Insomnia

Insomnia comes in many forms and worries people of all ages, most commonly for just a night or two, but sometimes for weeks, months, and even years. Insomnia has many causes. Insomnia is a symptom, much like fever or stomachache. There three symptoms commonly shown by people who have insomnia: difficulty falling asleep, no problem falling asleep but difficulty staying asleep with many awakenings, and waking up too early. Difficulty sleeping at night may be related with the following daytime symptoms: sleepiness, anxiety, impaired memory, impaired concentration, and irritability.

There are three basic types of insomnia. The first type is called transient insomnia — lasting for up to several nights and is usually caused by excitement or stress. Adults may sleep poorly before a key meeting at work or after a quarrel with his or her partner. Many people sleep worse than usual for the first night or two away from home, particularly if they have traveled across many time zones. Nighttime strong physical movements, the flu or other brief illnesses may disrupt sleep temporarily.

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The second one is situational insomnia. That is two or three weeks of poor sleep and is often developed during ongoing stress at work or at home. Situations such as job delay, divorced, serious illness or death are primary in this type of insomnia. Relief from the situation that provoked disturbed sleep or accommodation to it usually returns a person to his or her usual sleeping pattern.

Chronic insomnia is the third and most serious type of the sleeping problems. This sleeping problem lasts for three weeks or longer with poor sleep every night, most nights, or quite a lot of nights of a month. This is a complex disorder with many possible causes. In more than half of all cases of persistent insomnia the cause appears to be a physical illness, such as disorders of breathing or muscle activity. These figures were derived from a nationwide study of 8,000 patients and conducted by the Association of Sleep Disorders Center.

One of the causes of insomnia is the use of stimulants. Even though caffeine near bedtime may not disturb sleep, it may bring awakenings later. Caffeine related components are also found in soft drinks, chocolate, and strong tea. Nicotine is a stimulant and it has been shown that smokers take longer to fall asleep and sleep worse than non-smokers. Ingredients in many commonly used drugs, including non-prescription drugs of weight loss, asthma and colds, can disrupt sleep. Although alcohol before bedtime may stimulate sleep, it may also make sleep unstable throughout the night.

Another cause for sleep disorders could be irregular sleeping hours. Late hours on weekends as well as shiftwork that demand frequent changes in sleep time may both damage sleep. In contrast, regular hours help program your body to sleep at certain times and to stay awake at others. The inactive behavior that fails to shift into full and active wakefulness during the day may also fail to shift into deep sleep at night. This problem becomes very common in inactive aging people and during illness.

Some people can also learn insomnia. Typically people who sleep poorly in times of stress worry about not being able to function during the day. They decide to try harder to sleep at night. Unfortunately, this strong-minded effort often makes them more alert, bringing on more worried thoughts. Activities around the bedroom, changing into night clothes, turning off the lights, puling up the blankets, soon serve as clues that bring wakefulness. People who have trouble falling asleep in their own beds may fall asleep quickly when they do not have it mind, for example, reading a newspaper, watching TV, or driving.

The tendency to sleep poorly even a few times a month may be enough to maintain poor sleep. Usually people use treatment for this type of insomnia. The treatment has to improve sleep habits and cure the anxiety. Misuse or overuse of sleeping pills when used every night stops to benefit sleeping after a few weeks. Suddenly stopping to use them may lead to a temporary worsening of insomnia called rebound wakefulness. This problem can be solved by gradually reducing medications. It is best to ask a doctor how to best avoid wakefulness caused by sudden ending to use sleep medications.

Noise and light are two of the most common causes of sleeping disorders. Passing traffic outside your window, jets flying by, a neighbors TV, even your own TV left on while you are sleeping as well as many other noises may disturb your sleep even if you do not wake up completely. Even though your eyes are closed, light still comes through. If you do not want to wake up with the sun or you must sleep during the daytime keep your curtains closed. Disorders such as arthritis, angina, lower back injury, and headache may as well disturb sleep and wakening hours.

Thus insomnia has many forms and many more causes. It is the disease and can be cured. Sometimes it is enough of your own effort, for example, making your sleeping hours more regular. Sometimes positioning of pillow, different type of mattress and pre-sleep behavior can make a difference. When insomnia lasts for a longer period of time you may need doctors help and consultation. Also remember, some people prove to be natural short-sleepers who need to stop believing that everyone needs eight hours of sleep. In fact, some people need more sleep while others need some less.

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Insomnia

Insomnia
How many times during the night do we toss and turn, check the clock, and find it ticking away and tell ourselves, “If I could fall asleep right now I would get at least five hours of sleep”? But, sleep doesn’t come so we continue to toss and turn. This happens to many people and may suffer from a disorder known as insomnia. People who suffer from this disorder have many complaints, and many have similar symptoms. Symptoms can vary from stress to pain to always feeling tired. Insomnia is a very difficult disease to have to live with. It is hard for both those that suffer from it and their family members.

According to Linde and Savaley’s, The Sleep Book, (1974), “the person who has trouble sleeping is not alone” (p. 9). They also claim, “An estimated thirty million people suffer from chronic insomnia” (p.9). Many non-insomniacs have occasional periods when they wonder if they’d make it through a sleepless night. Many insomniacs can’t fall asleep because of pain and discomfort. Those that can fall asleep but can’t stay asleep might be caused from depression, or too many things to worry about. In Ernest Hartmann’s The Sleeping Pill (1978) some causes of insomnia (p. 113). He states that pain and discomfort do indeed play an important part in the difficulty remaining asleep. For those having difficulty remaining asleep might be because of depression or having too much to worry about.

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In Linde and Savary’s, The Sleep Book (1974), Dr. Dale C. Friend claims, “insomnia can be classified by four causes: tension, fatigue, discomfort, and in and out insomnia” (p. 100). Tension insomnia occurs mostly in executives or people who worry about their businesses. Tension builds up inside during the day and is still inside at bedtime, it won’t come out, so they tend to worry and are not able to go tot sleep. Fatigue insomnia happens when people who get tired during the day and then they take a nap in the early afternoon and as a result they cannot go to sleep at bedtime. People suffering from discomfort insomnia often complain of stomach upsets, such as ulcers, toothaches, or arthritis. This causes them to wake up during the night, which gives them discomfort. In and out insomnia occurs when patients feel that they didn’t sleep at all during the night when they really did, but only stayed in the first stages of light sleep and woke up frequently throughout the night.
Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen states in Linde and Savary’s The Sleep Book, (1974) “Insomniacs spend less time in REM sleep than normal sleepers” (p. 110). REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep is the final stage of sleep reached in a normal sleep cycle. To better understand this cycle of sleep scientists have used an electroencephalogram to measure brain waves during sleep. A normal sleep cycle consists of five distinct stages with paradoxical, or REM stage being the final stage. REM sleep is what is commonly known as deep sleep.
There are many other causes of Insomnia such as the many environmental causes said by Ernest Hartmann’s The Sleeping Pill (1978). Hartmann states, “any loud noise or sounds that can irritate or aggravate can disrupt a persons sleep” (p. 116). When trying to sleep, the littlest things can bother someone’s sleep whether hearing the bathroom water faucet dripping or even the heater coming on during the night. All these things can keep a person up all night when they are suffering from insomnia. He also claims, “there is a condition sometimes called ‘habit insomnia'” (p. 116). Habit insomnia is when something caused the insomnia in the past so when the sufferer associates it into habit. For example, when the see the bed that they have difficulty sleeping on, they condition themselves to think that they can’t sleep because of the bed, therefore they don’t sleep.
In Mendelson’s Human Sleep and It’s Disorders, (1977) Incidence of insomnia was found by doing a sampling of 1,645 persons and it was found that 14% of those tested had trouble getting to sleep, (Karacan, et. al., 1973). The results tended to be higher for women than men and as age increased. Tiller,

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