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Getting familiar with common sleep disorders

Getting familiar with common sleep disorders

Sleep disorders is an umbrella term used for a wide gamut of medical conditions that impact the quality and duration of your sleep leading to sleep deprivation. This can have a negative impact on your body and affect your functionality as well as the quality of your life. This can also give rise to a wide range of health problems, both physical as well as psychological. There are many different types of sleep disorders and knowing about these is important, especially if you are finding it difficult to fall asleep from the past few days. As per the best doctor for sleep disorders, there are more than a hundred different types of sleep disorders that usually affect your sleep in 4 ways:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Inability to maintain a proper sleep-wake pattern
  • Unusual sleep behaviour

Sleep disorders can be a result of many factors. These may be caused by an underlying medical condition, genetic predisposition, lifestyle factors, obesity, poor dietary habits are medication taken from some other medical condition.

In this blog, we are going to discuss some major types of sleep disorders with the help of experts from the best multispeciality hospital in Kolkata.

Insomnia – It is one of the most common sleep disorders with around 10 per cent of the adult population dealing with chronic health complications related to insomnia and approximately 30 to 40 per cent getting it every now and then. The condition is marked by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can be of many different types and it is quite possible that you may not experience the same symptoms as others around you. While some people take 20 to 30 minutes to fall asleep even after lying down in their beds, others wake up too early and are not able to fall asleep again. One can also experience both problems in combination. Some people may experience an acute form of insomnia, which lasts only for a couple of days while others may experience the chronic form that lasts for weeks or even months. If you are looking for the best treatment for insomnia you should consult an expert in the field.

Snoring and sleep apnea – The only negative impact of snoring that one may think of is keeping their partner awake. Although it may seem completely harmless and natural, snoring is not always a good sign. The reason why we snore is that our throat closes as we breathe, thereby cutting off the air supply for a few seconds. The problem can aggravate and develop into sleep apnea which is a chronic medical condition with serious side effects. In patients suffering from the condition, the air supply may be cut off for 10 seconds or more and that too. multiple times in an hour. This is usually a result of an obstruction in the upper airway, i.e. obstructive sleep apnea, or the periodic inability of the brain to keep you breathing, i.e. central sleep apnea. The name comes from the fact that the problem arises from the central nervous system. Sleep apnea has been linked to chronic medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes.

Parasomnia – The term parasomnia comes from the Latin word meaning ‘around sleep’. The condition is marked by abnormal sleep behaviours or events that occur at a specific stage of your sleep. These include problems like sleepwalking, sleep terror, sleep sex, sleep eating and rapid eye movement behaviour disorder. These are only a few examples and there are many other types. People suffering from extreme forms of parasomnia can prove to be dangerous not only for themselves but also for those around them. Sleep paralysis – Imagine waking up from your sleep and not being able to move your body. You know that you are awake but your body is not responding and neither are you able to cry for help. The experience can be really terrifying. Sleep paralysis is a condition that happens while you are transitioning between sleep and being awake. Some people may also hallucinate, imagining a stranger on their side, who is trying to harm them. The episode hardly lasts for more than a couple of minutes and once you get used to these, the experience becomes less frightening. Experts suggest that nearly 25 to 40% of people are likely to experience sleep paralysis at least once in their life. There may not be any reason behind it or it may be triggered by some mental health condition such as bipolar disorder.

best treatment for insomnia

Possible causes of Insomnia

Possible causes of Insomnia

Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder, affecting nearly 35 per cent of the adult population. Marked by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night, insomnia can lead to serious effects and give rise to a variety of health issues. The fact that you are not able to complete your sleep at night is very likely to make you feel tired and sleepy during the day. As such, you may find it rather difficult to focus on what you are doing and also face higher risks of automobile accidents. As per the best doctor for sleep disorders in Kolkata, sleep deprivation can affect you both physically, as well as mentally. But, the question here is, ‘What causes Insomnia?’

Before we answer this question, it is important for you to understand that the condition is not the same for everyone and different people can understand distinct forms of insomnia, depending on various factors, including the reason behind it. While short term insomnia is experienced only for a brief period of time, chronic insomnia may be experienced for months at a stretch. While, for some, the major problem is falling asleep, for others, it is the inability to maintain that sleep.

There are numerous causes of insomnia, and in certain cases, more than one factor may be involved.

Experts offering the best treatment for insomnia suggest that the problem might be caused by a state of hyperarousal, which interferes with your body’s ability to fall asleep. These can be either mental or physical and may be triggered by numerous factors.

  • Insomnia caused by stress – Mental stress can affect your body in a number of ways which can directly or indirectly impact the quality of your sleep. No matter what the source of the stress is, whether it is due to excess workload, relationship problems, exposure to traumatic situations (post-traumatic stress disorder) or any other reason. Our body physically responds to the stress, leading to hyperarousal. The fact that you are not able to sleep properly may add to your stress and the chain continues. Studies have shown that some individuals are more prone to stress-related sleeping problems as compared to others. This is due to higher sleep reactivity.
  • Insomnia caused by an irregular sleep schedule – Ever heard about the circadian rhythm? Well, in simple terms, it can be defined as the body’s internal clock, which somewhat works in synchronization with the natural day and night. In some people, the circadian cycle can get misaligned owing to their irregular sleep patterns. For instance, people who work night shifts, or people who travel from one time zone to another. While the rhythm may be shifted backwards in certain cases, in others, it may be shifted forward.
  • Insomnia caused by unhealthy lifestyle – Experts from the best multispeciality hospital in Kolkata suggest that unhealthy lifestyle practices, too, can be a contributing factor behind your insomnia. Unhealthy routines and lifestyle habits can affect your body in countless ways, however, we do not usually realize this until the damage is done. These habits include:
  • Staying up late for work or any other reason, which keeps your brain stimulated
  • Napping frequently during the daytime
  • Waking up late in the morning
  • Taking caffeine late in the evening or at night
  • Insomnia caused by pain and other medical conditions – It is extremely difficult to fall asleep when you are in pain, as the situation can be very uncomfortable and make it difficult for you to lie still in bed. The pain may be due to an injury or an underlying condition. In some cases, insomnia may also be the result of the medication that you have been taking for the management of some other medical condition.

Beating insomnia: Sleep better with these 5 tips

Beating insomnia: Sleep better with these 5 tips

Treatment for insomnia

Not being able to sleep at night can make you grumpy and foggy. You’ll spend all day yawning and thinking about going back to bed all the time. Now imagine the same thing happening with you for a couple of days or even weeks at a stretch. Insomnia is real and affects a huge chunk of our population. Marked by the inability to fall asleep, insomnia is a very common sleep disorder that can affect various different aspects of your personal, as well as professional life. The best doctor for sleep disorders suggest that insomnia can be easily beaten by making some positive behavioural and lifestyle changes. We have discussed a few of such changes in this blog.

  • Set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day. Though not impossible, it is really hard to go to bed at the same time every night, as you might be tempted to chat with your friends, watch your favourite series or indulge in some other activity. Instead, it is a better idea to get up at the same time every day to train your body to adapt to a proper routine. This should be followed both on weekdays as well as weekends.
  • Avoid consuming foods that act as a stimulant. Are you amongst those who feel that their day is incomplete without a cup of coffee? Well, you might want to reconsider that thought if you have insomnia. The effects of caffeine intake can last for a good couple of hours, and even up to a day. Taking coffee in the evening will not only make it hard for you to fall asleep but also cause frequent awakenings. Though some people may experience the sedative effect of coffee for some time after consuming it, this will soon turn into frequent arousals and restlessness. If you are on any medication that induces the same side-effects, you should definitely consult an expert from the best multispeciality hospital in Kolkata and consider other options. 
  • Avoid mid-day naps. Do you ever feel like taking power naps during the day? Though mid-day naps may seem like the best way to make up for the missed hours of sleep during the night, it is not always the case. You should avoid sleeping during the day, even if it is a 7-minute power nap. Take a short walk or wash your face to overcome that lethargic feeling. Don’t just give in thinking that one day won’t make a difference. Even the slightest effort counts. One of the best treatments for insomnia is to adapt your sleeping patterns to clues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. 
  • Indulge in physical activities. Studies suggest that indulging in physical activities and exercising on a daily basis can help to significantly improve the quality of your sleep and help you sleep longer, without frequent disturbance. You don’t necessarily need to join a gym for this. Simple activities like cycling, jogging, and skipping, too can prove to be really helpful. However, it is pertinent to note that exercising right before going to bed is definitely not a good idea and there should be a gap of at least 3 hours in-between.  
  • Make your bedroom comfy. Your bedroom is just for sleeping, don’t stuff it up with things that will disturb your sleep cycle. It is important to make a comfy and cosy environment that will make you feel sleepy as soon as you enter the bedroom, whether it’s in terms of the lighting, the temperature or noises coming from outside. Burning scented candles in your room might also help. 

If you are still finding it difficult to fall asleep, you should definitely consider seeing a specialist for proper evaluation.

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