Insomnia is a condition infamous for being known in name yet not understood as to what the condition truly is.
As with all mental conditions, insomnia takes root in millions of people in a spectrum of intensities. The symptoms vary subjectively but some symptoms are common in almost all cases. The main and most well-known is the difficulty in falling asleep. This inability to cultivate the necessary sleep results in many secondary symptoms such as fatigue, physical changes (eye bags, pale skin…), poor concentration and focus, difficulty in socializing, irritability or depressive moods and unintended weight gain.
The causes for insomnia can be medical conditions (such as sleep apnea, chronic pain, arthritis…), psychological issues, hormones etc.
Insomnia can manifest in two ways. One is acute insomnia which isn’t recurrent the other is chronic which occurs consistently.
The following is a case of acute moderate to mild acute Insomnia explained through Raid’s experience.
What is Insomnia to you?
In simple terms it’s when you lay down to sleep but spend hours before you fall asleep. If I’ve had a really stressful day, even if I was an inch from fainting, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. It’s like you’d be tired the whole day but the moment you lay down you are bombarded by trains of thoughts crashing into each other. I once spent almost 6 hours thinking of how I’d survive in a deserted island if I ever get stranded. I may look like a zombie during the early hours of the day but that’s because I was up all night thinking about how I’d survive a zombie apocalypse.
Does it affect your life?
It’s mostly subtle effects. It makes me moody and tired. Which makes my focus and ability to study complete extremely difficult. This effects my college life a lot. But only during insomniac episodes. If I have a bad night the next day’s lecture will not register in my mind at all. As for my saying life it’s more of an inconvenience. I’d oversleep to dates. I'd look tired and uninterested because I was up the previous night planning the date 156 times in my head.
What do you do to cope with your situation?
I used to not care. But as I grew up the symptoms became more severe. I consulted a doctor recently. I got diagnosed with acute Insomnia and advised to maintain a disciplined sleep cycle. Not taking caffeine or a heavy meal before bed. It helps really. It’s all about a healthy lifestyle. If you maintain it you get to have a peaceful night of sleep.
What advice would you give to anyone suffering from the condition?
See a doctor. That’s the first step when your health is concerned. Remover yourself from stressful situations. Don’t take sleep for granted because knowing a 6-hour plan on how to survive being stranded is not worth it.
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