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Insomnia: A Symptom Not a Disease

  By posted Mar 23rd 2012
Healthy Living


We live in a crazy little world, and the repercussion leads to health problems and sleepless nights. Even if you’re a sound sleeper, you have had nights where you’ve tossed and turned in bed and it was not because of mosquitoes. Insomnia is as common as black crows; you can blame your lifestyle and work for it.

Insomnia simply means a condition where you have trouble falling asleep and remaining asleep. You have three types of insomnia - Transient insomnia that lasts for a few days, Acute insomnia that lasts for several weeks, and Chronic insomnia that can last for months and years.

You have insomnia if you wake up before you desire, you’re still tired after sleeping, you’re irritable, anxious and depressed. Additional symptoms include a lack of concentration, headaches, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

If you understand the problem that triggers your disturbed sleeping pattern, you will understand what's behind your bout of insomnia. Drugs, alcohol, smokes and medication, change in altitude or temperature, psychological problems, hormonal changes, pregnancy and even genetic conditions may be the causes. 

There’s no need to lose sleep over this, but there are various ways to combat insomnia. Here are two of our favourite solutions:

  • Yoga – While yoga's effects on weight management might be debatable, there's no doubt about the fact that meditation and deep breathing through yoga can help tackle sleep issues. (Via)
  • Food – Some foods do help induce drowsiness. Foods like almonds, dairy products and eggs are usually recommended for the sleep deprived. We think healthy eating should be your first line of attack against insomnia. (Via)


Here are some basic steps you can take to improve sleep.

Older people too require the same amount of sleep. If you don’t get sleep during the night, avoid sleeping during the day and keep yourself active. If you can’t sleep don’t force yourself to sleep, relax and control your thoughts, you will fall asleep. No individual is alike, hence the hours of required sleep vary from person to person. Some may need as few as five hours of sleep while others nine hours. Determine what works for you based on how energetic and fresh you feel when you wake up, all other variables being equal.

See a doctor when all home remedies fail. If insomnia leads to shortness of breath or chest pain or it affects your work, the problem might be a symptom to a more serious disorder.  

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images



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