Insomnia: What is it and How can you Treat it?


Do you have trouble settling down to sleep and staying asleep? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. We all need a good night’s sleep to keep our body and mind healthy, and when we have prolonged periods of poor sleep, or no sleep at all, then we are more at risk of developing long-term chronic health conditions. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to treat insomnia. Below we explore exactly what insomnia is and how you can treat it.

So, What Exactly is Insomnia?

Insomnia is all about your quality of sleep. So your ability to fall asleep, to stay asleep and how rested you feel once you wake up in the morning. When we say that we suffer from insomnia, this means weeks and months of poor quality sleep, as opposed to a few bad nights.

Signs and Symptoms That you may Have

There are many signs that indicate you may have insomnia, other than finding it hard to stay asleep or falling asleep. Waking up several times in the night is not part of a normal sleep routine, and neither is waking up in the early hours of the morning and then being unable to fall asleep again. If you feel tired, irritable and find it hard to concentrate on daily tasks, then you are also probably suffering from insomnia. Other more worrying symptoms of insomnia are the reliance on sleeping tablets, drowsiness, a low-self esteem and feeling low.

The Most Common Causes of Insomnia

You might now be wondering why you are suffering from insomnia, especially if you have always been a good sleeper. Well, the answer is that there is no one reason. It may be due to emotional reasons, physical reasons or even the environment. Sometimes it can be a combination of all these things. For example, emotional issues can include depression and anxiety that keep you awake at night. Physical issues could be suffering from a bad back or aching joints. The environment can also affect sleep, so the bedroom may be too hot or cold. You need to consider all of these factors when trying to work out the cause of your insomnia.

Stress and Insomnia

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you are dealing with stress. Has there been a big life change, such as a new job, a recent house move or perhaps a relationship breakdown? These can all cause sleep problems. If you think that you are suffering from depression and anxiety then it’s a good idea to visit your GP. Stress, depression and anxiety all have a negative impact upon physical health and poor sleep only makes matters worse, both physically and mentally.

Simple Changes You Can Make

There are a few things that you can try when you have difficulty sleeping. It’s a good idea to stick to a bedtime routine, so going to bed at the same time each night and only going to bed when you’re tired. This gives you a greater chance of falling to sleep. You should also try to relax before you go to bed, so having a warm bath, listening to soothing music, practising meditation or reading are all good ideas.

There are also a few things that you should try not to do before going to bed. It’s best to reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine in the late evening as they can disturb your sleeping pattern. Try not to eat a big and heavy meal before bed – if you do eat late make it a snack and eat your main meal at midday. You should also not use your phone or tablet when in bed, as the blue light is not good for your circadian rhythm. If you do use a device to read in bed, use the device’s night filter that blocks blue light.

Make Sure You Have the Right Bed, Mattress and Pillow

You may be suffering from insomnia because of an old bed or mattress. A mattress that sags or has compressed springs will be offering you no support and will only contribute to any aches and pains that you feel in the morning, or during the night. So, if your mattress is old, you really need to invest in a new one. But what is the right mattress for you? If you do suffer from back or joint problems then you are probably best with a memory foam mattress that sculpts itself to your body, or a pocket spring mattress that evenly distributes your weight.

Pillows also play a huge role in keeping us comfortable as we sleep, while supporting our shoulders and neck. There are many different types of pillow to choose from, including memory foam pillows and those made from cooltex latex that are just the right temperature for sleeping on.

To find your perfect bed, mattress and pillow, please do visit The Sleep Shop today.