Few things are as important as good health. Adequate sleep is essential to health, emotional balance and daily performance.
Manuel Serrano, head of the Psychiatry Department of the University Hospital Complex of A Coruña (Chuac) and current president of the Galician Association of Psychiatry, states that “health and rest always go hand in hand” and that sleep is a vital function “like eating”.
Analyzing the types of insomnia, Serrano indicates that primary insomnia, which has unknown causes, is quite rare and cases of this type of insomnia usually do not reach doctors’ offices. Secondary insomnia is triggered by factors such as anxiety, stress, alcohol and emotional or behavioral disorders, among others. This insomnia is not so much a disorder in itself, but a symptom of other medical problems.
Against sleep problems: Better sleep hygiene
This specialist is no supporter of medicalization of sleep and notes that “in many cases, there is an abuse of prescription drugs”. He adds that medications should only be prescribed when insomnia is a symptom of other medical problems such as anxiety or other psychological disorder affecting the lives of patients.
For all other cases, it is preferable to promote sleep hygiene through healthy habits such as avoiding eating, consuming energizing drinks, or exercising just before bedtime, as well as trying not to use electronic devices in the bedroom or in the hour before bed. It is also advisable to establish a bedtime routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day to help balance the circadian rhythm and your internal clock.
However, if sleep disorders persist, you should see a doctor to assess whether these problems are a symptom of other health disorders.