How to recognize and overcome insomnia? What diseases can cause insomnia?

People suffering from insomnia do not even imagine how much harm this seemingly harmless, at first glance, disorder can bring to their health. In fact, repeated disturbance of sleep structure requires immediate correction of lifestyle.

Restoring lost strength, relaxing the body, maintaining a healthy state, beauty and health is impossible without quality deep sleep, lasting at least 8 hours a day.

If you are aware of the unpleasant painful sensations that arise before going to bed from “scrolling” in the thoughts of incidents experienced during the day and pondering problems, or nightly unreasonable awakenings, you may suffer from insomnia. Insomnia can be suspected by those who at least three times a week have difficulty sleeping in the evening.

Causes of Chronic Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is said to be when difficulties with falling asleep and a shallow short sleep are observed for more than 1 month. For a long time, you can’t get enough sleep, completely falling asleep. Causes of chronic insomnia may include:

  • a change in situation (moving, the appearance of annoying factors)
  • change of work, type of activity
  • depression
  • mental disorder associated with a recent injury or illness
  • heart diseases
  • physical pain diseases
  • kidney disease complicated by frequent urination
  • apnea
  • bronchial asthma
  • drinking a lot of coffee, alcohol
  • psychotropic abuse

IMPORTANT: The development of chronic insomnia indicates serious health problems. In this case, self-medication is extremely undesirable, as it can further aggravate the patient's condition.

Causes of insomnia in children

According to statistics, every fifth child experiences sleep problems. Often childhood insomnia is temporary, and apart from violation of the regimen, nothing bad happens. But in some cases, sleep disorder can negatively affect the health of the child: in addition to the appearance of fatigue, weakness, anxiety and dizziness, brain activity can slow down.

Causes of Insomnia depend on the age of the child. From birth to one year the baby can be confused day and night due to imperfections in the nervous system. Growing up, the child gets used to the correct regimen and his sleep returns to normal. But if the baby’s night wakefulness is accompanied by crying, tears or other manifestations of discontent, parents need to carefully monitor the child to exclude:

  • colic, pain in the tummy
  • ear pain
  • diaper rash, irritation, prickly heat

Less commonly, the baby may be prevented from sleeping by light or noise. But the dry air and heat in the room can cause the child discomfort, which makes the sleep restless and shallow.

Spoil a night's sleep in children 36 years can:

  • thinking over the information received per day
  • cartoon overexcitation
  • developing colds

Students do not sleep at night because:

  • worried about studying, academic performance
  • afraid of upcoming tests, exams
  • quarreled with best friend / girlfriend
  • parents restrict freedom, try to impose their point of view
  • parents banned computer / phone / TV
  • serious health problems

IMPORTANT: If childhood insomnia has become chronic, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Causes of Teenage Insomnia

Teenage sleep is different from childhood and adult sleep. This is due to a lack in the body of adolescents responsible for the sleep hormone - melatonin. Very easily, young people stray for a long time from the normal sleep schedule for insignificant reasons. The impetus for teenage insomnia can be:

  • lack of exercise
  • bad habits
  • diet, malnutrition
  • excessive gaming
  • high mental stress, a complex curriculum
  • emotional feelings, first love
  • the occurrence of natural age-related physiological changes

IMPORTANT: A teenager who is deficient in quality sleep becomes irritable, aggressive, moody. Learning is hard due to poor memory and a feeling of constant fatigue.

To help a teenager return to normal, parents need to:

  • forbid your child from eating late
  • minimize TV viewing and computer games in the evening
  • create a cozy, comfortable atmosphere in the house
  • talk with son or daughter, learn about the problems and experiences of the child, support
  • do not punish the teenager, do not sort things out with him before going to bed

IMPORTANT: If the measures taken by the parents did not help, and insomnia in a teenager has become chronic, you need to consult a psychologist to find out the true causes of the disorder.

Causes of insomnia in women

Insomnia often becomes a faithful companion of a modern woman. A woman can find such a "girlfriend" for the following reasons:

  • conflicts at work
  • shift schedule
  • problems in personal relationships in the family
  • dissatisfaction with one's own life
  • depression
  • drinking a lot of coffee, tea, chocolate
  • uncontrolled intake of sleeping pills
  • drinking alcohol at bedtime
  • the development of diseases accompanied by pain

IMPORTANT: Insomnia affects a woman depressingly. In addition to acquired irritability and fatigue, a woman now and then falls into a nap in the middle of the day. This can happen at the workplace, in public transport, at important meetings. To get herself out of this sleeping state, a woman drinks a lot of coffee, thereby forming a vicious circle.

Causes of insomnia in pregnant women

Pregnancy is a special excellent condition of the female body when a new life is born and develops inside it. The role of women in the formation of this little man is huge: the health and psycho-emotional state of her unborn child depend on her mother’s lifestyle and behavior. Insomnia is capable of overshadowing pregnancy at any time. Moreover, a failure in sleep mode can occur even in a woman who has never before suffered from such disorders. This can happen for the following reasons:

  • heartburn, stomach discomfort, toxicosis
  • need for frequent urination
  • forced uncomfortable posture for sleeping
  • lower back pain
  • legs in calf region cramp
  • lack of oxygen
  • restless thoughts about the upcoming birth and well-being of the child
  • disturbing dreams, nightmares

IMPORTANT: Sleep disturbance during pregnancy does not always indicate any discomfort or discomfort. Sometimes insomnia is just an attempt by the body of a pregnant woman to prepare for future motherhood. After all, when the baby is born, the mother will have to sleep sensitively and wake up several times a night with her baby for night feedings.

Insomnia with menopause

Extinction of reproductive function in women is often aggravated by sleep disturbances. It is necessary to deal with insomnia during menopause, since during menopause it can quickly develop into a chronic one and cause a lot of damage to health. Difficulties with sleep women experience due to:

  • night tides
  • heartbeat
  • increasing feelings of anxiety and fear
  • severe irritation

IMPORTANT: In case of insomnia during menopause, a woman needs to see a doctor. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe treatment with hormone replacement therapy, which will help get rid of the unpleasant effects of menopause.

Causes of insomnia in men

Insomnia has become the fate of business men, who often make the choice between sleep and work in favor of the second. Sometimes, of course, factors such as:

  • TV, computer games
  • drinking alcohol
  • drinking tea, coffee before bed
  • stress
  • depressed state
  • shift schedule
  • exercise before bedtime
  • sedentary lifestyle, low energy consumption

IMPORTANT: Insomnia has a devastating effect on the male body. First of all, the production of testosterone, the male sex hormone, slows down or stops, which leads to a decrease in potency. The man becomes irritable and aggressive. In addition, constant drowsiness can cause a car accident or an accident at a responsible job. In addition, the level of sugar in the blood of a constantly sleepy man rises over time, which can lead to the development of diabetes and obesity.

Insomnia in old age

Often, older people complain of insomnia. More than 50% of people over the age of 65 regularly take sleeping pills. Sleep disorders in elderly people are associated with the development of cerebral dysfunction. Social, medical, psychogenic factors can aggravate the situation.

In an older person, insomnia can quickly become chronic. This happens for a number of reasons, including: pain in the legs, neurological disorders, night apnea, ischemia, hypertension, angina pectoris, heart failure, bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus.

IMPORTANT: Insomnia often haunts older people who are depressed. They are characterized by disturbing dreams, difficulties with falling asleep at night, early awakening, the appearance of fear from a feeling of helplessness and defenselessness.

In order for an elderly person to struggle with insomnia to give positive results, it is necessary, first of all, to discover and eliminate its root cause.

Insomnia Research Methods

To prescribe the right treatment, or refer the patient to the right specialist, the doctor must conduct studies of insomnia and the causes that cause it.

First of all, the doctor should familiarize himself with the history of the course of the disease. For this, the patient will have to answer a number of the most diverse questions relating to all areas of his life.

IMPORTANT: you need to answer the questions truthfully, since it is these answers that can immediately, without further research, lead the doctor to the true causes of insomnia.

The survey will be followed by an inspection. The doctor, with the help of medical instruments, devices and apparatuses examines the patient. If it was not possible to determine the cause of insomnia in this way, tests are assigned. Usually this is a general analysis of blood and urine, the amount of glucose in the blood, the level of hormones.

IMPORTANT: The results of the tests will help the doctor confirm or refute his assumptions about the true causes of insomnia and recognize the disease that lies in the body.

An expensive, inaccessible but very effective method of researching insomnia is polysomnography. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, in a dream, and allows you to study in detail muscle activity, duration and quality of sleep phases, the amount of air that enters through the mouth and nose. At this stage, it is usually possible to accurately determine the cause of insomnia and choose a way to eliminate it.

More accessible, but less effective, is another study - actigraphy. This is the process of recording the daily level of activity, the state of muscles, sleep and wakefulness of the patient on a special device. The results of this study often give reason to prescribe additional tests.

If the therapist's studies did not help determine the cause of insomnia, he will give directions for a consultation with a somnologist, endocrinologist, cardiologist and neuropathologist, who, in turn, will try to help get rid of insomnia and its consequences.

Treatments for Insomnia

Insomnia can be treated with medication, hypnosis or folk remedies.
Drug treatment involves taking one or more drugs from the list:

  • sleeping pills - removes symptoms, but does not cure the cause of insomnia. Must not be taken for more than 14 days, otherwise addiction is possible
  • tranquilizers, 3-drugs - help to relax, get rid of obsessive and disturbing thoughts, but cause addiction and can cause serious mental illness
  • melatonin - used in advanced cases of chronic insomnia to regulate the sleep cycle. It has many unpleasant side effects.
  • homeopathic remedies - only a homeopathic doctor can prescribe, in the arsenal of which there is a whole list of drugs that can have a definite effect on the patient’s mental state.

Hypnosis treatment is carried out by psychotherapists. In a few sessions, an experienced doctor can achieve good results.

IMPORTANT: Hypnosis has no contraindications and side effects, however, therapy should be performed by a highly qualified specialist, since it is necessary to introduce and remove the patient from sleep in a special way.

Folk remedies can be used when it comes to chronic insomnia. Soothing herbal teas can help get rid of an accidental failure of sleep patterns.

Insomnia after Depression

Insomnia and depression are two conditions that are closely related. Often, patients in a depressed state have a sleep disturbance, while chronic insomnia can cause depression.

Clinical depression is manifested by a severe mood disorder. The patient is haunted by a feeling of helplessness, insecurity, uselessness, hopelessness, depression and sadness. This condition keeps a person in suspense even at night, forcing again and again to mentally experience unpleasant exciting events, and causes insomnia. In turn, constant lack of sleep, closing the circle, gradually aggravates the psychological state.

If you do not treat deep depression, accompanied by chronic insomnia, then a person may be "on the edge" for some time, and then accept an attempt to take his own life.

Treatment for insomnia in depression

The treatment of insomnia in depression is very specific and requires a competent professional approach. The doctor prescribes antidepressants and sedatives at the same time. During treatment, a visit to a psychologist and independent studies are recommended.

You can help the doctor and help yourself get rid of insomnia and depression as soon as possible with the help of:

  • daily meditation, reading books, listening to light music
  • morning exercise, regular exercise
  • giving up coffee, spirits, smoking
  • hot shower before going to bed
  • moist and cool air in the bedroom
  • new bedding, comfortable mattress

Hygiene of sleep and rest. Insomnia Prevention

Good sleep hygiene is an excellent prevention of insomnia. In order to improve the duration and quality of sleep and prevent the occurrence of insomnia, it is necessary:

  • Adhere to the ritual of going to bed. Every evening at the same time, perform the same actions, observing their sequence until then, until it becomes a habit and becomes a necessity.
  • Do not go to bed with a full stomach or hungry. The last meal should be 3 hours before bedtime.
  • At the time of going to sleep, do not think about daytime problems and incidents.
  • Do not smoke or drink coffee or alcohol before going to bed.
  • Do not force yourself to sleep and do not think about insomnia, do not be afraid of its onset.

IMPORTANT: To ensure good sleep and prevent insomnia, you should try to fall asleep and wake up as often as possible in accordance with your biological clock.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia is a complex of techniques used by a psychotherapist that allows the patient to change their anxious thoughts at the subconscious level.

CBT consists of 10-14 sessions. As a result of treatment, the patient learns:

  • timely identify disturbing thoughts that interfere with sleep at night, causing anxiety and concern
  • determine the significance of these thoughts, change them to more positive ones
  • eliminate provoking factors before the onset of a depressive state
  • enjoy the support of others, do not hide your anxieties and worries, seek advice and help
  • confidently use the acquired skills in practice

IMPORTANT: CBT requires constant work on yourself, the application of certain efforts. This method does not promise a quick effect and instant relief from insomnia.

What diseases causes insomnia

In addition to psychological problems, the cause of insomnia can be physical health problems. The diseases that often lead to insomnia include:

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • disorders of the kidneys, liver
  • atherosclerosis
  • respiratory failure
  • Parkinson's disease
  • prostatic hypertrophy
  • asthma
  • arthritis
  • apnea

IMPORTANT: People with these diseases need to be especially careful with their health, and if there are signs of insomnia, do not self-medicate, but consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Psychological assistance with insomnia

When a healthy young man who does not take medicine and does not have bad habits suffers from chronic insomnia, a psychologist can help him. In such cases, psychological therapy is safe and effective. The doctor will determine the psychological cause of insomnia and help get rid of it in a short time.

IMPORTANT: Attempts to independently eliminate insomnia using sleeping pills or alcohol can not only aggravate the problem, but also lead to drug or alcohol dependence.

Insomnia negative effects

The consequences of insomnia do not occur immediately, but always have a negative impact on all spheres of human life.

If we talk about the physical condition, then it worsens even after one sleepless night — fatigue, irritability appear, and working capacity decreases. Further sleep deficiency leads to impaired vision, the appearance of hallucinations, inhibition of brain activity, impaired concentration.

IMPORTANT: Insomnia is a dangerous problem from the point of view of the socio-economic sphere. Due to the sleepy, lethargic state of drivers, there are many accidents every day, due to nighttime lack of sleep, industrial accidents occur.

Also, insomnia can cause the development of various diseases of all internal organs and systems. In a person suffering from chronic insomnia, immunity decreases and depression appears, psychoses and anxious thoughts arise.

What helps to fall asleep with insomnia

When you can’t sleep for a long time, you can try to trick your body in one of the following ways:

  • Take a boring book and read it, delving into the details and details of the events described. Usually, after reading several pages of such works, a person gets a good sleep
  • Take a walk in the fresh air. A very effective method, the effectiveness of which is explained by the temperature difference. It will immediately seem that you’ve completely gone to sleep, but after returning from a walk to the apartment you will want to sleep
  • You can eat a piece of cheese before bedtime or drink a glass of warm milk. These products contain the substance tryptophan, which causes a feeling of satisfaction, well-being and relaxation.
  • Dream of your wonderful future. Imagine your future ideal life in which all your dreams come true. Think through everything to the smallest detail - the decor of your new home, your new job, your future image. Come back to your ideal life every night before going to bed
  • Massage your hands and face before going to bed for 7-10 minutes. Particular attention should be paid to fingertips and earlobes.
  • Count mentally to a hundred. Let it be one hundred identical objects: tables, chairs, houses. And no one canceled a hundred sheep. The most important thing is not to lose track of your account, but if you still get lost, start over

These are the simplest and most affordable methods that help you quickly fall asleep to a person who does not suffer from acute physical pain and who is not in a state of deep depression.

Medicines and sleeping pills for insomnia

You need to take sleeping pills very carefully, only as prescribed by the doctor, since they have many contraindications and side effects. Some of them are highly addictive and make sleeping without the next “dose” of sleeping pills impossible, others weaken respiratory function.

But there are more harmless medicines for insomnia, which you can buy at a pharmacy without a prescription and take on your own. These drugs include:

  • Novo Passit, Persen - multicomponent herbal tablets
  • Dormiplant - vegetable two-component sleeping pills, contains valerian and lemon balm in a ratio of 2: 1
  • Motherwort, Valerian - natural sleeping pills made from rhizomes of herbs
  • Melaxen - syntactic analogue of the sleep hormone melatonin

IMPORTANT: All of these funds have a calming effect, so they can also be taken with nervous excitability. It will not be possible to cope with the chronic form of insomnia with the help of these medicines.

By prescription, you can purchase such funds:

  • Sleeping pills "Z" (zopiclone, zolpidem, zaleplon) - The safest pills that are not addictive and do not affect respiratory function. However, the serious complications that an overdose can lead to do not allow this drug to be dispensed without a prescription.
  • Barbiturates - preparations based on barbiturate acid. They are highly addictive, refer to narcotic drugs. They act depressingly on the central nervous system, thereby providing sleeping pills and sedatives
  • Donormil - drug for fast falling asleep. After taking it, all the muscles relax, so for people with nocturnal apnea, this drug is extremely dangerous to take. A drowsy state accompanies a person the whole next day, after taking donormil
  • Benzodiazipines (Ativan, Serax, Restoril, Xanax, Galzion, Librium, Paxpam, Versed) - sleeping pills - sedatives. A small dosage of benzodiazipine has a sedative effect, a large one - like sleeping pills. Inhibit brain activity, reduces anxiety. The dependence on the drug is insignificant, however, rare cases of special addiction to benzodiazipines have been noted. With a slight excess of the recommended dose, a person gets confused, breath is lost, a large amount of sweat is released, the pupils dilate. If the overdose is severe, death is possible

Folk recipes for insomnia. Treatment with folk remedies for chronic insomnia

Those who have recently encountered insomnia, you can try to return to normal sleep with the help of folk remedies:

Recipe number 1. Take 50 grams of dried dill seeds and half a liter of Cahors. Pour wine into a saucepan and set on fire. After the wine boils, pour the dill seeds into the pan, reduce the heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Then the resulting dill - wine decoction should be left in a warm dark place for 1 hour. After that - strain and pour into a glass bottle. Take 30 grams at bedtime.

Recipe number 2. Every morning, on an empty stomach, take the syrup from honey, lemon and Borjomi water. To prepare it, you will need the listed ingredients in a ratio of 2: 1: 2.

Recipe number 3. Before going to bed, drink a glass of kefir, with honey previously dissolved in it (1 tbsp).

Recipe number 4. Prepare a decoction of the herbs Valerian, motherwort, mint and hops (2: 3: 3: 2) by boiling them for 15 minutes. Cool the broth and take 3 tablespoons two tablespoons each.

Recipe number 5. A mixture of dried chamomile flowers, pharmacy, mint, fennel and valerian root, taken in equal amounts, boil for half an hour, cool and take half a cup twice a day.

Recipe number 6. Two tablespoons of dry hop cones pour one glass of boiling water, cover, wrap and leave for 4 - 5 hours. In the evening, strain and take before bedtime 5 tablespoons.

Recipe number 7. Take 1 tsp. sugar and lavender oil. Add 5 drops of butter to sugar and take it before bedtime. It is important not to swallow the sugar immediately, but to dissolve it as long as possible.

Recipe number 8. Drink a glass of hot tea made from 2 tbsp. Shortly before a night's sleep. lemon balm and 1 tablespoon honey. Such a drink helps to relax and calm down, but lowers blood pressure.

Recipe number 9. Take 60 chestnuts and three small cotton bags. In each of them put 20 chestnuts, sew the bags and place them before bedtime on the bed at the head of the bed, in the legs and in the region of the heart. The tool is very effective if you resort to it regularly. Chestnuts need to be updated every year.

Recipe number 10. A mixture of wormwood, mint and hops taken in a 1: 1: 1 ratio, sew in a small cotton pillow, which you place overnight under your large pillow. The aroma of these plants will help you quickly fall asleep and maintain a deep, quiet sleep throughout the night.

Recipe number 11. Before going to bed, drink a glass of warm apple leaf every night. This remedy helps with insomnia in children.

IMPORTANT: All these recipes are good in cases where insomnia does not cause severe discomfort and appears periodically, from time to time. If insomnia has caused health problems, the occurrence of obsessive disturbing thoughts, self-medication is unacceptable.

Bath for insomnia

A reliable assistant in the fight against insomnia is a warm bath, taken a few hours before going to bed.

Bath with spruce needles
Spruce needles have a good relaxing effect. It should be brewed in the morning, allowed to stand until the evening and pour into a bath with warm water. The color of freshly prepared spruce broth should be dark brown.

Valerian root broth bath
A course of baths of 14 procedures with the addition of a decoction of valerian root will also contribute to the gradual elimination of insomnia. To prepare the broth, you will need to boil 1 valerian root in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes.

Bath with essential oil and flower petals
Add 5 drops of peppermint, citrus and chamomile oils to the water. Take a bath immediately before bedtime. Also in the water you can add the petals of your favorite flowers.

Hop bath
In a filled bath, add a decoction of hop cones. To prepare it, take 200 g of cones, pour 0.5 liters of water and boil for 10 - 15 minutes. You can use a cooled strained broth.

IMPORTANT: The temperature of the water in the bathroom should not exceed 40 ° C, and the duration of bathing should not exceed 20 minutes.

Insomnia: tips and reviews

People who have overcome insomnia on their own advise:

  • love and accept yourself, do not blame yourself for not getting to sleep
  • write on a piece of paper about everything that worries recently
  • keep the window in the bedroom open
  • go to the gym, pool
  • restrict evening TV viewing,
  • using a computer
  • avoid a hearty dinner
  • going to bed
  • do not drink coffee in the evening
  • buy a new comfortable mattress

Those who have at least once encountered insomnia recall:

Rita, 56 years old:

She suffered from insomnia for a long time - almost a year. It arose against the background of menopause. I had a hard time. For a long time I tried to cope with this problem myself, I did not admit to anyone that I did not sleep at night. The children asked to look after their grandchildren during the day, to pick them up from the garden, but I could not, because I really wanted to sleep. I tried a lot of folk remedies on myself, regularly drank sedatives, but nothing helped.

After I fell asleep in the transport, and drove my stop, I decided to contact the doctor. I really regretted not doing it before. The doctor, after listening to me, prescribed a special drug recommended for use by women of my age during menopause. Sleep problems disappeared, I could not even immediately believe my happiness. My advice to all women faced with a similar situation: do not self-medicate, visit a doctor.

Nastya, 22 years old:

I am a young mother, my son Artem is 3.5 years old. His sleep problems started from the first days of visiting the kindergarten and lasted two weeks. I attributed everything to adaptation and did not interfere in the natural, as it seemed to me, process. But time passed, and the son continued to be capricious at morning awakenings and reluctantly went to bed after 23.00.

We solved the problem ourselves with ordinary milk. One evening, I offered my son a glass of warm milk, with a spoonful of honey dissolved in it. He drank with pleasure and half an hour later sweetly fell asleep. The next day, the story repeated. Now our son has a certain ritual of going to bed - we drink lukewarm milk and go to bed!

Lena, 17 years old.

Mom scolded me because I loved playing computer games at night. She said that I myself create problems for myself. To some extent, I agreed with her, because at school I really wanted to sleep and could not understand the essence of the lesson. Grades put me appropriate.

When I tried to fall asleep on time, I did not succeed. Then I turned on the tablet and played my favorite game until three to four in the morning. She fell asleep when it began to get light outside the window. A few hours later I had to get up to class. I constantly felt overwhelmed and tired, I was very tired of this condition. This continued until my mother took the tablet, phone and laptop from me. Immediately I cried and was angry with my mother because I could not play, and then I myself did not notice how I fell asleep.

That night, I slept for the first time in a long time and went to study in the morning with pleasure. I liked my new condition so much that in the evening I myself gave my mother all my things so as not to start playing, even if I really wanted to. And I slept well again. For myself, I decided that I had better rest at night, so as not to feel tired during the day and have time to study and walk with friends.

Arthur, 29 years old:

I went to the doctor after I almost got into an accident on the road. I fell asleep at the wheel after another sleepless night, because of my fault innocent people could suffer. The doctor prescribed pills, which I now take whenever I have difficulty falling asleep.

Everyone who has sleep disturbances should understand that insomnia is an abnormal condition of any living organism. Without sleep, a person loses strength, health and desire to live.

If you can’t overcome insomnia on your own, you should never give up and give in to this condition. Perhaps improving your well-being and having a good night's sleep will help to see a doctor on time.

Watch the video: Doctor, I Have Insomnia. What Can I Do? - Alon Avidan, MD. UCLA Health Sleep Center (February 2020).