What is sleeplessness and is it serious

Sleeplessness is just another word that is used for occasional insomnia. Occasional insomnia is those sporadic nights when you have trouble falling asleep, or when you seem to toss and turn all night. This lack of good quality sleep can distress you by causing you to be drowsy during the day, have problems concentrating, or just not feeling alert. In fact, all you can probably think about is just getting home and taking a catnap.

Humans and other animals (also plants) have biological clocks called circadian rhythms. These circadian rhythms are managed by your internal clock. This clock affects alertness, body temperature, hormone release, appetite, and mostly affects the timing of sleep. There are a multitude of things that can affect this timing and cause a night of restless sleep. Among these things are too much caffeine, minor pains, smoking, too hot or cold – all which can for the short term cause sleeplessness. Business executives can experience this with jet lag as well as worrying over problems at work.

A night or two of sleeplessness can make you feel tired and not fully alert during the day. But as long as insomnia is not happening every night, it is really not the kind of sleeplessness that causes serious problems. A health problem that is fatal is rarely the cause of short time problems with sleep. But since insomnia is a symptom of many illnesses or medical problems, it is best that if you experience this problem continuously for two weeks, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

There are many tips to help with short term insomnia. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Don’t eat a big meal immediately before going to bed. Also, don’t do strenuous exercises during the evening as this can “wakes” the body up.

Worrying or stress needs be turned off at night. A good way to do this is to do visualization. In your mind, you can visualize something like this. If you work with computers, visualize yourself typing all the problems and worries of the day into the computer. Then you save your work on the hard drive. Then you visualize turning off the computer for the night with all your stress and problems saved in the computer for the night. Or you can make up a scenario of your own. I have a stress box from Peru which has little straw people in it. Each night I name each person a different problem, put all the problems in the little box and put the box under my pillow.

For those people with healthy circadian clocks, there are people who favor sleeping and waking early, people who like to sleep and wake at late times, and also every type in between. But no matter whether you are a night owl or early bird – if you have a normal internal clock, you will wake in time for what you need to do in the morning, and fall asleep at night in time to get enough sleep before having to get up.

Sleeplessness in most cases is simply a short-lived occurrence, with one or two nights of sleeping poorly, and then you return to normal sleep. But if sleeplessness continues for more than 2 weeks — make an appointment to see your doctor.