Insomnia

WHAT IS IT?

The word “insomnia” refers to a sleeping disorder which is becoming quite

common in today’s generation. An individual experiencing insomnia is called an

“insomniac.” An insomniac experiences difficulty in going to sleep or even staying

asleep on a frequent basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

states that an adult requires a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep everyday, varying

with their age.


TYPES OF INSOMNIA

Insomnia can be divided into two categories based on duration. Acute, transient

insomnia is rather temporary when compared to chronic insomnia which might

last for months or even years. Medical health experts often classify it by cause into

primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. While primary insomnia is a problem

arising by itself, secondary insomnia stems from another underlying medical

health issue. On the other hand, types of insomnia can be broken down into groups

depending on their severity. Mild insomnia entails only lack of proper sleep which

results in fatigue. On the other hand, moderate insomnia may create difficulties in

daily functioning and severe insomnia has serious consequences in day to day life.



SYMPTOMS

Insomnia can be detected relatively easily. Some symptoms of insomnia except

interrupted sleep include tension headaches, intake of alcohol or medication to go

to sleep, lack of motivation or energy, tiredness or sleepiness during the day,

irritability, anxiety or even depression.


CAUSES

There are several possible causes of insomnia. This may include lack of proper

physical activity and exercise, nightmares, jet lag arising from various sources,

intake of recreational drugs such as ecstasy, discomfort due to unsuitable

temperature of room or uncomfortable beds and many more. However, the causes

of insomnia are not just limited to external factors. Conditions related to health

such as chronic pain, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome might be responsible.

On the other hand, insomnia may stem from mental health issues or stress which

more specifically, include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or even

schizophrenia.



TIPS TO REDUCE INSOMNIA

There are several home remedies, implementations of which may reduce insomnia.

Some tips to help combat insomnia are avoidance of small naps, restricting

caffeine or alcohol intake and completely avoiding nicotine, refraining from

consumption of large meals and beverages before bed, maintaining consistency in

sleeping schedule, staying active-engagement in physical activity and exercise.


TREATMENTS

Treatment for insomnia involves strategies such as light therapy, stimulus control

therapy, implementation of techniques which may help one to relax or trying to

stay passively awake. On the other hand, a number of medications such as

Zaleplon, Zopiclone, Ramelteon and Zolpidem are approved for long-term use.


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