Insomnia: When a Good Night’s Sleep is Lost

I can really understand the agony that brings you to read this article. Countless sleepless nights; tossing and turning all night during your efforts to sleep; you stay up so much that you are now well aware of the constellations while looking through the window; you have even tried that counting-sheep exercise that they practice in cartoons. Either you have a problem falling asleep in the first place or if you fall asleep, you can’t stay asleep for more than a couple of hours. Yes, you do have a problem that needs to be addressed and these signs or symptoms point to an illness called Insomnia.


What is insomnia?

Insomnia is defined by as: “Insomnia is a condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep. It includes a broad spectrum of sleep disorders, from lack of quantity of sleep to lack of quality of sleep.”

Furthermore, Insomnia is divided into the classes named transient (lasts for a few days), short-term (lasts for a few weeks) and long-term (could last for years).

30% to 50% of the total population suffers from insomnia and it can affect the people from any age group including children.


Causes of Insomnia:  

Several activities sum-up to the causes of insomnia and among these, stress is the most highlighted one. Next to stress are appended reasons including smoking, illicit drug use, taking caffeine before bed, certain medications, working in different shifts (disturbs the biological clock), uncomfortable room conditions including noise and light etc. Apart from stress, the reasons I mentioned here are transient or short-term and can be over-come if you are willing to improve certain habits and take definite measures.

Considerable medical conditions become the reason of Insomnia, namely, chronic depression, breathing problems like asthma, obesity, urinary problems, chronic pain, dementia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mania, anxiety and so on. The unfortunate ones, who face the long-term Insomnia immediately, need to consult their physician or psychiatrist.


General Activities Leading to Insomnia:

Most people are so busy in their lives with their work routine that they consider sleep as a luxury and when they force themselves to sleep at night they keep on doing either the business calculations in their head or make new work plans. In other words, they don’t give any relaxing time to their brain. Gradually, they end up getting poor-quality sleep and later, no sleep at all. One very important thing that they forget is that brain is more like a hardworking machine that performs gazillion tasks and it needs to get rebooted when it gets tired; sleep is the way to recharge the brain to work correctly.


Scores of people tend to enjoy such sluggish routine and laziness, at times, becomes the reason of sleeplessness. At this point, I have a very interesting story to share with you. Once, there was a man who had a severe problem of sleep deprivation, after years of trying he went to a psychiatrist and told him he wants to die because of the frustration he has to face every night. The psychiatrist, after getting a brief history of his routine, played a little trick with him. He put up with the man’s choice of dying, however he wrote for him the prescription too, starting from the quote: “A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist. I compel you to die only by the way I advise. Find a running-track and four hours before midnight start running and run so much so you die”. The man decidedly took the prescription and went off in hope of getting rid of his pain forever. The same day, four hours before midnight he set out for running and kept it up till he could not move a limb anymore. Then he went home and slept while thinking of trying it again the next day. Yes, that day he slept. Three days after the same activity, he was able to decipher the doctor’s trick. He had then involved the physical activity in his life and was able to win over that chronic insomnia.


Apart from being immobile and other self-invoked problems, a number of people face serious problems like stress and depression that takes away from them the blessing of sleep. The reasons of sleep deprivation are multiple but stress and depression is of vital importance and immediate help should be sought.


Disturbance in the biological clock, called Circadian Sleep Disturbance, which many people do not care about, is the self-invoked problem that directs to Insomnia. Inefficient work schedule or chaotic routines disturbs the internal clock of the body when you don’t get to bed at the same time very night. When your body clock signals you to sleep, you push yourself to stay up and when you want to sleep, the clock wants otherwise. Eventually this tussle between you and your brain make you taste Insomnia. No lengthy debate is needed on it; simply by setting a schedule and proper sleep-wake cycle you can fix this problem which will involve an effort of a week or two.


Hey, I am an insomnia sufferer too and the least I want for myself is to puzzle my own internal clock. So, I pen-off for now and in my next article I’ll come up with more research and we shall learn more about insomnia and what we can do to get rid of it. This subject is way too vast to be covered in a few paragraphs.



This Article is Written by “Ghalia Akram” Senior Author At

Originally published by

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