What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder experienced by many. It occurs when a person has a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep. It results in poor-quality sleep or lack of sleep. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of issues and has symptoms that will alert you that it is a possibility you may be experiencing insomnia. There are two types of insomnia, primary insomnia that is not directly associated with other health issues and secondary insomnia which is a result from a medical disorder such as arthritis, heartburn and asthma.  Insomnia will definitely lead to sleep deprivation.

Causes of Chronic Insomnia

  • Chronic stress.
  • Physical pain.
  • Anxiety.

Causes of Acute Insomnia

  • Physical discomfort.
  • Emotional discomfort.
  • Environmental factors such as extreme temperature, light and noise.
  • Life stress like going through a divorce, experiencing job loss or a death of a loved one.
  • Serious illness.
  • Side effects from prescription medications.
  • Jet lag.
  • Working a night shift.

Symptoms

  • Exhaustion during the day.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Problems with memory.
  • Feeling tired when waking up.
  • Problems falling asleep.
  • Waking up before the alarm.

Diagnosis

If you feel that you are experiencing insomnia visit your physician immediately. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to determine if your insomnia is linked to a medical condition. In addition, the doctor may require you to keep a sleep journal and encourage you to keep notes of your sleep habits. Depending on your specific situation and your doctor’s opinion, you may be referred to a sleep specialist for further review.

Treatment for Acute Insomnia

Short-term insomnia may not require treatment. Sometimes acute insomnia is a brief result of life stress and dissolves on its own as the stressful situation is resolved. Other time, improving sleep habits is beneficial to curing acute insomnia.

 

Treatment for Chronic Insomnia

Long-term insomnia usually requires treatment by a physician. First your doctor will treat any underlying conditions that may be the cause of your chronic insomnia. Relaxation exercises and behavioral therapy are also tools that help dissolve and prevent chronic insomnia.

Improving Sleep Habits

Whether you have chronic or acute insomnia improving your sleep habits such as aroma therapy, taking a warm bath with essential oils, reading a book, exercising on a regular basis, avoiding caffeine and quit smoking, go to sleep at the same time every night and don’t eat two hours before bed will be beneficial.

Insomnia is a common complaint that people have who are under extreme stress for long periods of time. While stress is a part of everyday life, many people have a difficult time dealing with serious life issues. The constant worry, fear and focus of a stressful situation can cause many to lie awake at night and experience insomnia. Although the stressful situation might still be apparent, improving sleep habits will assist in calming nerves and relaxing the mind. Insomnia can be maintained, prevented and cured with the right tools and under the guidance of a physician.

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