What Is Insomnia?

What Is Insomnia?

Have you ever had long periods where you find it difficult to get to sleep? Are you often up late at night counting down the hours until you have to get up? You may be wondering if you have insomnia, but just what is insomnia and how do you overcome this common sleep disorder?

What is it?

Insomnia is a common sleep condition that causes the sufferer to experience difficulty in falling asleep or even staying asleep. People with insomnia tend to have difficulty falling asleep (onset), staying asleep (maintenance), and/or they wake up too early in the morning. Sufferers can experience sleeplessness even when there are ideal conditions for falling asleep and when they are not disturbed1.

What are the symptoms?

  • Feeling as if sleep was unrefreshing.
  • Experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • General lack of energy.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Mood and behaviour disturbances such as irritability, aggression, and impulsive behaviours.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Decreased performance at work or school.
  • Troubles in personal and professional relationships.
  • Decreased quality of life.
  • Depression2.

How long will it last?

Insomnia is characterized based on the length of time the sufferer experiences sleeplessness.

 Acute insomnia

This often happens because of life circumstances such as bad news, external stressors, anxiety or depression. Many people may have experienced this type of sleep disruption and will find that it tends to resolve without any treatment required.

Chronic insomnia

This is categorised by disrupted sleep that happens at least three nights a week and lasts for at least three months. There are many causes for experiencing chronic insomnia. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, other health conditions, and certain medications can all affect our sleep patterns. If you suffer from chronic insomnia you should get in touch with your doctor who can help you restore a healthy sleep pattern3.

What should I do if I think I have insomnia?

If you think you are suffering from insomnia it is important to go to your doctor. You and your doctor will need to talk about things that could impact on your sleep and your sleep history, to therefore determine the best way to help you 4.

Stuff you should know

  • Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders with approximately half of adults report having symptoms of insomnia at one point in their lives.
  • 10% of people have experienced chronic insomnia.
  • It is more likely to occur in women than in men.
  • It is more likely to affect elderly adults.
  • People who are naturally more awake and alert may be more likely to suffer.
  • If you regularly use stimulants and alcohol you may experience it more often.
  • People with poor sleep hygiene practices are more likely to experience the condition.

What Is Insomnia?

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What Causes Asthma at Night?

What Causes Asthma at Night?

It is common for people with asthma to find coughing, wheezing and breathlessness can wake them up at night. But what causes asthma to flare up at night?

Why asthma can wake you up at night

If you haven’t got your asthma under control, you’re more likely to get symptoms at night. But what causes these symptoms?

  1. When you lie flat on your back gravity makes it harder to breathe. This position can also trigger a cough, as any mucus in your chest may start to gather in the back of your throat.
  2. Changes in hormones at night mean that natural anti-inflammatory chemicals in your body are switched off. This can cause the tissues in your lungs to swell, which narrows the airways, making it harder to breathe. Taking your anti-inflammatory preventer inhaler every day will build up protection in your lungs so they become less inflamed at night.
  3. Some common asthma triggers such as dust mites can be found in your mattress, pillows and bedclothes. Mould can also be in your bedroom if it is damp. This can affect your breathing at night. If you like sleeping with your window open, you should also be aware that on high pollen or pollution days, these particles may enter the room.

What to do when asthma stops you sleeping

  1. Sit up straight and take your blue reliever inhaler, as prescribed.
  2. Prop yourself up with extra pillows as it allows your lungs to open up more fully when you breathe.
  3. If your asthma is made worse when the air in a room is too hot or too cold. Try to adjust the temperature to make sure you’re comfortable.
  4. A glass of water or a cup of herbal tea can help ease a dry throat.

How to stop asthma waking you at night in the long-term

You shouldn’t have to accept your night-time symptoms as normal. If your asthma is waking you up during the night it is a sign that your asthma isn’t well controlled. If the situation doesn’t change within 48 hours, or if you’re already taking your preventer inhaler as prescribed, talk to your GP or asthma nurse to see if they can adjust your medicines1.

What Causes Asthma at Night?

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Signs you have Asthma

Signs you have Asthma

Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person but what are the signs you have asthma? You may not experience asthma attacks often, or maybe your symptoms flare up at certain times or you may have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a cold or the flu

Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

  • Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent
  • Increasing difficulty breathing
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:

  • Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
  • Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
  • Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mould spores or pet allergy caused by pets dander 1.

When is it time to talk to my doctor?

  • Do you think you have asthma? If you have frequent coughing or wheezing or any other signs or symptoms we have covered make an appointment to see your doctor.
  • To monitor your asthma. If you know you have asthma, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Long-term control can help prevent a life-threatening asthma attack in the future.
  • If your asthma symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor right away if your symptoms have started to get worse and your normal medication isn’t helping you. Do not under any circumstances try to solve the problem by taking more medication without consulting your doctor. This can cause side effects and may make your asthma worse.
  • To review your treatment. Asthma can change over time, it’s important to touch base with your doctor to discuss your progress and current treatment options.

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It is common for people with asthma to find coughing, wheezing and breathlessness can wake them up at night. But what causes asthma to flare up at night? Why asthma can wake you up at night If you haven't got your asthma under control, you’re more likely...

Signs you have Asthma

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How is Asthma treated?

There are lots of treatments available to help you with your asthma. How asthma is treated can vary based on age and lifestyle factors. Different treatment pathways are recommended for adults (aged 17 and over), for children aged 5-16, and for...

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What Causes Asthma? It isn’t clear why some people develop asthma and others don’t. There are a variety of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors that play a role in you developing the condition. Asthma triggers Some common asthma triggers are; Exposure to...
Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Steam cleaners are ideal for cleaning and sanitising your home. Once you see how much dirt these cleaners can clean you’ll be converted. Whether that’s lifting grime from a carpet to mopping the kitchen floor. Many also come with smaller tools for so you can steam clean everything from windows and bathroom tiles to home furnishings. Steam cleaners make light work of the cleaning but which steam cleaners are best for your home1?

Why clean with steam?

Steam is extremely powerful when used to clean. Heating up to 120°C, the ‘dry steam’ produced by steam cleaners cuts through grease and grime, whilst also killing dust mites and bacteria. Steam is an excellent alternative to using chemicals and cleaning products to clean your home. It is both a hygienic, allergy-friendly and eco-friendly way of cleansing your home. What’s more, your steam cleaner can be used to clean a multitude of surfaces, from carpets and upholstery to tiles, windows, hard surface floors and more. Steam cleaning can also reduce your cleaning schedule drastically. The amount of effort required or “scrubbing power” is lessened with the powerful steam and there’s no drying time required for floors and surfaces.

Key points to look out for?

Steam cleaners come in a range of shapes and sizes, depending on the main purpose of your steamer there are four main points to consider:

Heat up Time

This is the length of time needed to convert the water in the water tank into steam and can range from 20 seconds to over a minute.

Steam Time

This is the amount of steaming time you will have from one full tank of water. Steam time can last from 10 minutes to up to an hour, depending on the capacity of the water tank.

Water Tank Capacity

Larger water tanks will take longer to heat up but will offer a longer steam time for extensive cleaning. If you’d rather use your machine little and often a smaller tank with a quicker heat up time might be better.

Power

Most steam cleaners range from a 900-1500 watt range. The higher the wattage, the greater the cleaning power. For smaller jobs, a 900-watt machine may suffice, but to remove tougher grease stains, or caked on dirt, a more heavy duty power will be needed.

What are the different types of steam cleaners?

Much like vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners are available in cylinder, upright or handheld styles. Some steam cleaners also offer a vacuuming function.

Upright steam cleaners

Often referred to as steam mops, these upright steamers have a small water tank attached to the handle, heat up quickly and are lightweight to use. The smaller water tank means that they are ideal for quick and regular cleaning of smaller areas.

Cylinder steam cleaners

These tend to have a larger water tank, and whilst this means a longer heat up time, you will get the benefit of more steam time allowing for longer, more extensive cleaning of larger areas.

Handheld steam cleaners

With very small water tanks, handheld steam cleaners are perfect for quick use. They are very easy to use, compact to store, and ideal for use on a small scale.

Explore our range of steam cleaners here.

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How is Asthma treated?

How is Asthma treated?

There are lots of treatments available to help you with your asthma. How asthma is treated can vary based on age and lifestyle factors. Different treatment pathways are recommended for adults (aged 17 and over), for children aged 5-16, and for children under five. But in all cases, the goal is to make help manage your asthma and its effect on your life and wellbeing.

The most common form of treatment is an inhaler. Inhalers contain measured doses of medication that you take into your airways when you breathe in.

The most common inhalers are preventer inhalers, which try to stop asthma symptoms from occurring, and reliever inhalers, which help to relieve asthma symptoms when they do occur.

Preventer inhalers

Preventer inhalers usually contain a medication called steroids. They are similar to substances our bodies make naturally. Inhaling extra steroids every day helps to control the inflammation and reduces asthma symptoms.

The dose of steroid given by an inhaler is usually very low and unlikely to cause any side effects. Occasionally the steroid can make your mouth dry or sore. You can reduce the chance of this by rinsing your mouth with water after using the inhaler, or by using a spacer. A spacer is a large, empty container made of plastic.

Most people with asthma need to take their preventer medication regularly, once or twice a day.

Reliever inhalers

You only need to take your reliever inhaler when symptoms start. Take it as early as possible when you get common symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness or a tight chest.

Reliever inhalers contain a medication called short-acting beta agonists, or SABAs, which relax the muscles around the tightened airways, so the airways can open wider. This makes it easier to breathe and reduces your symptoms. The most common SABA is salbutamol, often known as Ventolin.

Reliever inhalers work very quickly and you will usually be able to feel the benefit straight away. 1

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will:

  • Teach you how to use your inhaler correctly when you first use it
  • Ensure you use your inhaler properly at every asthma check up

If you aren’t using your inhaler correctly the medication won’t be able to get into your airways and help with your condition.

Why it’s important to take your asthma medicines

Taking your asthma preventer medicines, as prescribed, will mean your airways are less inflamed and sensitive and symptoms will be reduced.

When your asthma medicines are working well you can expect to notice a reduction in:

  • Daytime symptoms
  • Waking up at night because of your asthma
  • Use of your blue reliever inhaler
  • Asthma attacks

Other treatments for asthma

If your asthma is not under control, your doctor may suggest other preventative treatments to reduce inflammation. They include a tablet such as montelukast or an injection given in a hospital.

You can also help to manage your asthma by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping fit and active
  • Getting an annual flu jab
  • Quit smoking if you’re a smoker

What Causes Asthma at Night?

It is common for people with asthma to find coughing, wheezing and breathlessness can wake them up at night. But what causes asthma to flare up at night? Why asthma can wake you up at night If you haven't got your asthma under control, you’re more likely...

Signs you have Asthma

Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person but what are the signs you have asthma? You may not experience asthma attacks often, or maybe your symptoms flare up at certain times or you may have symptoms all the time. Asthma signs and...

How is Asthma treated?

There are lots of treatments available to help you with your asthma. How asthma is treated can vary based on age and lifestyle factors. Different treatment pathways are recommended for adults (aged 17 and over), for children aged 5-16, and for...

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