Assoc. Dr. Ülkü Figen Demir gave information about ‘What to do in sleep disorders’.
Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up before desired is called insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. About 1/3 of adults have one or more insomnia problems during the year. It is present in 10-15% of people in the community. It increases with age. Its incidence in the elderly is about 25% or more.
Insomnia is divided into two, namely primary, or secondary, that is, due to another cause, the cause of which cannot be determined. Primary insomnia occurs without physical or psychiatric disorders. Secondary insomnia; ongoing psychic stress is seen as part of a physical or psychiatric illness or other sleep disorder, such as restless legs syndrome, shift work sleep disorder, jetlag, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Poor sleep hygiene, drugs taken for pleasure, alcohol and caffeine, lifestyle changes, stressor factors, foods consumed and various drugs are among the main secondary causes.
We experienced the most striking development regarding the secondary causes that disrupt sleep during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world since December 2019. The features brought about by this process have also triggered sleep disorders that concern the majority of the society. In fact, in some sources, it has been determined that 20% of individuals who did not have sleep problems before the pandemic developed sleep disorders during the pandemic process. Studies have shown that the incidence of sleep disorders in this period is slightly higher in women. As far as we could research and conducted in our center, in the first study on sleep in Turkey during the COVID-19 pandemic, we found a high rate of sleep disorders in the Turkish population during this period, regardless of gender. We determined that the reason for this is related to lifestyle changes and increased anxiety level, as it is the common result of many studies. Therefore, policies to reduce the anxiety and stress of individuals are important in terms of protection in periods that affect the masses such as the COVID-19 virus epidemic and require isolation and lifestyle changes.
Behavioral and mental techniques can provide initiation and maintenance of sleep in individuals suffering from insomnia. Among the most used behavioral techniques are relaxation techniques, stimulus control, sleep restriction and sleep hygiene training. For people who have trouble falling asleep, attention should be paid to a quiet, dim environment and sleep restriction, which is as effective as drug treatments, may be the best treatment choice. Despite all this, people who have trouble falling or staying asleep can benefit from some drugs with sleep-inducing properties.
Suggestions for quality sleep;
• Short naps that are thought to be enjoyable in front of the TV should be stopped before a quality night’s sleep.
• Care should be taken to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week.
• Those who are still awake half an hour and 45 minutes after going to bed should get out of bed, reading a book in another room can make it easier to fall asleep.
• Sound and light insulation of the bedroom should be checked.
• Food should not be eaten after 19.00 in the evening and stimulants such as tea and coffee should be avoided before sleeping.
• Electronic items such as mobile phones, iPads, computers, televisions should not be in the bedroom.
• Night lamp should not be used while sleeping. For the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone, which is secreted during sleep, the room must be dark.
• It is recommended to fall asleep between 20.30-23.00 in order to benefit from the melatonin hormone at the highest level.