Lack of sleep is medically termed as “insomnia” generally referred to as sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up.
How much sleep is enough varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.
At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
Insomnia symptoms may include: Daytime tiredness or sleepiness, irritability, depression or anxiety, difficulty paying attention, memory disturbance.
Common causes of chronic insomnia include:
- Mental stress due to different issues
- Travel or work schedule that may disturb sleep patterns.
- Poor sleep habits like an irregular bedtime schedule, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV. Computers, TVs, video games, smartphones or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle.
- Eating too much late in the evening. Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, which may keep you awake.
- Medications such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure and weight-loss products — contain caffeine and other stimulants that can disrupt sleep.
- Medical conditions like chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma,
- Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
- Insomnia is also associated with old age
Insomnia can negatively affect your energy level, mood, your health, work performance and quality of life
Lifestyle and home remedies which may help include;
- Stick to a sleep and wake schedule.
- Stay active. Regular activity helps promote a good night’s sleep and avoid stimulating activities before bedtime.
- Limit or avoid naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can’t get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than 30 minutes and don’t nap after 3 p.m.
- Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don’t use nicotine. All of these can make it harder to sleep, and effects can last for several hours.
- Don’t put up with pain. If a painful condition bothers you, talk to your doctor about options for pain relievers that are effective enough to control pain while you’re sleeping.
- Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine and may help avoid heartburn. Drink less liquid before bedtime so that you won’t have to urinate as often.
- Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Keep it dark and quiet, at a comfortable temperature.
- Find ways to relax. Try to put your worries and planning aside when you get into bed. A warm bath or a massage before bedtime can help prepare you for sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as taking a hot bath, reading, soft music, breathing exercises, yoga or prayer.
Drugs to help one should be used as directed by a physician after proper diagnosis. However, its more important to treat the cause of lack of sleep