What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty:
- Falling asleep initially.
- Waking up during the night.
- Waking earlier than desired.
- Acute insomnia: lasts from 1 night to a few weeks.
- Chronic insomnia: at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more.
Types of insomnia
- Transient Insomnia:It is a mild form of insomnia. This type of insomnia lasts for 1 night to a few nights. Here, the person’s ability to function normally during the daytime is not much affected. Transient insomnia passes off in a few days and then the person can function normally.
- Short-term Insomnia: In this type, one may suffer from insomnia for a few nights to a month. This may affect the daytime functions of a person. Along with the sleeplessness, the patient may suffer from irritability and tiredness.
- Chronic Insomnia: Chronic insomnia may last for more than a month to many months. Sometimes, it may last even longer. This chronic form of insomnia affects a patient severely. It affects the mental capacities, focus, concentration, mood, memory, or the task handling efficiency of the patient.
Causes of insomnia
Many things can contribute to the development of insomnia including environmental, physiological and psychological factors, including:
- Life stressors including your job, relationships, financial difficulties and more.
- Unhealthy lifestyle and sleep habits.
- Anxiety disorders, depression and/or other mental health problems.
- Chronic diseases like cancer.
- Chronic pain due to arthritis, fibromyalgia or other conditions.
- Gastrointestinal disorders, such as heartburn.
- Hormone fluctuations due to menstruation, menopause, thyroid disease or other issues.
- Medications and other substances.
- Neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
- Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome
Symptoms of insomnia
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up frequently during the sleep at night
- Waking up too early and difficulty in getting back to sleep
- Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
- Fatigue or tiredness during the daytime
- Feeling sleepy during the daytime
- Impaired concentration or ability to perform daily tasks
- Difficulty in paying attention and focusing on any task
- Impaired memory for daily minor tasks
- Inability to handle stressful situations
- Increased rate of errors or accidents
- Decreased quality of life
- Irritability in trivial matters
- Mood swings
- Frequent headache
- Occurs more often in women than in men: Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause, can also can affect sleep.
- More common over the age of 60 Older people: they may be less likely to sleep soundly because of bodily changes related to aging and because they may have medical conditions or take medications that disturb sleep.
- Working night shifts or shifts that rotate
- Stress: Stressful times and events can cause temporary insomnia. And major or long-lasting stress can lead to chronic insomnia.
Diagnosis of insomnia
While diagnosing the sleeplessness, it is very important to identify the cause. It can be done with the help of:
- Clinical evaluation:Physical examination and thorough case history are often helpful in diagnosing and in figuring out the cause of sleeplessness. Clinical evaluation is also necessary to identify other medical conditions.
- Blood tests:Blood tests help to identify the underlying conditions, such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, or other conditions associated with poor sleep.
- Sleep pattern study:It helps to rule out other sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. In this study, the doctor records various body activities, such as brain waves, breathing, heart rate, eye movements, and body movements, while you are sleeping.
Over time, lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Insomnia can contribute to:
- Driving accidents, injuries and falls
- High blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease and stroke
- Mood disorders
- Weight gain and obesity
The individuals suffering from insomnia or sleeplessness find amazing positive results by using homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy improves the ability of the mind and body to handle the stress effectively. Homeopathic treatment treats the underlying cause of sleeplessness. Homeopathy improves the quality of sleep. Over a period, homeopathic treatment calms and relaxes the mind.
With regular use of homeopathic medicines, the need for sleeping pills may reduce. Homeopathy is absolutely safe and free from any side-effects. Homeopathic medicines do not cause dependency and they are non-habit-forming. Homeopathy also works especially well for chronic sleep issues and can help resolve the problem for good.
Kali Phos is a very useful medicine for insomnia. Insomnia from stress and worries, sleeplessness (mainly during the latter part of the night), excessive yawning, a sad, gloomy disposition, extreme fatigue both on mental and physical level and sudden waking from sleep in children due to night terrors are the common symptoms that indicate the need for a dosage of Kali Phos for insomnia.
Coffea Cruda is a beneficial medicine for insomnia arising from constant thoughts in mind. During bedtime, many ideas crowd the mind. The person remains restless at night and experiences sleeplessness, tossing from side to side. Palpitations and nervousness may attend. This medicine is also helpful in children who are playful at night and are sleepless. Coffea Cruda is also well indicated for early waking from sleep (usually around 3:00 am) with difficulty in falling asleep again. Insomnia during the phase of convalescence (i.e., during recovery from some illness) is also treated with Coffea Cruda. This remedy also offers help in cases of disturbed sleep from excessive dreams.
Ignatia Amara is a medicine for insomnia arising from grief and depression. The person needing Ignatia Amara is depressed and full of cares and worries. He/she may get entirely absorbed in profound grief that leads to sleeplessness. Other attending features are a desire to be alone, tearfulness, and sadness with deep sighs. The person keeps thinking about the sad occurrences in the past. Excessive brooding, moaning, and an indifferent behaviour to everything may also be present.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is a medicine for insomnia appearing during the first half of night. The person stays awake and restless during the first half of the night. A fixed thought keeps revolving in the mind that prevents sleeping. An extreme restlessness is present along with sleeplessness. The person eventually falls asleep during the late hours (towards dawn). The person wakes up feeling tired and may experience excessive yawning and sleepiness during the daytime.
Nux Vomica is a valuable medicine for insomnia when sleeplessness occurs during the second half of the night. A person requiring Nux Vomica have no trouble falling asleep, but wakes up around 3:00 am – 4:00 am after which sleep becomes difficult. During daytime, intense drowsiness, tiredness and weakness appear. Nux Vomica also works in cases where sleep is not sound, and the person often wakes from sleep. It also treats sleeplessness linked with an excessive intake of coffee or alcoholic stimulants or tobacco. Sleeplessness due to gastric troubles is also an indication for using homeopathic medicine Nux Vomica.
Arsenic Album is a useful medicine for insomnia linked with anxiety. There is anxiety about issues like health, future and or the family’s wellbeing. The anxiety is mostly worse after midnight. Along with anxiety, an extreme restlessness may be present. The person continually tosses and turns in the bed at night. The restlessness also prevails during daytime with continual movement from one place to another, with a feeling of weariness of the eyes.
Chamomilla is an important medicine for disturbed sleep resulting from frightful dreams. The person wakes suddenly with a start; and be weeping or fearful. These episodes occur several times at night resulting in disturbed sleep. The person is sleepless till about 2:00 am. Sleeplessness from illusions of sight and hearing is another indication for using homeopathic medicine Chamomilla Vulgaris. The person may be highly irritable and sleepy during the day.
Opium is a medicine for insomnia where a person feels sleepy but is unable to sleep. He/she may remain awake for long, there is restless at night with constant tossing and tumbling in bed. The person may have acuteness of hearing, and small noises may disturb the person and cause sleeplessness.
Calcarea Carb is another excellent medicine for the treatment of insomnia. The individual requiring Calcarea Carb is sleepless at night and very drowsy during the daytime. He/she may sleep for a short duration, and experience sleeplessness post 2 am. At night, a heated sensation, agitation and pulsating in the head appears due to insomnia. The person often feels exhausted in the morning with a desire to sleep, and the head may feel heavy.
A person needing Robinia suffers from GERD and experiences worsening of symptoms at night, which disturbs sleep. Symptoms like heartburn and sour belchings become worse at night, disturbing the sleep. Homeopathic medicine Robinia treats GERD and its acid reflux symptoms, and this usually resolves the problem of disturbed sleep.
Rhus Tox is a useful medicine to treat disturbed sleep that results from chronic pain. The person needing Rhus Tox suffers from chronic pain in the joints or back (mostly during rest time). Worsening of pain during rest interferes with sleep, and the person keeps on tossing in bed with restlessness from pain.
Zincum Met is a medicine for restless legs syndrome that leads to troubled sleep. The person needing this medicine experiences restlessness of the feet or lower limbs. They keep on moving them constantly, and this uneasiness is worse at night. The lower limbs also feel heavy. In some cases, drawing pain and cramping in legs arises. Formication (sensation like insects crawling over the skin) of feet at night may also attend.
Passiflora Incarnata is a prominently indicated medicine for treating insomnia in older persons. The person needing Passiflora Incarnata remains wakeful and restless at night. Mental worries may also be present with insomnia. This medicine is also indicated for insomnia in infants.
Cina works well to treat insomnia in children. Its use is considered when the child cannot sleep and tends to scream and kick off bedclothes. The child is cranky, irritable and restless. Cina is also indicated in children who sleep for a very short time, or in cases where a child experiences night terror and wakes up screaming and frightened.