Here we break down what insomnia actually is, what you can do to prevent it and what to do if you experience it during the night.
First of all, let’s break down what insomnia is. There are two types: primary and secondary.
Primary insomnia is not related to any other health condition and is often related to lifestyle factors such as stress or poor sleep habits. Secondary Insomnia is linked to an underlying health condition such as depression, anxiety and chronic pain or it could even be a side effect of medication.
Common symptoms of insomnia include:
– Persistent difficulty falling asleep.
– Waking up frequently in the night and having trouble staying asleep.
– Waking too early (ie: 2:30am) and then not being able to go back to sleep.
– Experiencing non-restorative sleep, so you’re always tired when you wake up.
Symptoms of the above can include: excessive fatigue during the day, moodiness, irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.
The good news is that there are options for treatment for both primary and secondary insomnia. When dealing with primary insomnia, the first thing to look at is caffeine and alcohol intake. Try to limit consumption of both or limit close to bedtime.
Additional tips include: creating a consistent sleep schedule and relaxing bedtime routine, so that your body starts to know that it’s time to “go to sleep”. Make sure that you create a comfortable sleep environment that is dark, quiet and cool. And try to limit your screen time before bedtime.
If insomnia persists, we advise speaking to your medical doctor and seeking our cognitive-behavioural therapy with a qualified therapist, which has been proven to help address negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with insomnia. In some cases, doctors may prescribe sleep medication for short-term relief.