The word insomnia comes from a Latin word that literally means “no sleep”. Insomnia is the inability to fall or remain asleep. Persons with this condition do not wake up feeling refreshed or reenergized enough.
Insomnia: How common is it?
Studies carried out by the National Sleep Foundation NSF between 1999 and 2004 showed that about half of American adults have one or more symptoms of insomnia. The study also revealed that:
- 38% of the subjects under the study said they woke up feeling tired and un-refreshed.
- 32 % woke up at least once during the night.
- 28% wake up too early and cannot go back to sleep. A 1/4 of persons in this group take at least 30 minutes to fall asleep.
- Women are more affected than men. Majority of those affected do not have someone to sleep with.
Types of Insomnia
There are 3 types of insomnia: transient, acute and chronic.
The transient type of insomnia typically lasts for less than one week. It is usually caused by a change in sleeping environment or sleeping time. Sleeping pattern will go back to normal after the body adjusts to the new environment.
Acute insomnia extends for not more than one month. There is difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep. The little sleep that is obtained is not refreshing enough leading to sleepiness during the day.
Chronic insomnia will last for more than a month. People who have stress and depression are the most affected. Its symptoms also include muscular irritability and hallucinations. Chronic insomnia can cause people to see things in slow motion.
Insomnia: Classic Symptoms
- Difficulty in achieving sleep.
- Increased frequency in the number of times you wake up at night.
- After waking up at night, falling asleep is rather difficult.
- Waking up too early in the morning.
- Drowsiness during the day.
- Irritability during the day.
- Poor concentration.
The causes of insomnia vary from one person to another. The most common causes include:
- Stress and depression.
- Use of narcotic drugs.
- Change in the sleeping environment.
- Work pressure.
- Family and marital problems.
Drugs used to treat the following conditions can cause insomnia:
- Colds, flu and allergies.
- Anti-asthma drugs.
- Family planning pill.
- Anti-pain medication.
Effects of Insomnia
- Insomnia affects the concentration that control appetite leading to obesity and overweight.
- Insomnia cause poor growth as the hormones involved in growth are usually active when you are asleep.
- If you do not sleep at night, you will definitely feel drowsy during the day. Drowsiness leads to low concentration thus the risk of causing accidents and mistakes.
- Insomnia causes irritability and moodiness during the day.
- Insomnia leads low immunity.
- Insomnia is associated with heart diseases
Treatment for Insomnia
The best treatment remedies for insomnia actually comes from the patient. The patient with the help of an expert or by themselves should look back at their life and come with the cause. Coming up with measure against the cause is best therapy. It is also important to determine if the insomnia is the main condition or it is just a symptom.
It is important for insomniacs to create the best conditions for sleep. You should also help the brain who when to trigger sleep by developing bedtime habits like reading a book, sex or taking a warm bath. Spending the day out in sun helps to enforce the sleep cycle.