The different types of insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can have a significant impact on our health and well-being. It is characterized by difficulties in falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night and waking up too early in the morning. In this article, we’ll explore these different aspects of insomnia and provide accessible information on how to manage them.
Difficulty falling asleep
Difficulty falling asleep is one of the main symptoms of insomnia. People who suffer from this problem find it hard to fall asleep, lie awake for long periods without being able to fall asleep, and may experience anxiety or frustration as a result.
To improve your ability to fall asleep, it’s important to establish a regular sleep routine. This means going to bed and getting up at similar times every day, even at weekends. Creating an environment conducive to sleep, by eliminating distractions and promoting relaxation, is also recommended. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help calm the mind before bedtime.
Frequent night-time awakenings
Frequent waking during the night is another common symptom of insomnia. Sufferers wake up several times during the night and have difficulty getting back to sleep, which can lead to sleep fragmentation and daytime fatigue.
To cope with frequent awakenings, it’s important to create a sleep environment conducive to relaxation and tranquillity. Avoid light and sound stimuli in the bedroom, maintain a comfortable temperature and use relaxation techniques to fall back asleep more easily. If waking is frequent and persistent, we recommend consulting a healthcare professional to assess the underlying cause and obtain appropriate treatment.
Waking up too early in the morning
Waking up too early in the morning is another common problem associated with insomnia. Sufferers wake up early, often several hours before their usual wake-up time, and are unable to get back to sleep. This can lead to sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness.
To manage early waking, it’s advisable to maintain a regular sleep routine and stick to consistent bedtime and wake-up times. Avoid prolonged naps during the day, and ensure a dark, quiet sleeping environment to promote uninterrupted sleep. If early waking persists, consult a healthcare professional for further advice.
General practices to improve sleep quality
In addition to the specific advice mentioned above, there are some general practices that can help improve sleep quality and combat insomnia:
Establish a relaxing routine before bedtime, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or intense evening exercise.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment, with a mattress and pillows adapted to your needs.
Avoid stressful or stimulating activities before bedtime, such as looking at bright screens or working intensively.
Exercise regularly, preferably at the start of the day, to promote natural fatigue at the end of the day.
Avoid heavy or spicy meals before bedtime, preferring light, healthy snacks if necessary.
Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga, to calm the mind and promote restful sleep.
If insomnia persists despite the adoption of these self-help measures, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a precise diagnosis and specific recommendations. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, such as stress, anxiety, medical problems or sleep disorders, and appropriate treatment may be necessary to regain quality sleep and improve your overall well-being.
Read also: Meditation and its benefits
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Naturopath, homeopath, massage therapist (retired!), stress coach and practical kinesiology
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Jean-Pierre Deschênes, n.d., h.d., mt.d, coach stress, pract.kin.