A good comfortable sleep of normal duration has no match to any other way of relaxing. Indeed, a good sleep is the best natural way of entertainment after the whole tiresome day of busy schedule. Many people have difficulties in having good sleep that affects their behavior and their work capacities. They could not give their best as sleep relaxes both brain and body. A disturbed should be consulted when you take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, stay asleep for less than 6 hours, waking more than 3 times in one night sleep or when you are not having a refreshing quality sleep despite the adequate time. It can be called insomnia in medical terms.
Insomnia or sleep disturbances are of three types
- Short term lasting up to one month.
- Transient when insomnia recurs when new or the previous inciting event occurs.
- Long-term when it lasts for more than one month.
Both medical and psychological causes are related. An overview of the related causes of sleep disturbances will give an idea about the reason behind your disturbed sleep. Following are mentioned some causes of disturbed sleep.
- Poor sleep hygiene
Excessive use of alcohol and/or caffeine and nicotine, Improper sleep schedule consist of frequent napping and spending most of the time in bed, the poor sleep-wake cycle is included in poor sleep hygiene.
- Sleep environment
Unfamiliar sleeping environment, Uncomfortable sleeping place, activities like watching TV studying on a bed, mental activities like overthinking, planning and emotionally upsetting thoughts are also simpler causes f insomnia hat can be managed on our own.
Distressing life events, deaths of loved ones, jobs and school issues and examinations are some of the stress related causes.
It occurs in persons with previously normal sleep habits. It occurs after prolonged period of stress. During stress patient experiences poor sleep and learns some bad sleep habits then he or she starts worrying about his or her sleep and thus long term insomnia or sleep disturbance starts due to excessive focusing and anxiety about the sleep. Such persons having difficulty in sleeping during usual sleep time but have no difficulty when he is not intended to sleep.
- Medical disorders
Long term illnesses like arthritis, chronic pains, serious illnesses like cancer cause disturbed sleep. Certain medical conditions directly affect sleep as patients of restless leg syndrome, who have unpleasant sensation and painful stretching while at rest and he urges to move them.it becomes worse at night and disturbs the sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which patient experiences multiple awakenings from the sleep due to difficulty in breathing.
- Psychiatric disorders
Depression and anxiety are usually associated and known causes of sleeplessness. While insomnia of longer duration can also result in depression.
- Drug abuse
A patient using sedatives sometimes complain of insomnia. It mostly occurs in patients who have developed the dependence on a drug and a sudden withdrawal of that drug causes sleep disturbances sedatives nicotine and alcohol are notorious for that.
- Familial causes
There is a familial tendency of conditions of frequent sleep attacks called narcolepsy. These sleep attacks are usually brief and frequent. Affected person fall asleep while talking and eating. It can be associated with frightening hallucination and sleep paralysis but it can also occur in normal people. Some people suffer from parasomnias, it includes abnormal sleep behaviors like sleep walking, sleeps talking.
Sleep disturbances truly require treatment when it is affecting daily life activities. Psychological and behavioral therapies are recommended initially which includes sleep hygiene modification. Dietary modification and exercise 6 hours before the sleep time are also beneficial. Sedatives and antidepressants should be taken later on with medical consultation. Now acupressure is also recommended treatment for treating sleep disturbances.