Insomnia, especially if it is long-term, can be quite unpleasant.
We are constantly tossing and turning in bed, watching the slow passing of minutes and hours on the alarm clock, trying unsuccessfully to sink into the sweet world of dreams. However, insomnia is not just about not being able to fall asleep. There is a lot of interest and information related to this topic that might surprise you.
1. Insomnia as a social phenomenon
If we were to look into the past, we would come across a time when people slept completely differently than today. About two centuries ago, it was common to divide sleep into two parts – the so-called biphasic sleep. People went to bed shortly after sunset and slept for a few hours, then woke up and spent an hour or two doing more active activities—such as telling stories or praying—before falling back to sleep contentedly until morning. Interestingly, this sleep pattern was considered completely natural at the time and insomnia was not as persistent a topic as it is today.
2. Insomnia is not just about lack of sleep
Insomnia can take many forms. Some people have difficulty falling asleep, others, on the contrary, often wake up at night or too early in the morning and cannot fall asleep again. In some individuals, it can manifest itself in the form of poor quality sleep, when a person feels tired and exhausted despite a sufficient length of sleep. Therefore, it is important to recognize your particular form of insomnia and look for a solution individually.
3. Emotions as a catalyst for insomnia
It might not surprise you that stress or anxiety are strong contributors to insomnia. However, even positive emotions, such as excitement or happiness, can affect our ability to fall asleep. When we are emotionally aroused, our brain is often overloaded with thoughts and feelings, making it difficult to calm the mind and drift off to sleep. It is important to learn to manage your emotions and gain control over your inner world.
4. Insomnia can be genetic
Yes, you read that right. Your sleep problems may be rooted in genes you inherit from your parents or grandparents. Scientists have discovered several genes that are associated with sleep and its disorders. It may not sound like good news yet, but science is constantly continuing to research this issue and in the future there could be specific drugs or therapies aimed at solving insomnia at the genetic level.
5. Creativity and insomnia
Here’s a metaphor: Imagine your brain is like a house full of rooms. When we sleep, we move between different states – from deep sleep to REM (rapid eye movement) to waking. However, some people have so-called “thin walls”, allowing them to easily pass between them and create extremely vivid dreams or even thoughts and ideas that then benefit their creative work. This may seem like a gift, but on the other hand, it can cause insomnia.