Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. Insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. It means being concerned with how much you sleep or how well you sleep. This may be caused by difficulties in either falling or staying asleep.
Here I am with my second this week and first ever in my life insomnia. Either the progressing flu, the overload of duties, a 24 hour flight over to Sydney from Russia or something else I am not aware of is causing so much discomfort and confusion in my already troubled enough brain. I lie down in my warm and always greatly missed bed and … cannot fall asleep whatsoever.
First, on Thursday night, I was sure my stubborn brain was testing me or playing a cruel joke on me. I am also very stubborn. Therefore despite the fact that I was in bed by 8pm and wasn’t even tired by midnight I stubbornly remained in the horizontal position waiting for the night sheep to go away and my sleep finally arrive. I waited till my alarm went off at 6am…
And here I am on Saturday night, the night before my first City2Surf run, my eyes are wide opened and I have no interest in falling asleep whatsoever. I decided to get up and research what the heck insomnia is. Am I suffering from some sort of disorder? Do I already need to see a shrink? Am I going crazy? Is it treatable? Should I panic?
I poured a hot cup of tea (* mistake number one), put more warm clothes on, turned my laptop on and started staring at the screen hoping to get tired and eventually crawl to bed. Clearly my expectations were way too high that night.
Well, I have never had insomnia before therefore I was not sure why I started having it now. At the same time I’ve heard people saying that over tiredness, stress and lack of exercising can cause insomnia. Hmm, I have just gotten back from my holidays, I have only started getting back to my normal routine now and although I have not exercised for the last two weeks I had been reasonably active for a very long period of time before this break. Alcohol and medication were two last reasons I was aware of which might trigger insomnia. Well, I must admit I wasn’t exactly following the “dry law” while holidaying and I have a mixture of medication I have been on since … well, I remember myself. Absolutely nothing could have caused my painful disability to fall asleep. Well, why am I still awake than?
As I am sure we all know self-diagnose is one of the scariest practices because we often end up with a pretty dramatic result. To start with, I tried to talk myself out of panic deciding that what seems like insomnia to one person might be considered a good sleep by another. The concept of ‘a good sleep’ differs widely from person to person. While the average night’s sleep for an adult is around eight hours, some people only need five, while others like up to 10 hours or more. Maybe I am going through my sleeping pattern change? Well, or at least it sounds promising… promising of some sleep finally.
Before calling the ambulance (or even planting such idea in my head) I decided to analyse my day. To start with, I have been suffering from a nasty flue since Sunday last week, stuffing my face with antibiotics. I spent most of the week at home and decided to finally go for a small bike ride today. I got home with a frost bite or a sunburn all over my face (really not sure) and a definitely worsen case of my flu. As a result, probably this is why I cannot fall asleep.
No, I cannot suffer from insomnia. I am such a “healthy” person, always making sure I eat well, exercise a lot and sleep eight hours. Never say never! I went out on Friday consuming couple of beverages and coming home at 1am. Have I broken my already damage sleeping pattern? Looks like it!
Good news! I self diagnosed that I don’t have any disorders but simply coming down from my still progressing cold and flu, also doing everything I should not be doing if I want to get my brain to rest.
Reducing anxiety and sticking to a day–night routine can improve sleep quality. Here what people recommend:
First of all, don’t nap during the day.
1. Cut down on smoking and drinking.
2. Avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks before bed.
3. Don’t exercise strenuously before bedtime.
4. Do something to relax, such as meditate or have a warm bath.
5. Only go to bed if you feel sleepy.
6. Go to bed later.
7. Stop reading, worrying or watching television in bed and limit your activities in the bedroom to sleeping and sex.
8. If you can’t sleep, get up, go to another room and do something else until you feel sleepy again.
9. Get up at the same time every morning regardless of how much sleep you have had.
10. Avoid ‘judging’ your sleep on a day-to-day basis.
Since I have been doing everything opposite to what has been recommended I guess the only option I have left is to keep calm and go to bed 🙂