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10 Ways to Get Rid of Insomnia | Affinity Health

Are you tired of always being tired? Affinity Health, leading providers of affordable health cover, demystify insomnia & the secret to a good night’s sleep.


Centuries ago, sleep deprivation was used as a form of torture, and it’s no wonder why. Sleep is a fundamental biological necessity for all living creatures, humankind included.


Without sleep, the body cannot function. Sleep is not only crucial for ones’ physical wellbeing, but it is essential for mental wellbeing too. Insomnia can hamper your emotions, health, and mentally focus.


What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a type of sleep disturbance in which a person has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. The condition may be temporary (acute) or persist for an extended period (chronic).


Acute insomnia can extend from a single night to several weeks, while chronic insomnia is evident when it occurs at least three nights a week for three months or longer.

Insomnia Types

Insomnia is classified into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary Insomnia:

This refers to sleep issues that are unrelated to any other health concern or condition.


Primary causes of insomnia include:

  • Stress caused by major life events such as a job loss or change, a loved one’s death, divorce, or relocating
  • Environmental factors such as noise, light, and temperature
  • Changes in your sleep routine, such as jet lag, a new work shift, or bad habits acquired up from previous sleep issues
  • Genetics. Insomnia is thought to run in families, according to research
Learn More: Your Guide to Better Sleep
Secondary Insomnia:

This refers to difficulty sleeping due to a medical condition, pain; medicine; or substance abuse.


Secondary causes of insomnia include:

  • Pain or discomfort at night
  • Caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use
  • Hyperthyroidism, and other endocrine problems
  • Medications for colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma
  • Sleep apnoea, or restless legs syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease and various forms of dementia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Pregnancy, PMS, and menopause

How Common is Insomnia?

One in 14 South Africans suffer from insomnia. Women tend to have higher rates of insomnia than men, and this difference increases with age.


Every aspect of life is affected by insomnia, including routine, work, exercise, and social interactions.


Fatigue, anger, and difficulty concentrating are the initial indicators of sleep deprivation. Then there are difficulties reading and speaking, as well as poor judgment, a drop in body temperature, and a significant rise in appetite. Disorientation, visual misperceptions, apathy, severe tiredness, and social disengagement are among symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.


Insomnia cannot be diagnosed using a specific test. To understand more about your sleep issues and symptoms, your healthcare professional will perform a physical exam and ask you various questions relating to your sleep habits.


Your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills for a short time or suggest behavioural therapy. This can help you change the things you do that make insomnia worse and learn what you can do to promote sleep.

How to Prevent Insomnia

Good sleep habits can help you beat insomnia. Affinity Health provides the following tips:


  1. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help you sleep better. Your body will have a more constant sleep-wake cycle if you stick to a sleep routine.
  2. Avoid certain foods in the evening that may interfere with your ability to sleep at night. Choose light, easily digestible snacks before bedtime that won’t cause heartburn or indigestion.
  3. Regular physical activity lowers your risk of insomnia and aids in getting a good night’s sleep. According to studies, as little as 10 minutes of aerobic activity each day might considerably enhance sleep quality. Avoid working exercise right before bedtime because it may make it difficult to fall asleep.
  4. Allergies interfere with the ability to get enough sleep. Make sure bed covers are hypoallergenic and made of microfibre to deter the growth of mould, mildew, and dust mites. Change bedding at least once per week.
  5. People who suffer from low back pain often have trouble sleeping. If you’re plagued with back pain, try sleeping on your side to reduce pressure on your lower back.
  6. Naps are an excellent way to get some extra rest if tired, but too long of a nap will make sleeping at night harder. The best naps are under 20 minutes. Any longer than that may interfere with night-time rest.
  7. Make your bedroom comfortable: dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold. If light is a problem, use a sleeping mask. Try earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine to cover up sounds.
  8. If you tend to lie awake and worry about things, make a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you put your concerns aside for the night.
  9. The hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep, is inhibited by bright indoor lighting. Use heavy black-out drapes on your bedroom windows to prevent light from penetrating and disrupting your sleep schedule.
  10. Caffeine should be avoided in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine can be found in a variety of foods, beverages, and even pharmaceuticals.
Learn More:

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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