It's 5:30 in the morning and I still can not sleep . I should either sleep or wake up to work, but instead study the swirling patterns in my eyelids. That's been like that for months. As a freelance writer, I put together my own schedule, so there's nothing that works as a working anchor for day and night. As a result, my sleep plan meanders wherever it pleases. I am doing severe sleep disturbances for two months and trying everything under the sun before my body decides that it is ready to keep me awake. Only then do I sleep like the dead. Sometimes I go right back to another cycle of insomnia, and sometimes, with the next bout of severe insomnia, I go back months, sometimes years, back to my normal sleep schedule.
Every time another phase of insomnia occurs, it happens. I wonder if the lack of sleep moves me faster toward my inevitable death. The answer is not necessarily, but insomnia can be damn bad for your health and quality of life. There is no "cure" per se, but there are things you can do to manage it safely. To understand what I can do to help with my own sleep problems, I've been studying the science of sleep. Here is some research for your troubled nights and what has been shown to help.
I first wanted to know more about why insomnia happens. The Answer: It can come from all kinds of places.
A variety of factors can lead to insomnia. Illnesses like hyperthyroidism, asthma, and chronic pain (19459016) can stop you at night. Although sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome do not always cause sleep disorders, they are also known as sleep disorders. If you suffer from chronic sleep disorders, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to see what else is going on under the hood. You may be referred to a sleep specialist who can better understand your sleep habits and the possible underlying factors for your sleep deprivation. In other words, do not just take a sleeping pill because you're just treating the symptom and not the problem.
If there's nothing abnormal medically, one of several things can contribute to your sleep. Excessive Caffeine, Alcohol or Nicotine Consumption, Shift Work, Keep your equipment in bed an erratic bedtime, irregular sleeping patterns (frequent nap or late sleep), anxiety, stress, depression or even something as simple as an uncomfortable bed can ruin your sleep. While some of them seem to contain simple corrections, for me (and for many people) it is one of the toughest tasks in terms of insomnia, how to turn off the brain. There is a good reason for that.
Sleep deprivation can seriously affect both your body and mind. I speak from experience – it's a vicious circle, people.
Between some mild visual hallucinations due to my exhausted brain and tired eyes and the existential crises that are now emerging as I am a person in my 30s. the restless nights add up.
According to research, chronic insomnia can be anything from your cognition (we are talking about difficulty concentrating, concentrating and remembering things) to your physical strain (there seems to be a relationship between the poor), sleep and high blood pressure) and emotional Health (Insomnia is a risk factor for anxiety and depression and can also increase those conditions if they already exist). There seems to be an association between insomnia and elevated levels of cortisol stress hormone. It's all a vicious circle: Stress can make it hard to get a good night's sleep, and the less sleep you get the more you feel stressed out . So there's a good chance you will not imagine that you're sleeping on forces like crap and vice versa, regardless of what causes the other one. (Recent studies suggest that insomnia may exhibit cognitive stress dysregulation, which means that your brain has problems that effectively regulate stress). In short, a relationship between a raging mind and sleepless nights is pretty clear .
Sleep disorders can lead to other problems that can increase stress and anxiety and contribute to insomnia. Sigh. The Preservation of Good Sleep appears to be important for the maintenance of testosterone levels in men . And Sleep Disorders and Lack of Sexual Desire and Arousal seem to be related for women . And although this is a "risk factor" and is not necessarily the cause, chronic insomnia is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes .
Anyone who has had to drive long sleep with little sleep can tell you that, of course, there are hazards that can be associated with fatigue, but fatigue is actually a compromise that most people are aware of, according to the National Sleep Foundation 100,000 car accidents per year are caused by over-tired drivers. And if you can do without sleep for 18 hours, it equates to a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent (which is compromised by law) and poses an equal risk of falling.
I tried to help with sleeping pills. But they are not a permanent solution, but should be used with caution.
When you try to treat insomnia with drugs, you often have the feeling that you can not find your glasses because you can not find your glasses Cycle for me: I can not Get that elusive good night's sleep, so I take sleep aid tonight, which means that will not be able to sleep tomorrow unless I take sleeping pills again. Was there, bought the sticky key chain souvenir.
There is a place for sleeping pills for some types of sleep disorders, but they should be used judiciously and should not be considered as a magic remedy. According to the Mayo Clinic sleep medications should be used at the recommended dose under medical supervision, and only when other attempts to cure insomnia have failed. They are also not recommended for long-term use. Sleeping pills often harbor a certain dependency risk. So, if you do not sleep for one or two nights, it is best to check if other sleep disorders occur before you reach the medication.
This applies to all medications that help you sleep, not just those prescribed by your doctor. Conventional non-prescription sleep aids have one of four components : melatonin, diphenhydramine, doxylamine or valerian. Melatonin is a naturally occurring "sleep hormone", and diphenhydramine and doxylamine are both antihistamines. Valerian is a plant. Although over-the-counter sleep aids can usually be taken for a short time safely, they all have contraindications and interactions with other medicines (if you are taking other medicines, consult your doctor before you start using a sleep aid) if you do not plan to drink and generally should not rely on sleep every night.
If you experience sleepless nights or sleep disturbances, you should contact your family doctor who will help you Find out what's going on, suggest the next steps, and, as mentioned, contact a sleep specialist. If you suffer from high stress or think you are depressed, these are important factors that you need to pass on during your visit to the office.
There are also many options that do not require medication. I tried most of them myself with promising results.
Because insomnia can be caused by various factors, you may need to try all sorts of solutions, including small changes and . Some larger before you find out what works best for you.
For example, you could try running a sleep journal – my sleep journal was a lot "the cat is a jerk and my phone is ringing too much", but it was helpful to find out triggers – or a device which monitors sleep to see which habits occur simultaneously with insomnia to find patterns. Maintaining a regular, fixed sleep plan also helped me (it was a bit rough the first few days, but the payout was worth it). You may also want to work out. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the exercise was shown to "significantly increase the sleep of people with chronic insomnia." You can also try to regulate the temperature in your bedroom – about 65 degrees are the ideal temperature for sleeping. No, you are not crazy if you throw the pillow on the cool side.
The next things to keep in mind are some lifestyle habits. Are you a caffeine lover? Try cutting coffee or converting to decaffeinated coffee earlier in the day . If you are taking medications, talk to your doctor about if they may affect your sleep . Do you love to play too much with your smartphone or is it ringing around the clock? Turn off the ringtone and change to a good paperback book, as some research has shown that our screen usage may be late for us . Stressed and your mind is racing? A Therapist meditation and discovery of relaxation techniques can all help. Does your cat ask you to play fetch at 4am? Scream him "Oliver, what's your goddamn problem ?! They are not even the right kind for this activity. "Also remember that alcohol can disturb sleep . Several drinks in the evening can help you get out quickly, but you can also wake up hours later and ask for your efforts to return to Dreamland, even in the most insistent sleeplessness.
Before I sat down to write this article, I was sure that my lack of sleep was something I could just handle. After assessing all the risks associated with sleep deprivation, I began to consider my sleep more in terms of overall health. I turned off my gadgets a few hours before bedtime, switched to a good paperback, and stopped caffeine intake at 2 p.m. I set everyone who calls my phone to ungodly times to "Do Not Disturb" and try to get up from my computer several times a day and take something with me if I can not make it to the gym. I'm not quite on schedule, but I feel a lot better, and I do not have that dull look of death in my eyes anymore.
When you are at the point where you & # 39; If you have tried all the usual methods of treating your insomnia and are still having problems, you should bring your sleep journal to your doctor and have a long talk. There are sleep studies in which you can monitor and analyze your sleep patterns. Your doctor can tell if anything is more serious than just the love of caffeine, what causes it, what steps you should take next, and how you can help make that long-term development safe. Do not report weeks of insomnia as an inconvenience, and do not try to do it with medication without talking to a doctor.
And now that it's 7:30, it's time for bed.  Yvette d & # 39; Entremont has BS in chemistry B.A. in theater and a master in forensics with a focus on biological criminology. She worked as an analytical chemist for eight years before her blog focused on the Disappointment of Evil Science scibabe.com which became a full-time job in science communication. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook .