What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty having a regular, good sleep. It’s the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, resulting in unrefreshing or non-restorative sleep. And it’s a very common problem for millions of people that takes a toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems.
Sleep disorders may have different causes, and insomnia is only one of them. However, it can also be a symptom of other sleep disorders, including:
- Sleep apnea;
- Restless legs syndrome;
- Circadian rhythm disturbances caused by jet lag or late-night shift work.
People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. When symptoms last a month or longer, it’s called chronic insomnia.
Insomnia can be cured. If you stop worrying so much and focus on positive emotions and effective medical solutions, you can beat it. Chronic insomnia is when the sleep difficulties occur at least three times a week for three months or longer.
Although insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, it is not a single sleep disorder. It’s more accurate to think of it as a symptom of another health condition, whether it’s something as simple as drinking too much caffeine during the day or something more complex like feeling overloaded with stress.
What are the causes of insomnia?
Many things can contribute to the development of insomnia including environmental, physiological and psychological factors. They are mostly:
Having difficulty sleeping, in its turn, make anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms worse.
Other common emotional and psychological causes include:
- Bipolar disorder;
Treating these underlying problems is essential to resolving your insomnia.
In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.
How can melatonin help to improve sleep?
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. It helps control your sleep patterns. It is a hormone made by a part of the brain called the pineal gland. Melatonin helps regulate your sleep cycle. It tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up thus controlling your day-night rhythm, also known as your circadian rhythm, by making you feel sleepy when it’s dark.
Is melatonin a helpful sleep aid, and what should I know about melatonin side effects?
Taking melatonin tablets adds to your body’s natural supply of the hormone. This can help you get to sleep and improve the quality of your sleep. Research indicates that melatonin may help you fall asleep faster. In addition, it may help people with jet lag get to sleep. Research suggests that melatonin plays other important roles in the body beyond sleep. However, these effects are not fully understood, as well as side-effects, that haven’t been detected yet.
Instead of a lights-out trigger, melatonin acts more like a dimmer switch, turning the day functions off and switching night functions on. So taking a melatonin supplement is sort of like taking a dose of sunset, tricking your body into feeling like it’s nighttime. It doesn’t put you to sleep as much as it tells the body that it’s time to sleep.
How and Where to buy Melatonin?
You can also buy melatonin supplements. They come in pills, liquids, and chewables. You might find them in natural or synthetic forms. Melatonin is available on prescription only. Melatonin for jet lag may not be available for you on NHS prescription. Melatonin supplements for children are often sold in the form of gummies.
Melatonin, as well as its analogs (tasimelteon, ramelteon) are available in both brick-and-mortar and online pharmacies. The drug is sold in most physical pharmacies; but if you want to save a couple of bucks, order online. Melatonin retails in Canadian pharmacy such as Advance Canadian pharmacy, an international prescription service that allows saving up to 70% on drug cost, at a fraction of the price you see in local stores.
What are some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep?
- Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep;
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule;
- Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends;
- Get up at your usual time in the morning even if you’re tired.
This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm. All medical practitioners agree that lifestyle and behavioral changes make the largest and most lasting difference when it comes to insomnia. Turn going to sleep into a habitual ritual
- Set up a bedtime ritual by taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book or listening to soothing music;
- Try deep breathing, yoga, meditation or light stretches;
- Go to bed and get up at the same time — the body likes routine.
Lots of people struggle with sleep from time to time. You will be able to sleep with the right techniques. If you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity, such as reading a book. Keep the lights dim and avoid screens so as not to cue your body that it’s time to wake up.
Which medicines can help with sleep?
Concerned about the potential long-term health implications, better try melatonin. Thankfully, it works well and doesn’t leave you with a residual groggy feeling in the morning. You can take a manmade version of melatonin for short-term sleep problems (insomnia). It makes you fall asleep quicker and less likely to wake up during the night. It can also help with symptoms of jetlag.
Taking melatonin by mouth at bedtime seems to improve sleep in children and adults who are blind.
The following supplements may be beneficial for sleep but require more scientific investigation:
However, they are not backed by many studies, so more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made. Use caution before trying kava for sleep.