What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a common disorder of sleep in which a person fails to fall asleep and also, to stay asleep even after trying. Due to lack of sleep a person might feel exhausted and irritated all the time. Insomnia can be classified into two types:
- Primary insomnia: A sleep disorder that has nothing to do with other health conditions.
- Secondary insomnia: A sleep disorder that occurs due to some other health problems like depression, cancer, asthma, heartburn and arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia?
There are various symptoms of insomnia, such as:
- Disturbed sleep.
- Not able to fall asleep even in the most comfortable environment.
- Exhaustion even after getting a sleep.
- Losing focus and staying absent minded.
- Waking up in mid-sleep.
- Short sleep span.
- Feeling anxious about one's sleep.
- Making errors while performing daily tasks.
- Persistent feeling of irritation and depression.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia?
The most common causes of insomnia are:
- Psychiatric conditions: Depression, anxiety, stress.
- Lifestyle issues, working till late, sedentary lifestyle, taking naps in afternoon.
- Food Habits: Drinking too much of coffee, alcohol, nicotine, heavy food.
- Certain chemical interactions in mind.
- Certain medical conditions like pains, asthma, arthritis, Parkinson's disease.
- Watching television or using a cell phone before sleeping.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Insomnia?
- Wake up early.
- Exercise, as it makes your body tired enough to induce sleep.
- Eat your dinner at least two hours before sleeping.
- Consider Ayurvedic treatment.
- Do yoga for at least 30 mins a day.
- Sleep at the same time every day, as different schedule on weekend, can also lead to insomnia.
- If one is on certain medication then he /she must consult with a doctor and see if the medication is causing Insomnia.
- Completely, cut down the consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
- Make your room conditions comfortable like switch off the lights before you go to the bed, Set the comfortable room temperature, turn off the Television, radio or any music system and also, switch off the cell phones. Try to keep your room as clean as possible.
- Try to relax your mind and body before sleeping by taking a hot water bath, listening to soft music, meditation or light yoga.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Insomnia?
- Avoid short naps.
- Avoid drinking too much of alcohol, caffeine.
- Avoid checking emails, messages if you suddenly wake up in the night.
- Avoid over use of electronic devices, especially just before going to bed.
What Are The Best Foods For Insomnia?
Tryptophan, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6 are four key vitamins and mineral that help in inducing good sleep. Some of the foods best for fighting insomnia are:
- Poultry items like turkey, chicken
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese
- Seafood like salmon, shrimp, halibut, sardines, tuna, cod)
- Legumes like kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, split peas, chickpeas
- Nuts and seeds like flax, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds
- Vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, asparagus, seaweed, onions
- Fruits like apple, banana, peach, avocado
- Grains like wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Soya beans
- Folate-rich foods: Insomnia is caused by folate deficiency and kiwi has rich folate content. Therefore, kiwi is good for Insomnia.
- Calcium-, Magnesium- and Potassium-rich foods: Almonds and bananas consist of magnesium and potassium which help in muscle relaxation resulting in sound sleep. Almond also has calcium that helps the brain to form sleep-inducing melatonin by altering the amino acid tryptophan.
- Tryptophan-rich foods: Walnut is a rich source of tryptophan, which helps in creating sleep-inducing hormones melatonin and serotonin.
- Lettuce: Lettuce helps in sleeping as it consists of lactucarium that functions as a sedative.
- Tuna: Tuna is rich in vitamin B6 that helps in creating melatonin and serotonin.
What Are The Worst Foods For Insomnia?
- Alcohol, caffeine
- Spicy foods, especially in dinner
- Foods in high fat, especially just before sleeping
- High protein foods in dinner (proteins or high-fat foods are difficult to digest, hence disturb the sleep.
- Steak: Steak being hard to digest makes the body work more leading to fewer chances of a sound sleep. So, avoiding steak and other hard-to-digest meat options during the night is prudent.
What Are The Medicines For Insomnia?
What Are The Tips To Manage Insomnia?
- Drink warm milk before sleeping.
- Drink almond milk before sleeping.
- Avoid heavy meals in dinner.