We live in truly special times. While nature quickly benefits from the Covid lockdowns, even the ozone hole has filled up. However, humans and their health is on the downslide. And this refers to both physical health as well as mental health. Let us take a closer look and understand what’s happening.
2020 has been challenging since the beginning. People start the year with high hopes, and this year started no different. People planned to improve their health and were quite underway to improve it when Covid-19 and Corona struck worldwide in February 2020. The pace at which Corona spread is mind-boggling, given the figures. Putting immense pressure on governments, health authorities, and the economy itself. We have seen all economies spiral downwards, and even the stock markets crash beyond recession levels. The crash is worse than the Great American Depression in the 1920s and 1930s.
Surprisingly, the Covid-19 situation and Corona-related effects quickly reflected on individuals, be it the typical salaried individual, small business, or even large corporations. None were spared. As Corona infections spread globally, governments struggled to contain them. The ensuing lockdown was cumulative; a lot of working capital dried up in the following months. Resulting in cutting businesses, closing shops, and establishments, mass salary reductions, or layoffs, both of which have become common.
The situation had a severe effect on the individual and his lifestyle. From a daily routine perspective, the individual became locked into his apartment either alone or with friends and family, both of which were not ideal conditions. No one likes to be locked down or locked in. It feels like a cage, and anyone caged in always has a negative influence. The impact of this can be felt strongly on the human body, which lacks any physical activity and movement necessary for maintaining muscle activity and strength. People started gaining weight and often overate to compensate for emotional issues and emotional outbursts during this time. The situation also directly impacted the mental well-being of all people. Being locked in produced feelings of anxiety, tension, sadness, being overwhelmed, excessive worrying, lack of freedom, mental stress at the visible level. The pressure was evident in everyone facing lockdown, and people got caught in a never-ending chain of thoughts about past and future events. Freedom and the ability to move freely anywhere without fear is crucial to the mental well-being of any living being.
The underlying causes can be many, but overall it caused a deterioration in mental health and quality of sleep. Due to low physical activity, people found it difficult to fall asleep, which gave rise to insomnia over time, which is the same behavior observed over some time. Suddenly Insomnia and Sleep disorder were the most common symptoms reported all over the globe. Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which the individual can have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. There are other sleep disorders, but there has been a significant rise in Insomnia during this period. The kind of insomnia and sleep disorder we have mentioned is not a chronic variety but rather a short-term one due to the challenging situation. Short-term insomnia can turn into a long-term variant if proper care is not taken in time.
Insomnia can be Acute and Chronic. Acute one will typically last from a few days to a fortnight occurring every few days. Chronic one can last up to 6 months if proper care is not taken.
Insomnia definition: Insomnia is defined by Medical Science as “your brain unable to stop being awake.” National Sleep Foundation, a body, associated with studying human sleep patterns, reported that 30-40% of Americans suffered insomnia within the last 12 months. And that overall, 10-15% of adults have chronic insomnia.
Insomnia reasons: Why do people become insomniacs? The human brain has a wake-cycle and a sleep cycle. It is either one or the other. Too much of too much wake time or too little sleep time can be harmful.
- Primary Insomnia: Reasons behind primary insomnia are low Mental well-being. The happiness level is low. All-time high levels of stress. Negative feelings. Depression. Sadness due to loss of business, job, loved one, environmental (sound, noise, light, weather, temperature, travel, work ours), jet lag, bad habits, or any other unpleasant trigger in the environment around the individual. These factors are emotional and have nothing to do with the physical body.
- Secondary Insomnia: Reasons behind secondary insomnia are chronic sleep disorder, health issues, treatment for some injury/health-related problem, medications, late nights, night shifts, odd shifts, etc., and are related to the physical body of the individual.
What is Sleep Apnea? Another sleep disorder related to insomnia is Sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea typically happens when the person’s airway becomes wholly or partially obstructed during sleep. Due to this, there are pauses in sleep and reduced oxygen levels. As sleep is a subconscious activity, any such blockade alerts the brain, which breaks the sleep rhythm, and the person wakes up to correct the situation and clear the airway. These incidents are also typically seen in people who snore heavily and can happen throughout the night.
Sleep apnea symptoms and effects are similar to symptoms of Insomnia. Treatment for sleep apnea varies from case to case and certainly needs medical help. The Doctor/ Physician/ Medic will conduct a sleep apnea test and, in some cases, recommend a sleep apnea machine. Sleep apnea machine is known as CPAP machine and is expensive at around 3000USD, and many medical insurance companies cover the cost of PAP and BiPAP bi-level devices. Sleep apnea is not a disability by Social Security Administration (SSA). However, there are listings for heart issues, mental deficits, and breathing disorders. If anyone fulfills the criteria of any one of the listings due to your sleep apnea, the affected person will automatically qualify for all disability benefits.
Medical reasons behind insomnia or sleep disorder are Asthma, Pain (Chronic or nonchronic), nasal allergies, hypertension, high blood pressure, Arthritis, medication is taken for heart disease, birth control, depression, common cold, thyroid, etc.
Globally an estimated 10-15% of the population usually suffer from insomnia of some degree or the other. All the above causes result in the person having Waking during the night, irritability, mental fatigue, exhaustion, daytime fatigue, tiredness/sleepiness through the day, feeling uncoordinated, lack of concentration and focus, drowsiness, headaches, difficulty socializing, inability to think, remember and recollect properly, all day constant physical and mental fatigue, and several more.
We described an overall description and did not mandate a hospital/doctor visit for validation. However, the doctor can help diagnose the exact cause of the issue and may provide tips to break the cycle or give medication to ease the individual into regular sleep patterns. It is essential to keep a sleep diary to track how much you slept each day. Individuals need eight hours of sleep; however individual preferences may way from 6 to 9 hours. Anything less than this, and the body will show signs of suffering.
The worst part of insomnia is lack of sleep spills over the next couple of days until the body somehow jumps back to its normal rhythm. Meaning if you slept late one day, you would probably have a short nap in the day to compensate. The behavior pattern will again lead to late sleep the following night. It’s a pattern challenging to break sometimes. Often a give and take between low sleep compensation in the daytime to ensure regular sleep at night.
Treatment for Insomnia: How to cure Insomnia? There is hardly any treatment for Insomnia as it’s just a matter of getting back into a natural sleep pattern. The quickly you ease into it, the faster you get rid of Insomnia. For this, physical exercise and a healthy dose of raw foods put less stress on your body’s digestive system. Sleeping pills can be prescribed by the doctor only after a thorough investigation, but they are not recommended in the long run. Sleep is a natural process, and the body should get into it with the least effort.
- I will leave a few good tips for preventing or curing Insomnia
- Maintain a pattern of sleep and wake times; you are well aware of your regular cycle and try to follow it as much as possible. Get into bed 10-15 mins before your sleep time so you can settle down. Set a schedule and wake up at the same time every morning. Avoid day naps so that your body is naturally tired by nighttime, helping you fall asleep. Inculcate good sleep habits.
- Keep a diary to record all your sleep times. The record will explain your natural sleep and wake cycle and exactly why and where the problems began. You can refer to this next time you have a problem.
- Have some Insomnia Cookies. Essentially all this means is that the Dietary lifestyle has to change, at least for a few days, till the issue is resolved. Coffee and Tea contain Caffeine/Nicotine. These stimulants will affect you and keep you from falling asleep. Reduce your intake of caffeine throughout the day and especially after the evening. Alcohol can get you to sleep quickly but can also wake you up in the middle of the night when the effect wears off. So best to avoid alcohol. Eat well. Neither light nor heavy. Just right.
- Make the environment around you cozy and easy to sleep in. Comfortable bed, comfortable light, comfortable temperature. Maybe soft, soothing music, aromatic smells, anything that relaxes you and induces sleep. Take a bath if it helps. Some people masturbate to relax and ease the tensions or worries of the day. You can also indulge in sex as long as it relaxes you. Close your eyes and meditate to help your body and mind relax. Sleep in a comfortable position. Everyone has a favorite sleep position. Keep worries for the morning. Isolate from all the concerns you have.
- Try to finish with a light dinner a few hours before bedtime. Having heavy meals closer to your bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Overeating dinner may cause discomfort and make it difficult for your body to settle down and interfere with your sleep. If a glass of milk helps your body relax before bedtime, have it. Avoid books, phones, and other distractions on the bed. If you must read, read something that makes you happy and relaxed and not wide awake and alert. Use a sleeping mask if necessary. Use earbuds if there is noise around you.
- Exercise regularly during the day to strengthen your muscles and make the body tired by bedtime. Don’t exercise a few hours before bedtime as it increases Cortisol levels and may instead keep you awake all night.
I am sure the above information will help you in the treatment and cure of Insomnia and the treatment of sleep apnea. If you follow the tips and information carefully, the sleep disorder problems of Insomnia and Sleep Apnea will gradually fade away. Cheers to Good Health.