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Why Do People Have Insomnia

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You Know You Have Nothing To Feel So Anxious About

Why People Have Insomnia

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Not all insomniacs have anxiety, and not all people with anxiety problems also suffer from insomnia. But insomnia is a common side-effect of anxiety, and many people struggle with the two issues at once.

Many people suffering from anxiety logically know that we have nothing to be catastrophically worried about. I mean, I’m young, I’m relatively healthy, my credit isn’t that terrible, and if my life truly went to hell in a handbasket, I could probably move into my dad’s mostly rat-free basement.

But, alas, none of this soothes me when I’m having an anxiety attack â because having a problem with anxiety has nothing to do with logic. Almost all anxiety disorders are rooted in genetics or trauma, and have to do with how our brains process the concept of threats and danger, rather than just misunderstanding how bad our problems are. So as much as we’d like to be talked out of our anxiety disorders, it’s not going to happen.

What To Say Instead: “I’m so impressed that you got to sleep last night.”

Can I Take A Supplement Or Natural Product For Insomnia

Some dietary supplements also claim to help people sleep. Manufacturers may label dietary supplements like melatonin as “natural” products.

The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. The FDA does not test supplements for safety or effectiveness . The FDA can remove supplements from the market if they are found to be unsafe.

Learn more about complementary and alternative sleep aids.

How Goodpath Can Help

Insomnia is a wide-spread problem with many different causes. It affects a persons physical and mental health and their ability to function well in daily activities.

Please take our assessment about your insomnia. We will provide you with a personalized care plan based on your responses. Take this step today to feel better every day.

Also Check: Does Samsung Gear S2 Track Sleep

Advancing Research For Improved Health

In support of our mission, we are committed to advancing insomnia research in part through the following ways.

Skinny People Have Sleep Apnea Too

Why Cant I Sleep After a Hard Workout or Race?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea has long been though of as an overweight mans disease. The stereotypical patient snores loudly, stops breathing for long pauses, shakes the bed, and is impossible to sleep with! But this stereotype may be contributing to significant deleterious health consequences for people with a normal Body Mass Index , and especially for hypermobile women.

While age and weight are increased risk factors, OSA is an epidemic cutting across a much broader swath of our population. And regarding the male/female prevalence of OSA, a recent Swedish study of 400 women found severe sleep apnea was present in 31% of obese women aged 55-70 years old. But the surprising figure from this study was that 50% of all the women tested were positive for OSA.

These results mirror a growing trend we previously noticed, especially in hypermobile patients, the majority of which were female and slender. These patients complained of fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches.Worsening migraine was a major complaint for some. When a polysomnogram was carried out to investigate their sleepiness complaints, they were found to have something they had never considered obstructive sleep apnea, with fragmented and disrupted sleep.

The video below is representative of the life changing difference that CPAP therapy can make even in slender females!

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What Otc Or Prescription Medications Treat And Cure Insomnia

There are numerous prescription medications to treat insomnia. Generally, it is advised that they should not be used as the only therapy and that treatment is more successful if combined with non-medical therapies. In a study, it was noted that when sedatives were combined with behavioral therapy, more patients were likely to wean off the sedatives than if sedatives were used alone. The most commonly used sleeping pills are listed in the following sections including over-the-counter medications and natural sleep aids.

Prescription Sleep Aids

Over-the-counter medications

  • Antihistamines with sedative properties have also been used in treating insomnia as they may induce drowsiness, but they do not improve sleep and should not be used to treat chronic insomnia.
  • Melatonin: Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland, a pea-sized structure at the center of the brain. Melatonin is produced during the dark hours of the day-night cycle . Melatonin levels in the body are low during daylight hours. The pineal gland responds to darkness by increasing melatonin levels in the body. This process is thought to be integral to maintaining circadian rhythm. At night, melatonin is produced to help your body regulate your sleep-wake cycles. The amount of melatonin produced by your body seems to decrease as you get older. Melatonin supplements may be beneficial in older patients who have difficulty staying asleep.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

When a persons circadian rhythm is not aligned with their external environment, they may experience a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Older people are at higher risk of these disorders because the internal mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythm deteriorate with age.

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Advanced sleep-wake phase disorder is particularly common in older populations. People with this order routinely feel tired in the early evening, typically between 7pm and 9pm, and will naturally wake up between 3am and 5am. Even if they go to bed later than usual, they often wake up relatively early due to their sleep-wake cycle. Timed light exposures in the evening can be used to treat these disorders for some elderly patients. A regimented sleep schedule can also be effective.

Another example is irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder, which is predominantly found in adults with neurological and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease. This disorder is characterized by fragmented sleep patterns that do not follow a normal 24-hour day-night cycle.

While melatonin supplements can be used to treat circadian rhythm sleep disorders in younger people, physicians should carefully consider whether to prescribe this type of medication to senior patients. Melatonin supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and long-term efficacy and safety of these supplements are considered questionable.

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Its Common For Insomnia To Spike After Big Negative World Events

But there is some good news. Twelve months into the pandemic, some experts think that its triggered advancements in treatment of sleep disorders. Altchuler points to the rapid expansion of telehealth virtual medicine and virtual visits linked to quarantining and our inability or reluctance to visit medical facilities in person. The most common treatment for sleep problems is cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia , which improves your sleep hygiene and trains your brain to associate bed with sleep only by behavioural changes . A University of Michigan study from last year showed that patients who sought CBT-I via telemedicine received just as effective treatment as they would have had in person, potentially opening up better access to assistance.

There are also things individuals can do to try and address the problem. One of my big rules is you cant work on your laptop in bed, Drake says. I dont care how comfortable it is. Eventually, the brain pairs work with the bed its a reinforcement kind of thing. Also limit your news consumption to avoid anxiety that keeps you up at night, dont use your phone as an alarm clock and turn the clock on your nightstand around so you dont get stressed as you try to fall asleep.

Relearning How To Sleep After Loss

Insomnia: why can’t I sleep?

Relying on naps and alcohol to sleep are not recommended, as they could actually cause further sleep problems. While alcohol may help you pass out you wont be getting the restorative rest you need.

Exercise could be a great way to naturally induce sleep and body relaxation.

Some experts recommend journaling as a way to get out thoughts and feelings that have become disruptive. Always check with a professional to learn what is right for you.

If the loss of a co-sleeper is the cause of grief, moving the bed or purchasing new bedding could alleviate some of the symptoms.

Even your best friends do not understand what youre going through, and it may be helpful to connect with groups online of people with similar experiences. Talking your feelings through with someone with a similar background may help your mind rest.

Also Check: Insomnia: A Month After Quitting Smoking

Conditions Related To Insomnia

Sleep is so important to overall health that a lack of it is linked, directly or indirectly, to almost every health condition. In some cases, insomnia is thought to be a cause or contributing factor to a condition or makes others symptoms worse. And for many conditions, other symptoms make it more difficult to sleep and contribute to insomnia.

Some of the conditions that insomnia is most closely associated with include :

  • Mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety
  • High blood pressure and heart disease
  • Cancer

The National Sleep Foundation focuses on sleep education and advocacy that promotes health and well-being. Check out the foundations website for information on insomnia and other sleep disorders, as well tips on healthy sleep that everyone should know.

What Are Common Causes Of Insomnia

There are numerous potential causes of insomnia, and in many cases, multiple factors can be involved. Poor sleep can also trigger or worsen other health conditions, creating a complex chain of cause-and-effect for insomnia.

On a holistic level, insomnia is believed to be caused by a state of hyperarousal that disrupts falling asleep or staying asleep. Hyperarousal can be both mental and physical, and it can be triggered by a range of circumstances and health issues.

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How Much Sleep Do Seniors Need

The average senior needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to feel well-rested and alert the next day. Sleep disorders like insomnia can greatly interfere with your sleep schedule. If you experience sleep difficulties, try one of the following to ensure you get enough rest and feel refreshed in the morning:

  • Impose strict bedtimes and waking times, and stick to them even on the weekends or when youre traveling.
  • Avoid napping close to bedtime. If you need a few minutes of shut-eye, try to isolate your naps to the morning or early afternoon.
  • Establish a routine that will help you wind down each night. Reading or listening to calming music can be effective.
  • Do not use electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones, or computers in your bedroom. These devices emit a blue light that can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Maintain a balanced, comfortable temperature and low light levels in your bedroom.
  • Exercise during the day but avoid working out within three hours of your bedtime.
  • Do not consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Do not drink alcohol as a sleep aid. While alcohol has sedative properties, it can actually cause sleep disturbances.

If you still experience problems with sleep onset or duration despite taking these measures, then you may have a sleep disorder. Consult with your physician about diagnosing the problem and treating it in accordance with your medical history.

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Favorite Products And Tech For People Who Have Trouble Sleeping


The Better Sleep Council is the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association . BSCs purpose is to provide education for consumers about sleep, health, and the products that are involved . BSC is run by bedding and sleep experts across the mattress and bedding industry. Find resources on the site about how to pick out a mattress, mattress upkeep, what else in your bedroom promotes a good nights sleep, and more.

Pzizz is a noise machine app that personalizes a mix of music optimized for sleep, voice narrations, and sound effects for each user. Your unique playlist is developed according to clinical sleep interventions and psychoacoustics research. The audio sequence you hear is intended to help quiet your mind and help you sleep.

This hypnosis and meditation app was created by the self-help audio author Glenn Harrold. The app features hypnotherapy and meditation recordings designed to alleviate stress and anxiety and help you get to sleep. The app was ranked as one of the top sleep apps by the American Sleep Association.

With additional reporting by .

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What Natural Treatments Or Home Remedies Help Cure Insomnia

Herbal remedies for insomnia

  • Valeriana officinalis is a popular herbal medication used in the United States for treating insomnia with possibly some benefit in some patients with chronic insomnia.
  • St. Johns Wort and chamomile have not shown any real benefit in treating insomnia.
  • Other natural herbal sleeping aids such as dogwood, kava kava, and L-tryptophan, may be associated with potential adverse effects when used for insomnia.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is one of the components of behavioral therapy for insomnia. Several simple steps can be taken to improve a patient’s sleep quality and quantity. These steps include:

  • Sleep as much as you need to feel rested do not oversleep.
  • Exercise regularly at least 20 minutes daily, ideally 4-5 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid forcing yourself to sleep.
  • Keep a regular sleep and awakening schedule, i.e. go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages later than the afternoon Avoid “nightcaps,” .
  • Do not smoke, especially in the evening.
  • Do not go to bed hungry.
  • Adjust the environment in the room
  • Do not go to bed with your worries try to resolve them before going to bed.

Relaxation therapy

Relaxation therapy involves measures such as meditation and muscle relaxation or dimming the lights and playing soothing music prior to going to bed.

Stimulus control

Stimulus control therapy also consists of a few simple steps that may help patients with chronic insomnia.

Sleep restriction

Have You Tried Melatonin

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Yes, your insomniac friend has tried melatonin. If someone is telling you about their insomniac agony, odds are that they have tried melatonin â as well as over-the-counter sleeping pills, allergy medicine, teas from the health food store, exercising until they almost lose consciousness, lavender-scented pillow sprays, and MP3s of whale songs. Plus, melatonin isn’t an insomnia cure for everyone â every insomnia medication, including prescription pills, only works for some people.

What To Say Instead: “That’s terrible. I am so sorry to hear that. Do you want to talk about it?”

Your friend is probably not telling you about their insomnia because they’re looking for practical solutions. Odds are, they’re just looking for empathy. So rather than recommending products, try just listening. It’s hard to be an insomniac in a world where effortless early rising is viewed as a sign of good character, and sleeping late or being up all night is considered lazy and suspect behavior. Just lending an ear while they vent can mean so much.

Read Also: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

What Are The Causes Of Insomnia In Teens

Insomnia has been estimated to affect up to 23.8% of teens. Biological changes push teens toward a later, night owl sleep schedule, but they usually cant sleep as long as they would like in the morning because of school start times.

Teens may be especially susceptible to overscheduling and stress from school, work, and social obligations. Teens also have high rates of using electronic devices in their bedroom. Each of these factors contributes to a high rate of insomnia during adolescence.

Symptoms Of Sleep Talking

Autism & Insomnia – Why do Some Autistic People Struggle with Sleep?

Sleep talking describes any kind of talking during sleep. Sleep talkers may:

  • Take turns to speak, as if they are having a conversation
  • Ask or respond to questions
  • Form sentences or phrases
  • Use real words or gibberish
  • Use profanities

Sleep talking can occur during any stage of sleep, including rapid eye movement and non-REM sleep. However, if a person sleep talks during REM sleep, their language is more likely to correspond to something happening in a dream .

Typically, sleep talking episodes are brief, lasting about 9 seconds on average when they occur during REM and 4 seconds when during non-REM sleep.

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Causes Of Insomnia: Figuring Out Why You Cant Sleep

In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.

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