1. What is Insomnia Disorder
2. Types of Insomnia
3. Causes of Insomnia
4. Effects of Insomnia
5. Insomnia Treatments: Natural Ways and Home Remedies
6. Therapies for Treatments
Insomnia: A Sleeping Disorder
What is Insomnia: DefinitionInsomnia is derived from the Latin word which means “no sleep”. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in staying asleep, waking up too early, poor quality i.e non-restorative sleep or maintaining sleep at least 3 nights per week, in addition to complaints of sleep related daytime impairment. Sufficient and restful sleep is a human necessity. And if one does not get enough sleep factors related to quality of life gets affected. In short, insomnia is a serious and pervasive health condition that lowers overall life satisfaction and can lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Types of InsomniaThere are two types of Insomnia: primary or secondary. Primary insomnia means that the inability to sleep is not caused by other health problems, medicines, or other substances. It is its own distinct disorder. Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia, including long-lasting stress and emotional upset. Secondary insomnia is due to other health conditions, medicines, sleep disorders that interfere with sleep. It is also called “co-morbid insomnia.”
Insomnia is often categorized by how long it lasts. Although there are several different degrees of insomnia, three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic. Transient insomnia lasts for a few days to a few weeks. This condition is sometimes referred to as adjustment sleep disorder. The trigger could be a major or traumatic event or a minor event. Short-term (acute) insomnia lasts for no more than 3 weeks. Chronic insomnia is characterized by insomnia that lasts for months and years. Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include sleepiness, muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and mental fatigue but people with chronic insomnia often show increased alertness. Insomnia can affect all age groups and is more common in adult women than adult men.
Researches around the Globe:The article, “Chronic Insomnia as a Risk Factor for Developing Anxiety and Depression” focuses on relations of insomnia to the development of anxiety disorders and depression. The author clearly states that insomnia and major depression among adolescents indicates the two are reciprocally related but exactly how they might be causally linked is uncertain. All three sub-types of insomnia are associated with anxiety disorders. Individuals entering depression are known to often develop concurrent insomnia, and that individuals with insomnia are at risk for developing depression. Some of these bidirectional connections clearly involve associations of insomnia and depression with co-occurring anxiety states, other psychiatric or general medical comorbidities, or substance-related factors. Persistent sleep problems in childhood may be an early risk indicator of anxiety in adulthood. The severity of depression is signiﬁcantly associated with non-restorative sleep and decreased total sleep duration. The severity and duration of depression will be exaggerated if patient depression is combined with chronic insomnia. The close relationship between insomnia and depression is also observed in the elderly. Sleep disturbance is also associated with more severe and later onset depression, where elderly patients with depression had longer awakenings, poor sleep efﬁciency. Therefore, patients with insomnia should be carefully evaluated for the presence of comorbid depression, which can facilitate the early detection and management of insomnia. (Dag Neckelmann, Amstein Mykletun and Alv A. Dahl)
Effects of Insomnia on Quality of LifeThe conclusion is that insomnia does have negative effects on the quality of life as it causes health issues such as muscle fatigue, loss of stamina, weakness of immune system etc. Moreover, insomnia severely affects mental health too. It is a cause of other disorders and one of the biggest risk factor for depression. People suffering from insomnia are mostly found to be pessimistic, fearful, shy and easily fatigued. Without sleep our brains deteriorate. Insomnia may cause memory weakness and memory loss. When we are sleep deprived the brain starts to get disorganized and makes it difficult to concentrate. Not only it creates hallucinations but also makes it difficult for the brain to learn and process information. It can also cause emotional damages like mood swings, severe anxiety, depression, difficulty in understanding and responding to crucial situations. As a result of these effects insomnia directly affects the wellbeing and life style of any individual suffering from the disease. People who sleep less than five hours have been found to be more likely to gain weight. Work performance is also affected that is why insomniac patients have a very hard time succeeding in their fields of work. It leads to higher absenteeism. Accidents often occur especially when operating motor vehicles, while suffering from insomnia. Similarly, the psychological and emotional conditions make it very difficult for the insomniac patients to hold their nerves in pressure situations which make their social life more difficult. There are a number of ways to get rid of Insomnia and many other sleeping disorders.
Insomnia Treatments: How to treat Insomnia?There are both non-pharmacological and pharmacotherapy treatments for insomnia patients. Any treatment for insomnia should accomplish three goals: induce sleep, maintain sleep, and promote functionality the next day. Many doctors recommend a number of behavioral methods and prescription medications as the main insomnia treatments. And doctors believe that these insomnia treatment options can improve both quality and quantity of sleep for people with insomnia.
Doctors also recommends behavior therapy. Behavioral treatments teach new sleep behaviors and ways to improve your sleeping environment. Behavior therapies are equally or more effective than are sleep medications and effectively get rid of insomnia. Behavioral therapies include:
o Stimulus control
o Cognitive behavioral therapy
o Relaxation training and biofeedback
o Sleep restriction
Goals of Sleep Disorder Therapies:o To reduce the time it takes to go to sleep to below 30 minutes
o Reduce wake-up periods during the night
Stimulus Control to get rid of Insomnia:The primary idea behind stimulus control is to establish the idea that the bed is meant only for sleeping. It emphasizes not watching TV or reading in bed. It includes some of the following practices:
· Use bed only when you are ready to sleep.
· If unable to sleep within 15 - 20 minutes, get up and go into another room.
· Maintain a regular wake-up time no matter how few hours you actually sleep.
· Avoid naps
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:This is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying unwanted feelings or thoughts and replacing them with more positive thoughts. It involves actions that are intended to alter the behavior. It is a type of counseling that can help you understand why you have sleep problems and can show you how to deal with them. It is one of another effective home remedy for insomnia treatment.
Relaxation training and biofeedback: Natural Home RemedyRelaxation therapy; as the name suggest is associated with physical relaxation using different techniques to you calm your mind and body. Approaches include meditation, hypnosis and muscle relaxation. Whereas biofeedback method allows observing biological signs such as heart rate and muscle tension. It involves being monitored with a device that measures brain waves. This information can help identify patterns that affect sleep.
Sleep Restriction:Lying in bed when awake can become a habit that leads to poor sleep. In this home remedy for sleeping disorders the time spent in bed is limited to the time spent in sleeping. As sleep improves, the hours spent in bed are increased.
Other than these behavioral therapies drugs and medicines are also used to recover from insomnia.
Drug Therapy:In drug therapy different approaches might be used. Initially medications are used to decrease the anxiety and stress caused due to insomnia. Most commonly used drugs are Zolpidem, Temazepam, Zaleplon and Flurazepam. However, in rare cases, these medications may cause severe allergic reactions, facial swelling. These drugs may also cause hazardous or unusual behaviors, such as driving or preparing and eating food while asleep. Side effects of prescription sleeping medications are often more pronounced in older people and may include excessive drowsiness, impaired thinking, night wandering, agitation and balance problems. As a general rule doctors discourage the usage of sleeping pills on a daily basis. Patients over the age of 60 are usually not given sedatives. The medication is decreased gradually and sometimes patient might face insomnia rebound after the medication is being stopped.
All these therapies and natural home remedies to get rid of Insomnia are valid and science has proved their positive effect on the life of people suffering from sleeping disorders.
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