Causes and effects of insomnia

Everyone experiences insomnia at a point in their lifetime, a condition where a person lacks sleep due to various factors including stress and poor diet, which alters their daily activities.

According to a psychologist at the Ruiru Level 4 Hospital, Dr. Patrick Gitimu, insomnia increases with age and sometimes goes away after change in lifestyle.

Treating of the condition is of utmost importance, because it could increase risk for other health concerns such as stroke, asthma attacks, seizures, weak immune systems, sensitivity to pain, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

Speaking to KNA on Saturday, Dr. Gitimu added that insomnia affects performance at work, accuracy in judgment, and results in lack of energy and a general feeling of weakness in the body.

It could also cause feelings of anxiety, depression or irritation, with chronic insomnia lasting a month or even longer.

The medic explained that stress, poor sleep habits, eating too late in the evening, not sleeping on regular schedule triggered insomnia.

Also, mental health disorders, medications, cancer, heart disease and asthma, chronic pain, restless legs’ syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea prompted insomnia, he added.

The psychologist added that apart from poor sleeping habits, there were many reasons why one would have trouble sleeping including irregular sleep schedule, sleeping during the day, lack of exercise, use of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, nicotine and diet pills.

Dr. Gitimu said people who experience insomnia for a long time should consult a doctor, who would perform physical exam and ask about symptoms then come up with the main cause of the condition.

He cautioned people against being complacent when they experience insomnia, as majority of Kenyans would say lack of sleep was not a disease, thus no need for medication.

However, the psychologist warns that the condition might be a pointer to a severe condition and urged the affected to seek medical attention.

Source: Kenya News Agency