-The causative factors range from lifestyle habits to certain health conditions
-Tune into a parasympathetic lifestyle to counter insomnia
-Surgical menopause may worsen insomnia in women.
Our Correspondent / New Delhi
A recent research has indicated that undergoing surgical menopause may worsen insomnia in women. Surgical menopause is often accompanied by more psychological and physical difficulties and nearly 20% of post-menopausal women reported sleep disturbances. Research has linked insomnia to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, diabetes and other ailments.
Insomnia is trouble falling asleep. One of its forms, called sleep-maintenance insomnia, is difficulty staying asleep, or waking too early and struggling to get back to sleep. It gives rise to worry over not getting enough sleep, which further interferes with sleep, creating a vicious cycle.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Ayurveda describes sleep as an aggravation of Vata and Pitta dosha. The number one cause of the same is mental tension; suppressed feelings and acute bitterness. The above five situations again hold true to this effect. Apart in this, in allopath other causes of insomnia mentioned are constipation; dyspepsia; excessive intake of tea, coffee and alcohol and environment Factors-excessive cold, heat or change of environment. They are in most of the situations the effect and not the cause of insomnia. Insomnia is of three types: acute, transient, and chronic. While the first two are short term, chronic insomnia can at times last up to several years.”
Research indicates that about 93% of Indians are sleep deprived. The causative factors range from lifestyle habits to certain health conditions. Insomnia is generally seen as both a sign and a symptom that can accompany several sleep, medical, and psychiatric disorders characterized by a persistent difficulty falling asleep.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The best description of the causes and treatment of insomnia comes from Vidura Niti a dialogue between Vidura and Dhritarashtra. The former described five basic reasons for insomnia and even in today’s science they are true. No new cause has been added in this list of stress induced insomnia. The situations include: being a thief, a lustful person, a person who has lost all his wealth, a person who has failed to achieve success, and a person who is weak and has been attacked by a strong person. To counter insomnia, concentrate on the present, which shifts the inner environment from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode. About 20 minutes of meditation morning and evening provides the same biochemical benefit as gathered from 7 hours of deep sleep.”
Some tips —
- Avoid caffeinated beverages after 1 or 2 pm if you’re especially sensitive to caffeine. Limit alcohol, and don’t drink any within two hours of bedtime.
- Getting regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, or swimming can help you fall asleep faster, get more deep sleep, and awaken less often during the night.
- Watching the sleepless minutes pass makes it harder to fall back to sleep in the wee hours. Turn the clock face so you can’t see it.
- Keep track of your sleep patterns for a week or two. If you find that you’re spending less than 80% of your time in bed asleep, you may be spending too much time in bed. Try going to bed later, and don’t nap during the day. If you find yourself falling asleep too early in the evening, keep the lights bright.
- It’s hard to get back to sleep if your mind is racing or your muscles are tense. To calm the mind and relax the muscles, try meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.