Is insomnia a Disease?
Insomnia is often referred to as a disease but it’s more like a set of symptoms. You can’t “catch” insomnia after all. That’s why taking sleeping pills is a very short term solution and will never result in a cure for insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
It is a consequence of being unable to fall asleep or being unable to maintain sleep. It’s also used to describe unrefreshing or poor sleep.
Since insomnia is not a disease how can we cure it? Well we can’t cure the symptoms, but we can examine the causes of insomnia and eliminate as many of them as possible.
Causes of insomnia are many and varied and range from pain, being too hot or too cold, stress and anxiety, eating the wrong foods at the wrong time, uncomfortable mattress/pillow, having too much light in the bedroom, watching TV in bed, not getting enough light early in the day…… As you can see there’s a lot to know!
There are many tips to cure insomnia and as with anything, it depends on where you get your information. Sometimes these tips can be misleading as they don’t apply to everyone. For instance, there is a well known tip that tells us, “Don’t read in bed”. But some people, myself included, read in bed all the time and finds it really helps them sleep. So you really need to understand that certain things are not set in cement and not all things work for all people.
There are certain trusted sources of information and one of them is this site But even here you may find conflicting information because I have guest authors who have there own opinions on insomnia and they will write about what has helped them. It’s a very complex subject and I’m always on the search for good books on insomnia for people to learn from.
I once had someone ask me “How can you possibly cure insomnia by buying a book? Unless of course it’s so boring it puts you to sleep!” Fair comment I suppose, but the fact is, if the information in that book can uncover the reasons you’re not sleeping, then absolutely you can solve your sleeping problems. And not just for one night or one week, but for good. A book can teach you how to improve your sleep system and how to optimize your body for sleep so that you no longer toss and turn for hours or wake up several times during the night.
Always remember, we all have a restless night every now and then and there are other options such as brainwave-entrainment and the like that will help us over these humps. But if your basic sleep hygiene is good, then you’re 90% of the way there.