Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) is a disorder characterized by difficulty getting or staying asleep. Here are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of insomnia.
|Medical specialist||Psychiatrist (Psychiatrist)|
|Symptom||Decreased performance in daily life, increases the risk of accidents, psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression, obesity, irritability and emotions, and the risk of other chronic diseases.|
|Risk Factors||Medical interview, sleep schedule record, physical examination, and laboratory examination.|
|How to diagnose||Has trouble sleeping, can’t fall asleep at all, wakes up early, doesn’t feel refreshed after sleep, and has excessive sleepiness during the day.|
|Treatment||Behavior change (behavior therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, stimulus control therapy, medical drugs|
|Drug||Doxepin, Estazolam, Eszopiclone, Ramelteon, Temazepam, Triazolam, Zaleplon, Zolpidem, Zolpidem extended release, Suvorexant.|
|Complications||Has trouble sleeping, can’t fall asleep at all, wakes up early, doesn’t feel refreshed after sleep, and has excessive sleepiness during the day.|
|When to see a doctor?||Has trouble sleeping, can’t fall asleep at all, wakes up early, doesn’t feel refreshed after sleep, has excessive sleepiness during the day.|
Sleeplessness or insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep.
The amount of sleep time needed for each person is different. However, the average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per day.
Check out the full explanation of what insomnia is here.
Causes of sleeplessness/insomnia are divided into two major groups, namely:
- Primary insomnia is a sleep disorder that is not caused by a health problem.
- Secondary insomnia is difficulty sleeping caused by other causes or certain special conditions, for example:
- stress (loss of job, divorce, death, and so on)
- certain diseases
- environmental factors, such as noise, light, and temperature extremes (cold or hot)
- medications (e.g. depressants, anti-hypertensives, and asthma medications )
- disrupted sleep schedule, for example, due to jet lag and working with a shift system
- depression or anxiety disorder
- caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
There are several symptoms of sleeplessness that are commonly felt by sufferers, such as:
- sufferers often take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- sufferers can only sleep for 6 hours or less, at least 3 consecutive days in 1 month or more
- not feeling well after sleep and/or feeling tired during the day despite getting enough sleep
- hard to concentrate
- lack of energy or motivation
- have concerns about sleep
Insomnia Risk Factors
The following are some of the risk factors that make it very likely that someone will suffer from insomnia:
1. Advanced Age
People over the age of 60-65 are more likely to experience insomnia than younger people.
2. Chronic disease
Certain chronic illnesses, especially those involving moderate to severe chronic pain, can increase the risk of insomnia.
Drugs such as decongestants, slimming drugs, steroids, blood pressure medications, theophylline, phenytoin and levodopa can cause side effects such as sleep disturbances.
Insomnia is more common in women than men. Pregnancy and hormonal changes such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause can also disrupt sleep.
5. Psychological Factors
Anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorders have the potential to cause insomnia.
6. Lifestyle Behavior
Irregular bedtime changes, smoking, and heavy alcohol drinkers are very likely to experience insomnia.
7. Shift Work System
Night shift workers will force a person’s biological rhythm to be a little messy. This will disrupt a person’s wake and sleep cycle.
8. Long Distance Travel (Jetlag)
Jetlag is the inability to sleep due to crossing many time zones in a short amount of time. This condition can disrupt biological rhythms.
You also don’t get a good night’s sleep until your body can adjust to the new time zone.
Determining the diagnosis of difficulty sleeping/insomnia can be done through a series of medical interviews. Through this interview, the medical history, medical history, and sleep pattern can be known.
Your doctor may ask you to record your sleep schedule for two weeks or more to see your sleep patterns.
In addition, a physical examination can also be carried out. Laboratory tests may also be done if you are suspected of having hyperthyroidism.
To overcome sleeplessness, the cause must be known first so that treatment is right on target. In general, the treatment of insomnia is divided into several ways, namely:
1. Behavior Change (Behavior Therapy)
Behavior therapy is the first-line therapy to treat insomnia. This therapy can be done by making good sleep habits.
For example, by establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding activities that might keep you awake, and creating a comfortable environment for sleeping.
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapy helps you control or eliminate the negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Muscle relaxation and breathing exercises can reduce anxiety disorders.
4. Stimulus Control Therapy
This therapy aims to limit activities in bed that keep you awake.
In addition, you will also be asked to make the bed only for sleeping and sexual activity.
Not for reading, working, watching TV, or eating.
5. Administration of Drugs
Medicines are given if insomnia is not successfully treated with therapy.
Sleeping pills may only be given by a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) and remain under the supervision of a doctor.
Doctors usually do not recommend long-term use of sleeping pills.
Here are some medications for sleep disorders that your doctor may prescribe:
- Doxepin (Silenor)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Ramelteon (Rozerem)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Zaleplon (Sonata)
- Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist)
- Zolpidem extended release (Ambien CR)
- Suvorexant (Belsomra)
Insomnia can be prevented in several ways, including:
- regular exercise, which should be done at least 4 hours before going to bed. Avoid exercising close to bedtime because it can interfere with sleep quality
- avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the evening and at night
- expose yourself to the sun in the afternoon. This can help the body release melatonin to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. This is a determinant of your body’s biological clock
- practice stress relief techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or relaxation
The following are complications that can occur due to insomnia:
- decreased work or school performance
- increases the risk of an accident when driving a motorized vehicle
- psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression
- overweight or obese
- irritable and emotional
- increase the risk of various chronic diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes mellitus
When to See a Doctor?
After carrying out prevention or treatment at home, you should seek medical help from a doctor if you consistently:
- having trouble sleeping
- couldn’t fall asleep at all
- get up earlier than you want
- not feeling refreshed after sleeping
- have excessive sleepiness during the day