Too often I come across people, complaining about a long and sleepless night, complete with dark circles under their eyes. Many of people’s sleepless nights are caused by a condition known as insomnia.
Insomnia is habitual sleeplessness; difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-quarter of people report occasionally not getting enough sleep. However, following the criteria presented in the psychiatric textbook the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), only 6 percent of people fit the criteria of insomnia. Some of the causes of insomnia are anxiety, depression, medication, medical conditions (such as asthma, hyperthyroidism, lower back pain, etc.), lifestyle, irregularities in sleep schedules, and many more.
The wide variety of causes can lead to disastrous results for those suffering from either short-term or long-term bouts of insomnia or insomniac behavior. A 2010 review by University of Rochester researchers found that people who persistently get less sleep are more likely to be in traffic accidents, have higher rates of missed work days, are less satisfied with their jobs and are more likely to get easily irritated. Especially with teenagers, effects of little to no sleep can impact their ability to function in environments like school It also points out that insomnia is not only caused by mental disorders or medical conditions; but the condition of sleeplessness can even worsen these mental and medical conditions.
My personal experience with insomnia stems from my battle with depression and anxiety throughout periods of my life. During the more severe periods of depression or my occasional anxiety attacks, I often found myself unable to close my eyes and sleep without serious difficulty. It would take me several hours to drift off into a tumultuous, fitful sleep where I would end up feeling even more exhausted the next morning. Not to mention, all the times I would wake up in the middle of the night, feeling disoriented and having no idea why I continued to wake up.
Now, my advice is herbal remedies or homemade tricks that will make the ability to sleep easier than it was before. Herbal remedies like melatonin supplements are healthy choices that don’t cost as much as sleep medication with not too drastic changes to the brain’s hormonal and chemical balance; but it still possesses certain side effects, so I would proceed with caution as if it was medication.
Another piece of advice creating a lavender-scented satchel because lavender is known to be a calming scent, drinking chamomile tea since it has a similar effect as lavender, or play nature sounds/music as you’re trying to fall asleep because some people require slight noise while other people need total silence to fall asleep. However, if home remedies don’t do the trick, then I would advise you talk to a health professional about the possibility of medication for sleep.
Sleep is an essential component to life and how we function. You won’t be doing yourself any good, while running on little sleep or exhaustion. But with these methods, you won’t have to worry about anymore sleepless or restless nights. Instead, you will be enjoying a good night’s rest that’ll prepare you for success.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.