How to Overcome Insomnia

Author: Eric Jiang

Editor: Jacklynn Nguyen

Artist: Jiaqi Fan

Are you struggling to go to sleep each night? If you are, you should know you’re not the only one. In fact, approximately 10% to 30% of adults have insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have difficulty falling asleep and stay awake through the night. To resolve this issue, the first and most essential step is to acknowledge the causes and impacts of this phenomenon.

Insomnia is the main outcome of anxiety and/or unhealthy habits. The four most common causes include stress, unfitting travel or work schedule, poor sleeping habits, and eating too much in the evening. The impact of insomnia is often far more severe than just tiredness in the early morning. It could produce potential health problems like fatigue, malaise, and other chronic illness to the body. Moreover, insufficient sleep can reduce concentration, impair daily performance, cause irritability and behavior issues, increase the risk for error or accidents, and much more. It is never too late to organize a plan for combating insomnia before these issues kick in.

Stress is a common emotion that people occasionally attain from their daily activities or life events. If your insomnia occurs under stress, you have to take action now. Since insomnia produces depression and anxieties, it would expand stress in the following day. Since insomnia reduces concentration and increases errors, possible disorientation of objects would increase the stress that already exists. Since insomnia itself is the product of stress, a cycle of increasing stress and insomnia would begin. Thus, a few days of relaxation may be necessary to cease the stress and receive a healthy sleep session.

Our body has a circadian rhythm that acts as an internal clock. In other words, once you sleep and awake at a fixed hour over a long period of time, your body will be used to that time and respond persistently. Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm can result in insomnia. Fortunately, this issue could be easily fixed if you have the determination to constantly sleep and wake up on schedule. It will be proven a strong weapon against insomnia, for your body would automatically feel tired during the time that you usually sleep.

Similar to circadian rhythm, poor sleep habits are manageable, only with the persistency to do so. Poor sleeping habits include an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating, or watching TV. Just like the circadian rhythm for sleeping; working, eating, or watching TV on your bed can cause your body to recognize your bed as a location to remain conscious. Therefore, allowing your body to note your bed as a sleeping spot is crucial to ending insomnia. Lastly, insomnia may also be caused by overeating in the evening. This might be surprising because most people don’t relate to eating and sleeping. Despite the discomfort, while lying down to get asleep, studies have shown that eating time has a significant impact on one’s sleep pattern. So, a late-night snack or meal before bedtime can increase your difficulty in getting sleep.

Although insomnia is only a frustrating problem during the night, daytime actions need to be taken to end insomnia. Neglecting insomnia, or even treating it as a sleeping habit, could cause severe problems to both your body and your mental health. Make the changes now with persistency, and you’ll be rewarded with a good night’s sleep.

Citations:

Breus, Dr. Michael J. “Eating At Night Disrupts Sleep.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 29 July 2016,

www.huffpost.com/entry/eating-at-night-disrupts-sleep_b_7867760.

“Insomnia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Oct. 2016,

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167.

“What Causes Insomnia?” Sleep Foundation, 6 Aug. 2020,

www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia.

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