Insomnia is a common sleep disorder wherein you have trouble falling or staying asleep. This condition can range from mild to severe, depending on how often it occurs and for how long. It can be chronic (ongoing for over a month) or acute (short-term or a few days in duration). Chronic insomnia means having symptoms at least 3 nights a week for more than a month, while acute insomnia lasts for a lesser period of time.
People who suffer from insomnia may have trouble falling asleep. Other people may fall asleep but wake up too soon and be unable to sleep after. Others may have trouble with both falling asleep and staying asleep. So you see, insomnia affects different people in different ways, since people are different. In any case, insomnia may cause you to get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep, because of which you may not feel refreshed when you wake up, and your mind might feel cloudy and full.
Two types of Insomnia
There are two types of insomnia. The most common type is called secondary or comorbid insomnia. Secondary insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem, such as an emotional, neurological, or other medical or sleep disorder. It is the side effect of some other underlying problem that has not been resolved. More than 8 out of 10 people who suffer from insomnia are believed to have secondary insomnia, and these can also be caused by certain medical conditions, medicines, sleep disorders, and substances. Secondary insomnia often resolves or improves without treatment if you can stop its cause—especially if you can correct the problem soon after it starts. For example, if caffeine is causing your insomnia, stopping or limiting your intake of the substance may cause your insomnia to go away.
The other type of insomnia is called primary insomnia. This type is not due to a medical problem, medicines, or other substances, and is caused by many life changing events such as PTSD, long-lasting stress and emotional upset. Primary insomnia isn’t a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. This type of insomnia usually occurs for periods of at least 1 month. A number of life changes can trigger primary insomnia. It may be due to major or long-lasting stress or emotional upset. Travel or other factors, such as work schedules that disrupt your sleep routine, also may trigger primary insomnia. Even if these issues are resolved, the insomnia may not go away. Trouble sleeping may persist because of habits formed to deal with the lack of sleep. These habits may include taking naps, worrying about sleep, and going to bed early.
Insomnia isn’t easy to cope with. It can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It also can make you feel anxious, depressed, or irritable, and you may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning, and remembering. This can prevent you from doing your best at work or school. Insomnia can also make you feel drowsy while driving, which could lead to an accident.
Lifestyle changes, including better sleep habits, often help relieve acute insomnia. For chronic insomnia, your doctor may recommend a type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy or medicines.
Emotional disorders that can cause insomnia include depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are examples of common neurological disorders that can cause insomnia.
A number of other conditions also can cause insomnia, such as:
* Conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and headache disorders
* Conditions that make it hard to breathe, such as asthma and heart failure
* An overactive thyroid
* Gastrointestinal disorders, such as heartburn
* Sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep-related breathing problems
* Menopause and hot flashes
Insomnia & The Bach Flower Remedies
The Bach Flower Remedies can help you when you have problems sleeping or wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to go back to sleep due to repeated unwanted thoughts:
The Bach Flower Remedies can help remove stress and worries so that the body and mind are able to relax. When the body and mind are calm and tranquil, sleep comes naturally and insomnia is lessened in its effect.
The following Bach Flower Remedies can help when dealing with insomnia:
Impatiens: When we get irritated and impatient to the point where sleep doesn’t come naturally. People who are short-tempered, quick-thinking and always do things in a rush out of impatience need this remedy to help them sleep.
White Chestnut: When our minds are very hyperactive and thoughts keep going over and over our head, it is impossible for the mind to be calm, relaxed and tranquil. White Chestnut remedy helps to calm the mind, lessen the thoughts in our heads and find tranquility and a good night’s sleep.
Star of Bethlehem: This is a great remedy for grief, emotional and physical shock, heartbreak, sadness, depression and PTSD. All of these conditions can prevent us from falling asleep, and Star of Bethlehem can be a blessing in this case.
Vervain: This is the remedy for those who are highly strung and over-excited by nature. When such people are too excited about a project or idea that sleep is impossible, this remedy can help calm their minds and relax them enough to fall asleep.
Mimulus: The remedy for shyness, nervousness and timidity. For those who are afraid to sleep in a dark room because of all kinds of phobias.
Olive: When you are totally exhausted physically and mentally, and have no strength to go on for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is the remedy to give you renewed vitality and help you get a good night’s rest.