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Insomnia – an awake nightmare

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The average person falls asleep within seven minutes and sleeps for eight hours. Those who have no difficulty in sleeping take this broken eye for granted. Those who suffer from insomnia fight for every hour of sleep they receive.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects about 15 percent of the Irish population and according to experts, it rises.

In an international survey conducted by Aviva last year, 35 percent of Irish adults say they do not think they are getting the right amount of sleep. In the same study, Ireland was classified as the second weakest lack of sleep after the United Kingdom.

Another study commissioned by Ikea and developed by pediatric sleep counselor Lucy Wolfe found that one-third of Irish people receive less than six.

RTÉ meteorologist Joanna Donnelly has recently released an episode of Claire Byrne's live on her Struggled with the sleep disorder.

"Insomnia is a debilitating condition that lasts for days and just leaves you outside," she said. "I can not eat, I can not exercise, I can not think clearly."

Donnelly has been suffering from insomnia for 30 years, but she still has to "paint on her face and smile" for her front-of-camera job

ITV Newsreader Tom Bradby can probably relate. The Anchorman was sick at the time of writing for seven weeks from working with "debilitating insomnia."

Insomnia is defined as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep even if a person has the opportunity. It affects more women than men and more older people than younger people. And it is strongly linked to stress, anxiety and depression.

Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, the individual needs vary considerably and it is not just about quantity; it's also about quality. One person could get 10 hours of sleep per night, but if they wake up frequently, they are unlikely to complete the five phases of restful sleep.

Psychologist Karolina Jurasik of MyMind says that insomnia is a "civilization disease" that is related to the stress of sophisticated lifestyles. "Social media is another factor," she says. "It makes people feel that they always have something to do."

Our increasing dependence on technology makes it harder for us to turn off at night, she adds. "People often relax in front of their TV, phone or tablet, but the blue light that these devices emit stimulates the brain too much at bedtime."

It is easy to forget that our circadian rhythm or our inner clock is associated with the light-dark cycle of the sunny day. Light promotes wakefulness; Darkness promotes drowsiness. Or at least it should do that.

"The light bulb was a blessing when it was invented, but now it has been overused," says Dublin-based sleep technologist Motty Varghese. "There is no natural light-dark cycle anymore, it has to be dark inside, even when the sun has set to build up enough drowsiness," he explains. "But when we use electronic devices, we mock ourselves that it's not time to sleep."

The membership in the so-called "3 am-Club" is expanding, but not all insomnia are the same. The disorder can be transient, episodic or persistent. Some sleepless people find it hard to fall asleep, while others often wake up at night.

Insomnia tends to be multifactorial, which is why sleep experts often cite the "3Ps" model – "predisposing," "predisposing," and "(19659011) For example, if a person is prone to anxiety, it will not necessarily lead to insomnia but it increases the likelihood that they will develop.

The triggering factors are generally stressful at work – stress at work, relationship problems or even jet lag – while the ongoing factors are the behaviors or habits that aggravate the problem it puts the iPad to bed or sleeps on the weekend.

Symptoms include fatigue and low energy Concentration difficulties and irritability In extreme cases, chronic insomnia can lead to paranoia and hallucinations, and just as anxiety and depression can be predisposing factors to insomnia; Insomnia can be a predi be a contributing factor to anxiety and depression.

"You think you're worthless and paranoid, and nobody likes me," Donnelly said during her interview. "It feels like it's real, but it's not real, it's a symptom of your condition."

"Many people go through periods of difficulty sleeping – two, three, four weeks – but then they identify the problem and they can correct it," explains GP Dr. med. Jennifer Grant.

Chronic insomnia occurs at least three times a week for three months or more.

"I do not believe in sleeping pills," continues Dr. Grant gone. "I'm glad to prescribe monthly care to someone, but I do not want anyone taking long-term medications that are not necessary."

The problem, she says, is that patients often self-medicate themselves through the provision of sleeping pills. Online or "doctor shopping"

"A person does not have to stay with the same family doctor," she explains. "You can book in a clinic down the street and get another month's supply."

A study commissioned by the RTÉ documentary Awake found that 18 percent of Irish adults used sleeping pills to fall asleep. Dr. Grant says many of these troubled sleepers could benefit from specialized help.

But first, a family doctor will try to identify any underlying conditions. Early awakening is a classic symptom of mild depression, and in this case, a doctor would examine the patient's other drives, such as motivation, appetite, and libido.

In other cases, they may only have to meet expectations. "As we get older, our sleep gets worse," Dr. Grant. "After the age of 65, we only expect five to six hours of pure sleep, but sometimes people have unrealistic expectations."

If Dr. Grant thinks that a person needs to take time off to cope with insomnia. Usually, the patient is presented with a medical certificate about an "infection of the respiratory tract". "In general, people do not want their employer to know they have sleep problems or mental health problems," she says.

In this case, the patient is referred to a sleep technologist or therapist specializing in CBT-I

Motty Varghese asks patients to have a one-week sleep diary before they come to their first session to see how much time they spend awake before turning off the lights, how long they will need to fall asleep and how long they sleep.

He will talk to them about sleep instinct, which he compares to appetite and thirst Patient falling asleep with lies or afternoon sleep, just as a sweetie spoils his appetite for dinner?

Next, he talks about sleep habits. Is their bedtime and waking time consistent? Bring devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops, and yes, even Kindles – Is the bedroom "as dark, calm and cool as a cave?" How much caffeine and alcohol consumption Do you eat during the day?

Sometimes, a few simple lifestyle changes can restore restful sleep. However, in most cases Varghese will introduce CBT-I. "People maintain many dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep," he explains. "And one of the most common dysfunctional attitudes to sleep is this idea of ​​'If I do not sleep tonight, I can not work tomorrow'."

Varghese gives his patients coping strategies and catastrophic strategies in hand In this scenario. He reminds them that, despite their insomnia, they were able to start a family and work at work. "Yes, they are tired and they feel awful, but nothing has happened."

Jurasik takes a similar approach, but it also addresses the other concerns that might keep the person awake.

"Many people would mention that they are worried about family or work," she explains. "Then they would lie in bed for hours and deal with these thoughts."

The belief that you have insomnia – or what sleep researcher Kenneth Lichstein calls "insomnia identity" does not help. It often leads to preventative anxiety and fear of not falling asleep.

"The worries and fears we attribute to sleep loss are not earned," says Varghese. "So we help the person lower their anxiety levels, which in turn should allow them to sleep better."

"At the end of the day, we have to accept that we have no control over it," he adds, "You can not sleep You must be attentive and present You must accept it

Sleep will happen – if you let it happen. "


* Most adults need an average of seven nine hours of sleep every night.

* On average, people spend 25 years asleep, or one-third of their lives.

* 56pc of Irish having problems [19455925] * 60 percent of Irish people use their smartphone at bedtime

* 27 percent of Irish adults consumed alcohol last month to help them sleep.

* 30 percent of Irish would like to sleep better.

Health & Life

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