Insomnia is a sleep disorder that millions of people worldwide have to live with. Individuals with insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Insomnia commonly leads to daytime sleepiness and a general feeling of being unwell both mentally and physically.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is commonly separated into three types:
- Transient insomnia: occurs when symptoms lasts from a few days to some weeks.
- Acute insomnia: also called short-term insomnia. Symptoms persist for several weeks.
- Chronic insomnia: this type lasts for at least months, and sometimes years
Although insomnia can affect people at any age, it is more common in adult females than adult males. The sleeping disorder can undermine school and work performance, as well as being a cause of obesity, anxiety, depression, irritability, concentration problems, memory problems, poor immune system function, and reduced reaction time. Insomnia has also been associated with a higher risk of developing chronic diseases.
Insomnia can be caused by physical factors as well as psychological factors. There is often an underlying medical condition that causes chronic insomnia, while transient insomnia may be due to a recent event or occurrence.
- Disruption in circadian rhythm: jet lag, job changes, high altitudes, noisiness, hotness or coldness
- Psychological issues: People withmood disorders, depression, anxiety or psychotic disorder are more likely to develop insomnia.
- Medical conditions: Brain lesions and tumors, strokes, chronic pain, congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Hormones: estrogen, hormone shifts during menstruation
- Other factors: parasites, overactive mind and pregnancy.
Who gets insomnia?
Some people are more likely to suffer from insomnia than others, these include;
- Shift workers
- The elderly
- Young adult students
- Pregnant women
- Menopausal women
- Drug users
- And those with mental health disorders.
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Awakening during the night
- Still feeling tired after a night’s sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Poor concentration and focus
- Being uncoordinated
When underlying cause is treated and removed, insomnia tends to restore itself. Medical and non-pharmacological treatments may be used as treatment.
- Improving sleep hygiene
- Using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy
- Control therapy; go to bed only when sleepy, refrain from TV, reading, eating or worrying in bed, avoid daytime naps.
- Prescription sleeping pills
There is no need to lose sleep over this. Insomnia does not last forever, if treated early and correctly, you can easily get the best night’s rest you have ever had.