Things You Need to Know About Insomnia

Something at work that is bothering you while you are trying to fall asleep? Finding it difficult to stay asleep at night? Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder and it can happen to anyone, especially those who find it hard to “let go”—letting go of your electronic devices, and letting go of grudges and worries. 

One recent study by Harvard Medical School has reinforced that insomnia is closely tied with anxiety and depression. Before you jump on the Internet and begin self-diagnosis (which is very dangerous), there are some things you need to know about insomnia… and yes, you are capable of resolving this issue.

  1. There are 2 kinds of insomnia: trouble falling asleep (a.k.a. Onset insomnia) and trouble staying asleep (a.k.a. maintenance insomnia). While some people may experience insomnia in the later stage of life, kids are predisposed to insomnia due to genetics reasons.

  2. There are 3 degrees of insomnia: transient, acute, and chronic.
    • Transient insomnia occurs when symptoms last up to 3 nights, usually due to jet lag, environmental noises, and etc.      
    • Acute insomnia occurs when symptoms persist for several weeks, usually due to increased level of stress, hormone shifts during menstruation, overactive mind, pregnancy, etc.
    • Chronic insomnia occurs when symptoms last for months, and sometimes years. This is usually due to underlying medical conditions or psychological issues, and it requires urgent medical attention.

  3. Perfectionism is associated with insomnia. Are you being overly critical with yourself?

  4. Being sleep deprived inevitably causes more stress. If you can’t sleep, don’t force yourself by turning and tossing on the bed. Get up, do some less stimulating activity like reading until you feel drowsy and ready to doze off. This will take the pressure off sleeping itself.

  5. Everyone has their own coping strategies. When you feel anxious or worried in the daytime, you have distractions like a favourite TV show or calling a friend to cope with your feelings. When night falls, these activities may not be suitable. To cope, discipline yourself to set aside a time in the day to worry. Take this time to write down any worries or unfinished tasks, and then create a plan on steps to solve the problem.