When Do Insomniacs Need To See A Doctor?

Are you one of those people who have to fight hard to be able to sleep, then often wake up early and feel unhealthy? It could be that you suffer from insomnia.

If it is severe enough, this disorder can greatly interfere with your daily activities. So, when should insomnia need to be seen by a doctor? Check out the explanation below.

What is insomnia?
Insomnia itself is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, resulting in sleep that is not refreshing or not restorative. In fact, this is a very common problem with many people.

Determination of a person affected by insomnia based on sleep quality and how he feels when he woke up, not from the duration of sleep or how fast asleep. Because, everyone has different sleep time needs.

In fact, when you have slept for eight hours at night, but still feel sleepy and tired during the day, you may experience insomnia.

The problems that cause insomnia are also different for each person. Starting from something as simple as consuming too much caffeine, to more complex problems such as an underlying medical condition or excessive stress.

Insomnia will generally cause drowsiness during the day, lethargy, and feeling unwell, both mentally and physically. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30-40 percent of American adults report that they have symptoms of insomnia in the last 12 months, and 10-15 percent of adults claim to suffer from chronic insomnia.

Now, this chronic insomnia can be dangerous, because it can contribute to serious health problems. Because, although insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, this is not a single sleep disorder. It is more appropriate to consider insomnia as a symptom of another problem.

Types and causes of insomnia
Based on the type, insomnia is divided into two, namely primary and secondary. In primary insomnia, sleep disorders are not followed or triggered by illness or other problems.

While in secondary insomnia, sleep disorders come from something else, such as health conditions (asthma, depression, arthritis, and cancer) and the influence of drugs or certain substances such as alcohol.

Sometimes, insomnia lasts only a few days and goes away on its own, especially when it is linked to an obvious temporary cause. For example, stress before presentation, painful separation, or jet lag.

However, the cause of insomnia is not just that. There are still several other causes that can interfere with your sleep, namely:

  • Psychological Problems
    Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Conversely, insomnia can also make anxiety, stress, and depression worse. Other common emotional and psychological causes include anger, anxiety, sadness, bipolar disorder and trauma.
  • Medical problem or disease
    Many medical conditions and diseases can cause insomnia, such as asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hyperthyroidism, stomach acid reflux, lesions in the brain, tumors, strokes, sleep apnea, kidney disease, and cancer. Chronic pain is also a common cause of insomnia.
  • Drugs
    Some types of drugs that can interfere with sleep include antidepressants, stimulants for ADHD, corticosteroids, thyroid hormones, high blood pressure medications, and several types of contraception.
  • Etc
    In addition, there are some common conditions in daily life that can disturb your sleep. For example, sleeping near people who snore, genetic conditions, jet lag, changes in working hours, extreme cold or hot weather, at a certain height, pregnancy, and so on.

When to see a doctor?

There are several symptoms of insomnia that make you should immediately consult a doctor, namely:

  • Symptoms of insomnia last more than four weeks, and have disrupted daytime activity and your ability to function.
  • You wake up many times at night with breathing conditions. Because, there is the possibility of sleep apnea or other medical problems that disturb your sleep.
  • Start taking new drugs that can disturb your sleep.
  • You feel an uncomfortable and painful sensation of tingling sensation in the legs when trying to sleep or when the feet are not moving for a long time, such as when driving or using an airplane.
  • You feel excessive heartburn that keeps you awake at night.
  • You wake up at night because of physical pain.

In order to avoid insomnia and be able to get quality rest at night, here are some tips you can do:

Improve ‘sleep hygiene’ or good sleep habits
Not sleeping too much or too little, exercising every day, not forcing sleep, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule. It also avoids some habits like caffeine consumption at night, smoking, and sleeping hungry. Don’t forget, ensure a comfortable sleeping environment.

Use relaxation techniques
You can do meditation or muscle relaxation so you can sleep more soundly.

Stimulation control therapy
Only sleep when sleepy. Avoid watching TV, reading, eating, thinking excessively when already in bed. Set the alarm for the same time every morning, including at the end of the week, and avoid taking long naps.

Sleep restriction
Reduce the time spent sleeping, so that at night you are better prepared for sleep.

Now, you are more familiar with insomnia, including symptoms and causes. Thus, you can also know when it’s time for insomnia to be seen by a doctor. But most importantly, do not forget to always lead a healthy lifestyle, so that the quality of your sleep will improve.