The term insomnia refers to a common sleep disorder characterised by difficulty falling asleep or experiencing a healthy, sound sleep. People with insomnia often face difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, resulting in early wakings and difficulty returning to sleep. This can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and impaired daytime functioning. Insomnia can be classified into two main categories:
- Primary Insomnia: Primary Insomnia refers to insomnia that is not directly associated with any underlying medical or psychological condition. Stress, anxiety, poor sleep habits, or other lifestyle factors may cause it.
- Secondary Insomnia: Secondary insomnia is linked to certain underlying medical, psychological, or environmental conditions, such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety disorders, medication side effects, or other medical issues.
- Difficulty in getting sound sleep
- Waking up more frequently during the night
- Feeling fatigued upon waking up
- Daytime sleepiness or exhaustion
- Irritability and mood disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks
- Impaired memory and forgetfulness
- Increased accidents or errors due to lack of alertness
- Tension, headaches or muscle aches
- Feeling anxiety about sleep
- Dependence on sleep aids or alcohol to fall asleep
Insomnia is a chronic illness that may be associated with many conditions that are the reasons for insomnia contributing to sleep disorder. Some common causes of insomnia include:
- Stress and Anxiety: Too much stress and worries about work, finances, relationships, or other life issues can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Medical Conditions: Certain chronic pain, asthma, allergies, cancer, diabetes, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), obesity, and other medical issues can cause sleeping problems or sleep disturbances.
- Mental Health Disorders: Conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can disrupt sleep patterns.
- Medications: Certain medications, including antidepressants, medications for high blood pressure or asthma, medication for weight loss, corticosteroids or steroids, can cause chronic insomnia.
- Substance overuse: Consumption of excessive caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and certain drugs can interfere with sleep and cause sleep disorders.
- Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep timing, using electronic devices before sleep, consuming heavy meals or caffeine at bedtime, and having an uncomfortable sleep environment can contribute to sleeping problems or insomnia.
- Work schedules and Jet Lag: Disturbance of the body’s natural sleep cycle due to irregular work hours or rapid time zone changes (jet lag) can lead to chronic insomnia.
- Age: Insomnia becomes more common in older age people. It often occurs due to changes in sleep patterns and medical conditions that come with ageing.
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can cause insomnia or depression.
- Sleep Apnea: This condition involves difficulty breathing during sleep, leading to frequent awakenings or hardships falling asleep.
- Environmental Factors: Noisy or uncomfortable sleep environments, harsh light, and extreme temperatures can cause sleep disorders.
- Lack of Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles often lead to poor sleep quality, causing anxiety and insomnia.
- Overthinking and Racing Thoughts: An overactive mind and racing thoughts can interrupt relaxation and sleep, leading to insomnia and depression.
Insomnia can lead to various health complications affecting physical and mental wellness. Some common complications associated with insomnia or sleep disorder include:
- Daytime Fatigue: The most common consequence of insomnia is daytime sleepiness and fatigue, which impair your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and perform daily activities effectively.
- Mood Disturbances: Chronic insomnia is linked to mood disorders like depression and anxiety and cognitive function disorders like loss of memory, lack of problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, etc.
- Increased Risk of Accidents: Sleepiness impairs attention and alertness, increasing the risk of accidents on the road and in other settings.
- Decreased Performance at Work: Insufficient sleep can hinder your ability to focus on any work or perform well in any field, leading to decreased productivity and missed opportunities.
- Addresses Underlying Factors: Naturopathy, an ancient healing approach, places a significant emphasis on finding and addressing the fundamental factors contributing to insomnia. This approach allows for a more precise diagnosis and an effective treatment strategy by directly targeting the root causes of the sleep disorder.
- Integrate natural or herbal therapies: Naturopathy uses herbal and natural remedies with calming effects to help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and make it easier to fall asleep naturally.
- Focuses on Lifestyle improvement: Naturopathic practitioners guide lifestyle adjustments that can improve sleep quality. This includes limiting caffeine intake, reducing screen time before bed, and incorporating gentle exercise earlier to support better sleep patterns.
- Minimises undesirable side effects: Naturopathy’s healing prowess lies in its ability to minimise adverse effects. Naturopathy focuses on the body’s innate healing mechanisms, incorporating a safer and more harmonious approach to healing.
Naturopathic approaches provide a comprehensive and holistic strategy for managing insomnia, addressing physical and psychological factors. However, consulting with a qualified naturopathic practitioner is essential to tailor these approaches to your specific needs and ensure a well-rounded treatment plan.
At Healthville, you can get a holistic and individualised approach to healing insomnia naturally. Our expert naturopathic practitioners employ various techniques and approaches to address the underlying causes of insomnia, promote restful sleep, and enhance general wellness. Here’s our approach to insomnia treatment:
- Dietary Adjustments: Naturopathy focuses on healthy and mindful eating to improve sleep quality. It includes natural foods rich in sleep-promoting nutrients like magnesium and tryptophan. Our practitioners guide you on what to eat and avoid before bedtime to support better sleep.
Naturopathic Treatments: Naturopathy offers a range of treatments to address insomnia, such as,
- General Detoxification: It helps eliminate toxins and enhance the body’s responsiveness to diet and treatment.
- Deep Tissue Massage: This massage technique induces natural relaxation via oxytocin production, easing insomnia-related complications
- Shirodhara: Shirodhara with therapeutic Brahmi oil relaxes the nervous system, combating stress, anxiety, and insomnia
- Immersion Bath: It reduces muscle soreness, promotes stress hormone reduction, and increases immunity.
- Mud Bath Therapy: Mud bath therapy alleviates nervous tension and promotes calmness, improving sleep.
- Colon Hydrotherapy: This therapy helps clean toxins from the colon and promotes digestion to improve sleep quality.
- Sauna/Steam Bath: This therapy improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and induces muscle relaxation, aid in reducing stress, and improve sleep quality
- Abhyanga: Warm herbal oil massage balances energies, reduces nerve tension, and calms the body and mind, resulting in better sleep.
- Patra Potli Seka: Hot herbal fomentation eases pain, inflammation, and muscle relaxation.
- Yoga and Meditation: Yoga, meditation, and pranayama help in restoring balance and energy while improving mindfulness, reducing stress and promoting better sleep.