Chronic insomnia is a condition that is experienced by anyone during their lifetime. Insomnia can manifest in two forms – primary and secondary. In primary insomnia, there are no symptoms but an inability in falling asleep and can be caused by stress, changes in the environment and anxiety. Secondary insomnia can be caused by some psychological disorders. Insomnia interferes with sleeping habits and inhibits an individual to mentally rest as well as affecting daytime activities. This condition is considered common among older people where the requirements of sleep are reduced due to aging.
What are the symptoms?
- There are changes in the duration and quality of sleep.
- There is lack of concentration and lapses in memory.
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Loss of coordination, feeling of indifference, confusion and emotional instability.
- Headaches caused by unsound sleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night and is not able to go back to sleep.
Conditions that can cause insomnia
- Excessive drinking of tea, alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks which stimulates a person to stay awake.
- Mental tension and worries
- Chronic medical conditions such as arthritis, diseases of the lungs and heart failure can cause insomnia.
- Anxiety, overworked and overexcitement
- Going to bed hungry, overeating at night, constipation and indigestion.
- Emotional states such as bitter feelings, anger and feelings of resentment can make a person wakeful.
Treatment and home remedies of insomnia
- Maintain a regular time every day for going to bed and waking up such as going to bed early and waking up early is a good schedule.
- Take vitamin supplements such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and D as well as calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and manganese in order to prevent chronic insomnia.
- Avoid drinking tea, coffee and foods that contain white flour and sugar. Even fatty, dried and those that contain a lot of salt must be avoided.
- Eat whole cereals, fresh and dried fruits and yogurt for breakfast. For lunch, include a large serving of mixed vegetable salad and protein rich foods for dinner.
- Before going to bed, drink a cup of milk mixed with honey since this helps induce sleep.
- At bedtime, avoid worries by doing some light reading, listening to soft music, think about a happy moment, wear light sleeping clothes and relax. Lie on the side and bring up one or both the knees and the head and shoulders slightly forward.
- While lying on the side, take 3 deep breaths and then hold the breath as long as possible, then take 3 more breaths and repeat holding the breath.
- Perform regular exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging and skipping during the day and a light exercise at bedtime improves the quality and quantity of sleep.
- An alternate of hot and cold foot bath and applying hot compress to the spine before going to bed is very helpful with insomnia.