urge to urinate).
Most often, chronic insomnia is a symptom of neurological and mental diseases.
Complaints about poor sleep are typical for patients with stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's. Mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety-manic states are also accompanied by sleep disorders. In many cases, frequent awakening at night is associated with sleep apnea syndrome. This respiratory disorder occurs during snoring due to the collapse of the tissues of the pharyngeal ring during inhalation and is characterized by a short-term respiratory arrest, which is accompanied by a decrease in blood oxygen levels and sleep interruption.
Violation of the circadian rhythm almost always leads to chronic insomnia. This situation occurs during shift and shift work, as well as for those who spend a long time in the evening at the TV or computer. An excess of blue light screens in the evening and at night causes desynchronosis – a violation of the daily biorhythm, which, in turn, leads to sleep disturbance.
It is necessary to abandon the use of stimulating drinks, heavy, hard-to-digest foods in the evening. You can not go to bed in a state of irritation, anger, resentment. Daytime sleep should be excluded, especially after lunch. It is advisable to do all physical exercises no later than three hours before bedtime, exclude the use of heavy, hard-to-digest foods before bedtime, limit activity in bed (do not listen to the radio, do not watch TV, postpone phone calls until morning), adjust the temperature in the room, eliminate noise sources, reduce stress loads, exercise regularly.
It is advisable to create your own ritual of falling asleep, including, for example, a walk before going to bed, a cool shower. If you cannot fall asleep for half an hour, you should not continue to lie in bed. It is better to try to occupy yourself with something calm and resume trying to fall asleep only when such a desire appears.
It is desirable to get up at the same time, as well as to go to bed, adding 15-20 minutes to the required sleep time for relaxation.
Even with severe insomnia, you should not start treatment with sleeping pills. Herbal remedies sometimes help no worse, but do not create addiction problems. They do not cause lethargy and drowsiness after waking up and can be recommended when performing daytime work associated with increased attention and controlled motor skills.
The duration of use of sleeping pills should not exceed 3-4 weeks and only in the dosage prescribed by the doctor.
Patients of older age groups are recommended to take sleeping pills in a daily dose half the usual. It is necessary to notify the doctor about taking other medications due to concomitant diseases. It is necessary to avoid taking the drug with a long half-life after midnight, while the next day you can not get behind the wheel and do work related to concentration. In case of dizziness, uncertainty, attenuation or drowsiness, the next day after taking the drug, it is necessary to inform the doctor about this.
You can not drink alcoholic beverages at the same time with sleeping pills – their interaction can lead to irreversible changes in the body, up to a fatal outcome.
Difficulty breathing during sleep, snoring, apnea serve as a contraindication to the appointment of a number of sleeping pills.
There are many ways to get rid of problems with disturbed sleep without antidepressants and sleeping pills of medicinal origin. Medications do not always help, and besides, they are characterized by a large number of contraindications and side effects. Psychotherapy belongs to an expensive treatment, which also requires significant time costs. It is much cheaper and easier to treat insomnia with affordable home remedies, while spending a minimum of effort, time and money.
Herbal baths, decoctions and tinctures have a beneficial effect on the state of the body. But before choosing a particular home remedy for yourself, it is necessary to determine what cause insomnia is caused, since each recipe is designed to eliminate specific sleep disorders.
Often an over-nervous person cannot fall asleep in any way, and even if he falls asleep, he has nightmares. In such situations, the following recipes for insomnia will be effective:
Sleep problems from overexertion
The following infusions will help people who suffer from sleep disorders due to physical or mental fatigue to get rid of problems: