"...To sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to... to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream...."
Although this well-known quote from the immortal "To be or not to be" soliloquy by Shakespeare's Hamlet actually makes a rather morbid comparison between the peace and "nothingness" of sleep to the equal peace of death, it still makes a good point! Healthy, restoring, peaceful sleep is essential if we are to enjoy full and productive lives.
Yet, while many of us take falling asleep at the end of every day for granted, many people suffer from insomnia – a condition which not only disrupts their nights, but their days - and lives - as well.
Insomnia is the experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep, and is characterised by:
Difficulty falling asleep
Difficulty staying asleep
Waking up too early in the morning, feeling un-refreshed.
Insomnia can be acute - lasting a few days or weeks - or chronic - lasting for a month or longer.
What Causes Insomnia?
Acute insomnia is usually caused by a temporary situation such as jetlag, change or loss in a job and change or loss of a relationship. Chronic insomnia is often due to medical or psychological conditions, or medications and substances.
Other causes can include:
Acute illness, injury or surgery
The loss of a loved one
Trouble at work
Environmental or lifestyle factors may also come into play – consuming too much caffeine, having a weekend lie-in or a nightcap before going to bed can all cause insomnia.
How Can I Treat My Insomnia?
Fortunately there are treatment options available, ranging from behavioural and cognitive-behavioural therapy, alternative and complementary medicine, to the use of prescription medications. A combination of treatments is often used.
Why should Insomnia be treated?
Insomnia can significantly affect the quality of your life. Consequences of not getting enough sleep include:
Reduced reaction time
Decreased ability to concentrate, problem-solve and make decisions.
Increased risk of accidents, injury and illness.
One of the best ways to prevent and treat insomnia is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop good sleep hygiene. (Read more about this on my website - www.clairenewton.co.za).
Watch out for my next newsletter where you will be E-Quipped to Cope with Conflict.
Tip! Save these newsletters and accumulate the series on Be More Productive.
My goal in creating these newsletters is to inspire you to make the changes necessary to ultimately live the life of your dreams!
On my website you'll find more ideas to get you thinking about life, love, work and other important STUFF - all based on my work as a practicing psychologist, speaker, trainer and life coach (and hat lover!)
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