A good night’s sleep is essential for overall health. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it can be a sign of something more serious.

The condition can be caused by depression or anxiety disorders, but may also come from other factors, such as your lifestyle, medications, or medical conditions. However, there are many treatments available to help with insomnia symptoms.

Here we will look into the causes, symptoms, tips, treatment and relief of insomnia issues. Read on to learn all about this common problem.

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What Causes Insomnia?

There are several different reasons why someone could have problems falling asleep or remaining asleep throughout the night. Some people find that they just have difficulty falling asleep. Others wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. Still others experience a mix of both. There are a number of different causes of insomnia symptoms.

Genetics play a role in whether or not you’ll have insomnia. A genetic predisposition to insomnia has been linked to higher rates of insomnia among those who have first-degree family members who suffer from the disorder. Studies show that genetics account for between 20% and 50% of the risk of developing insomnia. People who have a family history of insomnia are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia themselves.

In addition, certain life events can lead to insomnia symptoms. Stressful situations, changes to your routine, and transitions to new jobs, relationships, or homes can all contribute to insomnia. In fact, studies indicate that insomnia can even increase after stressful life experiences.

Other possible contributing factors include medical, behavioral, environmental, drug, and chemical triggers. For example, if you take medication for high blood pressure, then your doctor might recommend that you avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime because it can cause you to get lightheaded during the night. Other drugs you might take, including antidepressants and pain relievers, can cause drowsiness. Drinking caffeine, smoking, and eating late into the evening can disrupt your sleep cycle, too.

In general, any event or circumstance that keeps you awake at night can be considered a potential trigger for insomnia symptoms. The key is to determine which ones actually affect you most—and then try to minimize them. Once you’ve identified the factors that keep you awake at night, you can work toward eliminating them from your daily schedule.

Insomnia Symptoms

Insomnia symptoms are generally defined as difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling groggy and tired.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) defines insomnia symptoms as “difficulty initiating sleep, nonrestorative sleep, or early morning awakening associated with distress and/or impairment in functioning.”

Many people associate insomnia with being unable to fall asleep, but actually the main issue isn’t necessarily falling asleep, but maintaining proper sleep throughout the night.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Some people have trouble falling asleep due to stress, anxiety, or depression. It’s important to talk through these issues with a professional so they can be addressed properly. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression and are concerned about how the problems you’re facing are affecting your sleep, consider seeing a mental healthcare provider to discuss options.

Not Feeling Restored After Sleeping

People who struggle with insomnia often report feeling “sleep deprived” rather than simply tired. When you’re sleep deprived, you feel like you need more sleep. This lack of sleep can make you irritable, frustrated, and less productive. You may have trouble concentrating and remembering things. You may also be more prone to accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

Waking Up Too Early

Sleep scientists refer to this as “awakening-related insomnia,” and it’s one of the most common types of insomnia symptoms. Awakening-related insomnia can occur when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night or when you wake up too early and can’t return to sleep.

Waking Up Unrefreshed

This type of insomnia can happen when you wake up feeling like you haven’t had enough sleep. You may feel like you didn’t really get a full night’s rest, and you’re left feeling unenergized and sluggish.

Poor Quality Of Sleep

You may wake up feeling exhausted and groggy, with little energy and no recall of the previous day’s activities. Your quality of sleep suffers, leaving you feeling dull, tired, and unmotivated. You may find yourself craving sweets to perk you up and give you some much needed energy!

Lack Of Energy

When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to feel tired. However, if you feel completely wiped out and unable to function at peak performance, you could be suffering from something called “sleep deprivation syndromes”—which are characterized by lethargy, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and inability to concentrate.

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Tips for Treating Insomnia

Once you realize you have insomnia symptoms, you should immediately seek treatment. If you wait until you’re already struggling with severe insomnia, it may be too late.

Although there are many effective treatments for insomnia, many people choose to address their symptoms using natural remedies, too. Here are some of the most popular ways to treat insomnia symptoms:

  • Avoid caffeine after noon.
  • Stay away from alcohol before bedtime.
  • Eat small meals close to bedtime.
  • Use relaxation techniques to reduce tension and stress.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation.
  • Take magnesium supplements.
  • Try melatonin or CBD oil supplements.
  • Get plenty of sunlight.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do yoga or tai chi.
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule.
  • Expose yourself to bright light in the afternoon.
  • Drink chamomile tea or herbal teas.
  • Avoid napping in the daytime.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable and soothing.
  • Get rid of electronics near your bed.
  • Turn off your phone and computer one hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid stimulating foods and beverages in the evening.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Don’t drink coffee after lunch.
  • Create a relaxing nighttime ritual.

Treatments for Insomnia

To treat insomnia effectively, you’ll want to consult with a physician who specializes in sleep medicine. They will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess the severity of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment methods.

Your doctor might suggest taking prescription sleep aids such as Ambien CR, Lunesta, Sonata, or Zolpidem. These medicines can provide you with a reliable means of catching a few extra hours of sleep each night without making you groggy in the morning.

However, if you decide to use prescription sleep aids, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Don’t stop taking them abruptly, and never take them while driving.

Natural approaches to treating insomnia may involve dietary modification, exercise, aromatherapy, and massage therapy. Many of these methods can be done at home and require minimal effort and expense.

For example, you can supplement your diet with antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, and omega 3 fatty acids. You can also try incorporating herbs, such as lavender, lemon balm, valerian, passionflower, hops, and ginger, into your meal plan to promote relaxation and calmness.

It’s also helpful to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Even something simple, like taking a brisk walk around the block or doing some low-impact exercises at home, can help improve your energy level and mood.

Finally, you can benefit from massage therapy. Massage therapists can help relax tense muscles and promote deep breathing to help send you off to dreamland.