What is Insomnia?
I'm so glad you asked because I looked it up to find out exactly what this annoying like monster within some of us is! My go to place is Wikipedia, though when I was in school teachers said due to the site not being 100% factual you could not use it for research. It is still my go to place with loads of information.
It states "Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as desired."
Now defined like that anyone can say they have insomnia several times throughout their life. Heck, going to school I'd like to classify myself as an insomniac because I wanted to sleep through the bus picking me up every day. But that doesn't count. Darn.
Now there are three kinds of Insomnia with different causes: (again, as defined by Wikipedia)
- Transient insomnia lasts for less than a week. It can be caused by another disorder, by changes in the sleep environment, by the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences – sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance – are similar to those of sleep deprivation.[link]
- Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of less than a month. Insomnia is present when there is difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or when the sleep that is obtained is non-refreshing or of poor quality. These problems occur despite adequate opportunity and circumstances for sleep and they must result in problems with daytime function.[link] Acute insomnia is also known as short term insomnia or stress related insomnia.
- Chronic insomnia lasts for longer than a month. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. People with high levels of stress hormones or shifts in the levels of cytokines are more likely than others to have chronic insomnia.[link] Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and/or mental fatigue. Chronic insomnia can cause double vision.
Wow! That's crazy. I didn't think there was so much behind this word I've been throwing around for over a week. If I were to try a diagnose myself (which is something a lot of us do. . . But should avoid WEDMD just because that will make you so paranoid and think you had the pledge when you have a rash. Crazy sight. Avoid.) i would say I could have Acute Insomnia. I don't have a lot of stress, but I have been mentally active and struggling to fall asleep until between one and three in the morning. It's not fun. and when I do wake I feel physically tired and easily agitated.
Now, skipping to the part everyone who is suffering wants to know, how can we get better?
This, in my opinion, comes down to what kind of insomnia you are. If you are suffering insomnia due to medications or from another disorder you will need to consult a doctor. We just want to be on the safe side. Remember, I am no where near a real doctor or anyone in a medical position (I use Wikipedia for Pete's sake).
Going back to struggling to go to sleep at night I have figured a large number of things someone could do to try and relieve the stress that could be clouding their mind when they lay down.
An hour before bed try this:
after the family is resting and in bed take some much needed you time and relax. Set thirty minutes to an hour of just relaxing. You could listen to music, read a book, drink a glass of wine, take a nice hot bubble bath, talk to your pets and ask them about your day, or mediate/yoga. The goal is to wind yourself down and focus, or not focus, on something else. You have been going all day, it's time to calm down. Forget about a butt at work that's been nagging you all day, or an assignment at school you are freaking out about, or the fact that your In-Laws are coming over tomorrow. Set it to the side. There is no point making plans, stressing out, or wondering about the future that you can't change in the next hour. Time to rest.
I am notorious about stressing out about things I can't do anything about and it's not doing me any good. (But I will probably keep doing it)
For the next couple of weeks make some much needed YOU time before bed and try and relax. set a goal. Do Yoga one night, read the next, and so on and so forth. Just make sure to bathe more then two times a week and maybe not drink the whole bottle of wine. That would be great. :)
With all of that being said I am making a secondary goal. To everyone that may know I am trying to do Yoga everyday, I it's going okay. I could do better. So I am going to set my Yoga time for at night before bed to help me relax. At least for the next two weeks I am going to try this and see if that helps me out. If I skip Yoga I will do one of the other things I have suggested to relax. I don't like relying on sleeping aids, and I have found myself reaching for them to help me at this point and that's not what I want, so. . . the fight against Insomnia is on!
Continue following along to hear how I am changing my life, one goal at a time, as well as a whole world of random things filling my mind.