Sleep Tips by Dr. Andreas Prasadja, RPSGT // Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that patients most often complain about to their doctor. Insomnia can include complaints of sleeping difficulty, poor sleep quality, difficulty in staying asleep so you often awaken at night, or awaking too early and can not return to sleep.
Insomnia can be caused by psychological factors, certain illnesses or other sleep disorders.
If someone is experiencing psychological distress, the blood’s adrenaline level will increase and make him/her feel fresh. Sleeping pills can help overcome this, but if the problem persists, then of course insomnia will be difficult to overcome.
Insomnia can also be caused by other illnesses that cause discomforts such as pain, nausea, fever, etc.
Other sleep disorders that can lead to insomnia include OSA, Periodic Limb Movements or Circadian Rhythm Disorder. Patients usually come with complaints of suffering from insomnia, but his/her partner state the opposite. What happens?
The patients feel that they did not sleep, because their mind was still racing and they still could hear voices around them, while others saw them sound asleep. This is caused by poor sleep quality. They can not enter the deep sleep phase because they are disturbed by snoring (OSA) or unconscious leg movements (Periodic Limb Movements).
There are also misguided complaints of insomnia, which most often found in teenagers or young adults. Approaching late puberty (age 16-30 year-old), they experience biological clock shift so they will only get sleepy after late at night, whereas actually they need longer sleep than adults (8.5-9.25 hours).
While others are getting sleepy at 10 pm, they are still in top condition and full of vigour to complete their work or study. Sleepiness will only strike after midnight, while in the morning they are required to get up early to attend lectures or work activities, causing sleep deficit. It is worsened by the tendency to spend weekend nights out, while they could actually sleep at these nights to cover the sleep deficits from previous nights. So it is not surprising to find many young adults who get up very late during weekends.
The habits of watching TV, working or playing in front of the computer before going to bed also make things worse. The tension caused by those activities can make the eyes become too fresh to be closed. Not to mention the bright light effect that can fool our biological clock, which is actually created to distinguish between day and night.
If you belong to the productive young adult age group, be careful with your sleeping habits. You will not necessarily get insomnia, it's just you have different needs of sleep. When others are sleepy, you are fresh; when others are fit as a fiddle, it's you who feel like going to bed.
If you do not arrange your sleep schedule cleverly, the needs for your body and brain will not be met. As the result, your body becomes vulnerable to diseases, and your exercise capacity will decline. Another consequence is you become emotionally temperamental and without realizing it, your mental ability, productivity and creativity will also decline.
For those of us who have sleeping partner, our partner’s movement can sometimes disturb our sleep, thus causes declining sleep quality. Mattresses equipped with independent support system will minimize the vibration caused by our sleeping partner’s movement.
In addition, mattresses that have the ability to reduce excessive pressure point can also help to ensure a good sleep quality. Excessive pressure at certain points when we sleep will obstruct blood circulation so that we will often move/ change our sleep position. Too much moving/ changing sleep position will make it hard for us to enter the deep sleep phase, which in turn will make our sleep quality decline/ drop significantly.
A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation shows that youths who follow sufficient and regular sleep schedule have better academic and sports achievements. Therefore, follow the guidelines for sleep hygiene properly and do not hastily pronounce yourself struck with insomnia.