Before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 50 million Americans suffered from sleep problems. During the pandemic, two in three Americans report sleep disturbances.
Insomnia is frustrating, but it also impacts your mental and physical health. Getting treatment is crucial to daily living. Keep reading to learn about treating insomnia in Tempe AZ.
What Is the Medical Definition of Insomnia?
Medically defining insomnia includes several aspects. First, the individual feels like they don’t get enough or have poor-quality sleep. This can include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting back to sleep.
Some people complain of waking up too early and/or not feeling refreshed. Others report vivid, disturbing dreams that make them feel less rested.
There’s no specific number of sleep hours included in the definition. It’s relative for each person and relies on how well-rested they feel.
Importance of Optimizing Sleep
Quality sleep rests the immune system, reduces swelling, and grows and repairs muscle. During this time, the mind organizes the day’s events and creates long-term memories.
Another important benefit is the promotion of weight loss. Sleep also lowers cortisol levels that build up during daily stress. Last, cellular waster products get removed as well.
Factors Contributing to Sleep Problems
Scientists have studied insomnia for decades. The pandemic has compounded many of the reasons people have trouble sleeping. The following summarizes reasons that can make it hard to get the rest you need.
- Working, doing schoolwork, exercising, and virtual socializing at home
- More time spent in the bedroom lowers the cognitive triggers for rest and relaxation
- Increased stress
- Disrupted routines
- Lack of social support
- Reduced exposure to sunlight
- Lack of regular mealtimes
- Increased use of alcohol and/or caffeine
- Increased screen time
- Restless leg syndrome
Some medications can also disrupt sleep patterns. Discuss your concerns about insomnia with your healthcare provider.
Impact of Insomnia
Lack of quality of sleep impacts the body, mind, and spirit. The following provides an overview of specific symptoms or problems.
Insomnia And Mental Health
When you wake up and don’t feel rested, this carries into your day. You can have trouble concentrating, learning new skills, and completing tasks.
Many people feel tired, irritable, anxious, angry, sad, frustrated, or have a lack of energy. Some may develop depression, other mental health issues, and even suicide risks.
Disturbed sleep also affects motor and social skills. To complicate the situation, negative moods are a contributing factor to insomnia. You may feel like you can’t turn your brain off.
Insomnia And Physical Health
For decades, researchers have focused on physical health and lack of sleep. They’ve found higher risks for immune dysfunction, heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
In children and adolescents, growth hormone release gets triggered by deep sleep. This regulates puberty and fertility, building muscle mass, and tissue and cell repair. In adults, growth hormones support anti-aging.
Insomnia contributes to problems with schoolwork, work, and peer interaction. It can also cause feelings of anger or sadness.
Personal safety and the safety of others represent a major consequence of insomnia. Driving when you’re drowsy creates a significant risk for accidents. Your reaction times decrease, and some people fall asleep at the wheel.
This safety issue includes controlling heavy machinery. Not getting enough rest could cause a workplace accident injuring you or a co-worker.
How to Treat Insomnia in Tempe AZ
Insomnia treatment involves several steps. First, it’s key to determine what’s causing your sleep problems. Your doctor will complete a history and physical to search for underlying issues.
Diet and Nutrition
Ensuring that you get adequate key nutrients can impact your sleep quality. Focus on eating vegetables, fruit, and high-quality fats and protein. Try to eliminate processed foods and decrease sugar intake.
You may still need to take nutrient supplements. The following describes the role of specific nutrients in promoting good sleep.
The mineral, magnesium, helps muscles relax and provides a general calming effect. If you suffer from muscle pain and aching, taking magnesium can ease these symptoms.
We get vitamin D naturally from exposure to sunlight. Studies found that low vitamin D levels are connected to poor quality and length of sleep. You may need to take a supplement to ensure adequate levels.
The B Vitamins
The body uses the B vitamins to make melatonin which promotes sleep. They also reduce depression, anxiety, and irritability. Enhanced mood leads to better rest patterns.
What we do during the day can have a big impact on our ability to get to and stay asleep. Making the following changes or engaging in the following activities may be the key.
Reduce Screen Time
Today, many people spend a lot of time looking at a screen. Did you know this can interrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin?
Yet, jobs, school, social activities, and even healthcare now use computers or phones. During the day, engage in non-screen activities when possible. At bedtime, read a book instead of playing games on your phone.
Practice Guided Meditations
Guided breathing and meditation help your body and mind slow down and relax. Engaging in this for five to 30 minutes before going to bed can prepare you for better sleep.
Creating a habit of physical activity during the day promotes better sleep. This may involve a 20-minute walk, yoga, bike rides, dance, or sports. Doing your exercise with a friend encourages ongoing participation and promotes social interaction.
The endorphins released during exercise promote a sense of well-being and enhanced mood. We know that our mood is a factor in fighting insomnia.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene describes positive bedtime routines that promote quality rest. Avoid watching TV or doing work when in bed. The bed needs to trigger your mind and body that it’s time to relax and sleep.
It’s best not to eat just before going to bed. This causes your body to be active to digest all the food. Sleep is supposed to create a time for the body to cleanse and reset the immune system.
Do You Want Naturopathic and Integrative Medical Care?
Are you tired of feeling tired? Desert Wellness Center treats insomnia in Tempe AZ. Our experienced team of naturopathic physicians offers care in multiple specialties.
We use a holistic approach beginning with natural therapies. Our physicians also prescribe medications as needed. The goal is to help you heal from the inside out.
Book an appointment today to get answers and move to a healthy path.