A Natural Approach to Treating Insomnia
Insomnia is one of the most common patient complaints and affects nearly 35 percent of all adults in the United States. Within a short period of time, this sleep disorder can result in serious health risks and harm one’s mental wellbeing. For those that have become accustomed to feeling tired throughout the day, take a look at some of the most common symptoms of insomnia and what can be done to treat this condition naturally.
The Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
Insomnia encompasses much more than simply being unable to sleep at night. This sleep disorder causes a variety of issues such as difficulty falling asleep within a short period of time, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early, and failing to enter into the restorative stage of one’s sleep cycle. Those with insomnia will often find that their overall health is deteriorating with side effects such as irritability, a lack of energy, limited cognitive abilities, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and frequent illnesses.
Knowing When to See a Doctor
Everyone is going to experience a few sleepless nights, but it is important to realize when this problem has escalated into insomnia. Patients should speak with their doctor when their insomnia has affected their daily life for a week or longer. If the doctor believes that the patient does have insomnia, then they will most likely refer them to a sleep center for further testing. These centers carefully monitor a patient’s brain activity throughout the night to see exactly what is taking place.
There are quite a few prescription options for treating this condition, but many of them come with some risks. Prescription sleep medication can be habit-forming and lead to drowsiness the next day. It can also be dangerous for those taking certain medications and patients that drink alcohol at night. Luckily, there are some minor lifestyle changes that may help with this condition.
The first few steps that patients should take include limiting their alcohol consumption, limiting their caffeine intake, and regularly exercising. From there, patients should create a well-balanced diet and attempt to stay at a healthy weight. Specialists also suggest that patients create a nighttime routine such as turning off all electronics, taking a hot shower, or meditating to clear one’s mind and reduce stress levels. If these lifestyle changes do not help, then the patient should consider further testing and prescription medication.