A Quick Guide to Insomnia

Plus tips and tricks for falling asleep more easily

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From time to time, it can be hard to fall asleep. However, watching the clock for hours on end every night could mean you’re suffering from a more serious sleep problem. 

Keep reading to learn more about insomnia, or check out this infographic for tips and tricks on how to effectively manage insomnia with lifestyle changes and healthy habits. 

The Causes of Insomnia

There are many things that could be causing you to toss and turn at night. For starters, other health conditions are a leading cause of insomnia in adults. 

These ailments have been linked to sleeping disorders: 

  • Chronic pain 
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Mental health conditions

Outside of medical factors, there are many components of daily life that could be making it hard to fall asleep at night:

  • Lack of sunlight
  • Social interaction
  • Adequate exercise
  • Unhealthy habits (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption) 
  • Significant or prolonged stress

The Symptoms of Insomnia

While constant tossing and turning is a clear sign you may have a sleep disorder, there are other symptoms of insomnia you should watch out for: 

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Difficulty maintaining sleep (waking up during the night)
  • Difficulty sleeping long enough (waking up too early)
  • Sleep that does not feel restful
  • General fatigue and low energy
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Excessive napping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Impulsivity and aggression
  • Difficulty in personal relationships

Types of Insomnia

The sleeping disorder falls under two main categories:

  1. Primary insomnia
  2. Secondary (comorbid) insomnia

Within these categories, insomnia can be broken down further by type: 

  • Acute insomnia
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Onset insomnia
  • Maintenance insomnia

How to Get Better Sleep

Here are a few hacks for getting more sleep:

  • If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed to avoid letting your brain link the bedroom to being awake.
  • See a cognitive behavioral therapist for professional treatment.
  • Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine to encourage more normal REM sleep.
  • Open the curtains when you wake up to expose yourself to natural sunlight, an important component of melatonin production.
  • Manage your diet and add foods that naturally contain melatonin like almonds, whole grains and cottage cheese.

For more tips and tricks, check out the infographic below:

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