Insomnia

Insomnia or difficulty in falling asleep

Insomnia is a sleep disorder by which an individual fails to fall asleep or stay asleep as desired. Poor quality sleep can also be considered as a condition of sleeplessness. It can also be a sign that comes together with other sleep disorders, psychiatric disorder and other medical disorders. This sleep disorder can be experienced for a short term which is usually up to three weeks or long term lasting up to four weeks. Suffering from insomnia for a great length of time can cause depression, memory problems, irritability and increased risk of heart disease as well as automobile-related accidents.

Signs and symptoms

The main symptom is difficulty in falling asleep at night. Other symptoms are awakening too early, awakening at night, daytime sleepiness, not feeling well after a night sleep, tension headaches, ongoing worries about sleep, increased errors or accidents, irritability, depression and difficulty in paying attention or concentrating on tasks.

Causes

The main causes are stress, depression, anxiety and prescription drugs for illnesses such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, antidepressants, and allergy. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can also cause sleeplessness. Medical conditions which give you chronic pain, breathing difficulties and the need to urinate frequently can make it hard for you to sleep. A change in the environment or work schedule can also cause sleeplessness for the short term.

Kinds of insomnia

Insomnia can be classified as chronic, acute and transient kind.

  • Chronic insomnia lasts for more than a month and can be a cause of another disorder but can also be a primary disorder. The effects of having chronic type include hallucinations, mental fatigue as well as muscular fatigue.Chronic can also cause double vision and seeing things as if these things move in a slow rate.
  • People with acute insomnia, which is also known as stress-related, cannot sleep consistently at a span of less than a month. The person has difficulty in maintaining a quality sleep or even initiating a sleep.
  • Persons suffering from transient insomnia usually find it hard to sleep within just less than a week and is caused by another disorder and also by changes in sleeping environment, stress, timing of the sleep and by too much depression.

When to see your doctor

It is time to see your doctor when it’s hard for you to function during daytime so that your doctor can determine what is causing your sleeplessness and how to treat this disorder. Your doctor can refer you to a sleep center for special observation and tests if he or she finds out that you have a sleep disorder.

Treatment

Treatment for insomnia is important since sleeplessness may cause complications such as low performance in school and at work, poor immune system function, obesity, increased risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, slow reaction and also psychiatric problems.

Change your sleeping habit.

A change in your sleeping habits while addressing the main causes can make you restore a good sleep. This can be combined with good sleeping habit such as sleeping at the same time and arising at the same time. However, if these practices don’t work, you can go to your doctor who may recommend medications such as sleeping pills.

Behavior therapy

You can also be subjected to behavior therapies which are more effective than sleep medications. Behavior therapy include muscle relaxation and breathing exercises, education about good sleeping habits, cognitive therapy which patient is required to replace worries about not sleeping with positive thoughts, sleep restriction and light therapy by which you use light to push back your internal clock.

Here are recent studies and findings on sleeplessness:

Insomnia Cure and Success of Depression Treatment
New Insights Into Sleeping Disorder Narcolepsy