Having trouble sleeping every night? Don’t worry, there’s a word for that. It’s called insomnia and around 10 million other people in the Philippines suffer from the same condition.
It’s one of a number of sleep disorders (along with sleep apnea and narcolepsy) that affect our rest and sleeping patterns. In fact, insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, with around 30% of adults experiencing symptoms.
What it is
Insomnia occurs when a person has frequent difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up early and going back to sleep.
While there are many probable causes for insomnia, the most common are stress, anxiety, and poor sleep habits like using your phone right before you sleep or eating too much at night.
Insomnia can cause fatigue, moodiness, headaches, and even more anxiety. It can also affect the way you work and how you respond to your relationships. It’s a serious problem that many people aren’t taking seriously.
If you aren’t careful, insomnia can have a severe toll on your mental and physical health.
What you can do
If you’re struggling with insomnia, here are a couple suggestions of what you can do to make sure you get the rest you need.
Stay away from things that have caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. While it’s tempting to indulge in such pleasures before bed, it chemically does not help us sleep better. Caffeine and nicotine actually keep us more awake, while building a routine of drinking alcohol before bed may also build reliance on drinks. Instead, try some tea or another warm drink to help calm your body and prepare it for rest.
Adjust that body clock. It’s harder than it seems, but it is possible if you follow a diligent routine. Make sure you get ready for bed by 9PM, actually be in bed by 10, and give yourself leeway to try and sleep then. While it may not work at first, your body might get used to the routine and learn that yes, it’s time for sleep.
Try OTC medicine. When all goes wrong, over-the-counter medicine and supplements like melatonin and antihistamines can help greatly in the way you sleep. While you shouldn’t wholly depend on these medicines, it might be a good way to start sleeping right.
Keep healthy. If you eat right and stay active, it makes it easier for you body to naturally treat insomnia and may even improve your sleep quality. Beware of being active right before bed, as this can keep your brain and body stimulated and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Among these suggestions, you can also try meditation, aromatherapy, and even essential oils. What’s important is that you let your mind and body be at peace to get that chance at the rest you deserve.