Sleep is the best way to rest up and feel ready for the day. However, for many people, sleep is elusive. It can be difficult for people to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. Problems can arise for a number of reasons, such as stress or anxiety or underlying medical conditions. One major cause of sleep issues that goes undiagnosed is insomnia. For many, the term insomnia means that the individual is unable to sleep period. However, this is not the true definition. By learning more about insomnia, you may find that you could have the condition and a diagnosis will help you to find sleep once again and feel rested at the beginning of each day.
Definition of Insomnia
The term insomnia is used when an individual has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. People with insomnia may be able to fall asleep essentially but have trouble staying asleep, tossing and turning at all times. Symptoms of insomnia can include a decreased performance at work, a disturbance in mood, having difficulty concentrating, having low energy and feeling fatigued.
Insomnia can be diagnosed based on duration. With acute insomnia, an individual will be affected briefly, and insomnia may develop due to a circumstance such as having a big work meeting the next day or being stressed about an incident in life. This type of sleep disruption is passing and will be resolved over a short period of time.
With chronic insomnia, sleep is disrupted at minimum three nights each week. This type of insomnia can last for three months or more. The chronic version can have an underlying cause. Patients can have unhealthy sleep habits, have a clinical disorder such as anxiety or depression, take medication for a medical condition or have a change in shift work. When this type of insomnia occurs, treatment is necessary to get back on track with a normal sleep schedule to feel rested once again.
Common Causes of Insomnia
Physical as well as psychological factors can be causes of insomnia. An underlying condition can cause the chronic version while short-term insomnia will be caused by an occurrence or event that took place recently. A common cause of insomnia in the short-term is a disruption to the circadian rhythm of sleep. When you change shifts in employment, have jet lag or are exposed to extreme cold or heat. In these instances, the individual will be affected in the short term with sleep issues.
Longer term reasoning behind insomnia can include psychological issues, medical conditions, hormones and other factors. When it comes to psychological issues, such conditions as anxiety disorders, depression, psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder can result in chronic insomnia. Medical conditions like angina, GERD, asthma, arthritis, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s diseases and many more diseases can result in insomnia.
Additional factors can play a role in insomnia including a snoring partner, genetic conditions, pregnancy, parasites or genetic conditions.
Treatments for Insomnia
There are medical treatments that can be used to help treat insomnia as well as alternative methods. As far as medical options, patients with insomnia can use melatonin to try and fall asleep with ease. Prescription sleeping pills can be used as well as medications to tackle underlying conditions such as antidepressants to deal with a depression condition.
For alternative methods, sleep hygiene methods can be used. Exercise and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, as well as avoiding caffeine before bed can be helpful. Another option commonly used by insomnia patients is Clear Mind neurofeedback. With their treatment method, a computer is used to monitor brain waves. The information gained is then used to create normal brainwave patterns, to assist in falling asleep with ease once again.
If you feel that you are affected by insomnia, visit with a physician for a diagnosis so treatment can begin.