What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition suffered by almost everybody at some point in their lives, and due to its frequency among such diverse demographics it is often disregarded and not given the serious attention it warrants. Insomnia – despite the name literally meaning ‘no sleep’ – does not just mean a lack of sleep, if the problem becomes long-term it can have detrimental effects of the sufferers physical, social and mental state such as severe anxiety and depression. This brief guide to insomnia aims to explain the types, signs, risks and treatments and provide a better understanding of the condition.
There are many signs to watch for when diagnosing insomnia. The more obvious symptoms relate to sleeping patterns, with any form of continual disturbance being a sign of developing the condition. These sleep disturbances could be anything from difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early or waking up too often in the middle of the night. There are, however, other ways that the affliction can manifest itself to be aware of. Should the individual also go on to suffer from irritability, lack of concentration or depression during the day, they should consider seeking medical advice before the anxiety sets in and the problem gets worse. Once they visit a doctor the condition can be diagnosed and the precise type of insomnia determined.
While anybody that suffers from this sleep disturbance can be classed as an insomniac, it should be noted that the disorder falls into distinct categories – Acute, Chronic, Primary and Secondary. If a patient is diagnosed as having Acute insomnia then there is probably a direct problem or stimulus at work, which means it is also referred to as Primary Insomnia and can be expected to last no more than a month. Chronic Insomnia, however,can last for several months and perhaps even years and is therefore treated as a more serious, on-going condition. It also tends to be classed as a secondary case, meaning the cause is a result on a more health issue.
There are many causes of the disorder. Acute insomniacs can be affected by factors such as stress and stimulants, while the chronic form is do to another condition. Acute sufferers can also be affected by something as simple and common as jet leg because of the change in the body’s circadian rhythm. As a result of the nature of the Chronic form, there are a large number of people potentially at risk that should be aware of the danger. Insomnia is seen in a higher percentage of women than due to the hormone imbalances caused by menstruation and the menopause. Stress, or other psychiatric health issues can also be a concern. Conditions like asthma, chronic pain or gastrointestinal issues also pose a risk. Interestingly, Caucasians are more likely to develop insomnia than any other race because they have lighter sleep patterns.
Insomnia, whether Chronic or Acute can be treated in a number of ways. Allopathic methods; such as sedatives and anti-anxiety pills – are the most commonly prescribed, but there are other, less chemical based, options available that can provide result that are less of a ‘quick fix’. Nautropathic remedies are currently very popular. Patients with the Acute variety of insomnia can be advised to cut down on Caffeine to reduce the stimulant effect and given Chamomile Tea as an alternative. Those with the Chronic disorder can also try acupuncture sessions as an additional, on-going form of treatment. Alternatively, there is always the option of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat the psychological elements of the problem or Homeopathy. Homeopathy works in contrast to the advice of many practitioners by promoting the use of Coffee. This diluted form of coffee is said to balance out the toxic level of the stimulant within the body and restore harmony.
Having said all that, if you want to know what I personally recommend, simply click here.
This is just a brief overview of the condition that is insomnia. With all the risk, effects and types of the disorder, its complexity is clear but hopefully this guide will help people – either suffering or at risk – to see that the condition can be dealt with and there are many options available. Because of its implications and potential damaging effects, insomnia is an affliction needs to better understood and managed in order for sufferers to achieve peace of mind.