Insomnia can occur at any age
At the end of the day, a peaceful and relaxing sleep is what we all welcome. But not everyone is blessed with this. If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, you are not alone. Large numbers of people across the world crave sleep but for a number of reasons are unable to get it. This blog is dedicated to all those who wish to improve their sleep cycle.
Insomnia can occur at any age but it is more prominent in the 60 to 85 year old age group, with studies revealing that around 40-60% suffer from Insomnia. A US study found that a third of the population suffer from Insomnia. Around 30-35% of the people have brief symptoms of Insomnia, 15-20% people have short term Insomnia lasting up to 3 months, and around 10% suffer from chronic Insomnia.
This condition is characterised by an irregular sleep pattern - either difficulty falling asleep, frequently waking up during sleep, or waking too early in the morning. Even if the number of hours sleeping is normal, it may not be satisfactory for the individual, because sleep requirements vary from person to person.
This all amounts to poor sleep quality, and as a result, it's normal to experience some level of functional impairment during waking hours the following day.
Irregular sleep pattern
You may suffer any of the following symptoms:
- Daytime tiredness or drowsiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, or focusing on tasks
- Reduced memory
- Increased errors or accidents
There are an array of causes, either psychological or physical such as Anxiety, Depression, stress, poor sleep habits, or changes in work schedule. Or some other underlying health condition such as Hyperactive Thyroid gland, Asthma, Sinus Allergies / nasal congestion (difficulty in breathing), Gastro oesophageal reflux disorders (GERD). Painful diseases like Arthritis, backaches or restless leg symptoms can also cause Insomnia.
Ayurveda, the natural healing science of India, describes the pillars of human health as diet (Aahara), sleep (Nidra) and celibacy (Bramhacharya). It also defines 3 energies (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) that maintain health when they are in balanced state. If however their equilibrium is lost, then health conditions such as Insomnia (Nidranash) may occur under Vata imbalance.
Ayurveda describes varied treatments for Insomnia. Abhyanga (Body massage), Padabhyanga (Foot massage), Shirobhyanga (Head massage), Shirodhara (Oil pouring treatment on forehead) with medicated oils are some of the miraculous procedures described for insomnia without using internal medications.
By Dr. Sagar Vete