Causes and effects of INSOMNIA
It is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling asleep and or staying asleep. Other symptoms may be waking up often during the night, having trouble falling back asleep, waking up too early in the morning or feeling too tired upon waking up. These may sound normal to many since many people count sheep or even beats to a certain song so as to lull themselves to sleep.
There are two types of insomnia:
(a) Primary; which is a type of insomnia that is not associated with any other health condition and
(b) Secondary; this type of insomnia is associated with other health conditions such as asthma. The determination of a type of insomnia also depends on the amount of time it lasts. Short term insomnia is also known as acute insomnia and is not as serious as chronic insomnia which lasts long.
Causes of insomnia may vary from one individual to another but have roots based on the psychological state of a human being. Such causes include: emotional/ physical discomfort; probably due to one’s surroundings or what one is currently going through in his/her life, environmental factors when one is asleep e.g. light or noise may definitely affect one’s sleep since the brain is alert, medications for example those used in the treatment of allergies or colds and interferences in normal sleep schedule such as change from night shift to a day shift or jet lag after travel by airplane.
Chronic insomnia has its own list of causes: –
- Chronic stress
- Pain/discomfort at night
30% to 50% of the general population has insomnia with 10% suffering from chronic insomnia. Simple treatments for insomnia vary from proper sleeping habits to maintaining a sleeping schedule. There are also methods such as self-hypnosis which helps the mind to relax.
Taking the right meals right before you sleep and avoiding consumption of fluids as well as nicotine and caffeine before going to bed promotes good sleep. Those who have free time during the day should limit the time they spend during naps. Naps should last a maximum of 15 minutes during the day, experts say.
There are also available insomnia medications for example Ramelteon (Rozerem) which promotes the onset of sleep. This is a prescription drug which individuals should ensure to get from their doctors. However there are over the counter drugs available in pharmacies for example diphenhyndramine (Benandryl) that induces drowsiness but does not improve sleep and should not be used to treat chronic insomnia. This drug is an antihistamine with sedative properties.
Studies have shown that insomnia is a common disorder in many people in the US and UK and therefore individuals should get checked out if and when symptoms present themselves. Sleep being very important, we cannot afford to have a sleepless nation if we want good quality of work and service.