ALSO READ: Ask the doctor: How can I beat insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not to be able to get back to sleep. At times, you may still feel tired when you wake up.
Insomnia can sap not only your energy levels and moods but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
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, also known as acute insomnia which lasts for days or weeks. This is usually the result of stress or a traumatic event.
But some people have long term or 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. Most insomnia cases are a result of stress, life events or habits that disrupt sleep.
Here are six reasons why you may be finding it hard to fall asleep
Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma such a death or illness of self or a loved one, divorce or a job loss may also lead to insomnia. Always clear your mind before bed and avoid overthinking which will keep your brain active and falling asleep may become difficult.
These include irregular bedtime schedules, naps here and there, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleeping environment and use of screens such as phones, laptops and TVs before bedtime can interfere with your sleeping cycle.
Your circadian rhythms acts as an internal clock guiding such things as your sleep, wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working late or early shifts or frequently changing shifts.
Having a light snack before bedtime is not bad but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people experience heartburn which may keep you awake for a while. If you must snack then give your body some time to digest before hitting the sack.
Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorders may disrupt your sleep. Waking up too early can be a sign of depression. Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well therefore have a doctor determine the cause of why you’re staying up all night.
These include sleep apnea which causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night thus interrupting your sleep. Restless leg syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them which may prevent you from sleeping.
If insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day, see your doctor to identify the causes of your sleep problem and how it can be treated.