Not being able to sleep is frustrating. No matter how much you will your brain to switch off for a few hours, it just won’t. Don’t worry; there are thankfully ways to deal with the issues. Sometimes, we just need to understand facts about insomnia we might not have heard to get to the root of the issue.
Insomnia symptoms extend to more than just difficulty sleeping
People tend to think that insomnia is just one thing: an inability to sleep. However, symptoms of insomnia extend to more than just trouble drifting off. Drowsiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, memory problems, difficulty focusing, and increased errors can all be considered symptoms of this issue too. However, if there are no issues with sleeping, these might not be tied to insomnia.
There are different types of insomnia that affect your sleep pattern
Did you know that there’s not just one type of insomnia? If you can’t drift off at the start of the night, you’re probably dealing with sleep onset insomnia. If you’re able to sleep but then keep waking up and have trouble drifting off again, that’s likely sleep maintenance insomnia. There’s also a difference between acute insomnia and chronic insomnia, with the latter occurring more often over an extended period of time.
Certain factors within your control might be causing your insomnia
Many people suffer from insomnia because they’re anxious or stressed about something. However, other factors might also contribute to your insomnia, ones that you have more control over. These include drinking caffeine or eating too much late in the day, as well as exposure to the blue light of a digital screen before bed. If you do any of these, try to change your routines and see if that makes a difference.
Some people have claimed to go years without sleeping
History is full of people who’ve made significant claims, including a few who’ve said they’ve gone years without sleeping. Paul Kern, a Hungarian soldier, was supposedly one of them. After taking a bullet to the head, he apparently could no longer sleep and allegedly suffered no issues because of it, aside from the occasional headache. Thái Ngọc, a Vietnamese farmer, also claimed to live without sleep. Were they telling the truth? Potentially, but if so, they were medical anomalies. Most people can’t go for more than a few days without sleep before they start hallucinating and putting themselves in serious danger.
History is full of bizarre remedies for dealing with insomnia
If you’re looking to treat your insomnia, there are various medications or cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help you out. They’re much more effective than some of the historical treatments out there. These include rubbing dormouse fat on your feet and coating your teeth with a dog’s earwax. Ancient Romans apparently believed in the former, while Renaissance mathematician Gerolamo Cardano was reportedly confident in the latter.
Learning all the facts about insomnia might not give you a cure, but it can sure help understand why our brain – and sleep – works the way it does.