Insomnia, A sleeping disorder

Overview 

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder, in which an individual faces difficulty falling asleep, stay asleep, or both.

People who have it feel uncomfortable or not fresh when they wake up, either. However, this may lead to fatigue and other symptoms. 

Moreover, it is the most common sleeping disorder, according to APA (American Psychiatric Association). Also, they reported that one-third of the adults say its symptoms. And, 6-10 percent of the patients have severe enough to be diagnosed with this disorder.

The APA defines that the restlessness is a condition in which people feel trouble in falling asleep or staying asleep. Besides, doctors make a clinical analysis of sleeping disorder if these criteria apply:

  • Difficulty in sleep occurring at least three nights a week for a minimum of three months.
  • Sleeping difficulties are creating significant anxiety or functional complications in a person’s life.

Factors or Causes

Most probably, the purpose of this condition depends upon the type of sleeping discomfort you are going through.

However, short-term insomnia mostly occurred by stress, changes in sleep habits, or upsetting or traumatic events. 

And, its chronic type is for a minimum of three months and is usually, secondary to another problem or a combination of illness/problems, including:

  • Some of the medical conditions that make it harder to get sleep such as arthritis or other chronic pain,
  • Psychological issues that include depression or anxiety, or 
  • Substance use

Different Types and Natures

There are so many ways to characterize it, while some of the types of it may even overlap. 

Causes of Sleeplessness

The issue may either primary or secondary insomnia.

Primary: It is sleeplessness that is not caused by another condition. However, it is triggered by the changes in life, such as the working schedule. 

Secondary: It is the result of an underlying health condition or lifestyle habit, that include mental health condition, and excessive day time napping. However, this type of sleeplessness is often called Comorbid by doctors. 

Duration 

The short-term of sleeplessness is often called as episodic or situational. However, situational sleeplessness is also known as acute that lasts for days, or even for weeks. Occasional insomnia mainly lasts for one to three months.

Chronic type includes recurrent insomnia and persistent insomnia. Generally, persistent one lasts for at least a time period of three months. 

While recurrent insomnolence portrays by at least two episodes of condition over the course of a year, instead, the episode will last for one to three months at a time.

Symptoms of Insomnolence

The types of restlessness condition characterize the symptoms are the following:

The onset of it is one of the medical terms in which a person feels difficulty in falling asleep at the beginning of the night.

And, the maintenance of this is the term for the inability to stay asleep. In this condition, people often wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep.

Risk factors for Sleeplessness

It can occur at any age, but in women, it is most probably to happen than men. 

According to the research of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), individuals with certain factors are more likely to get it. These factors include:

  • high levels of stress
  • emotional disorders, traumas like depression or distress related to a life event
  • changes in work hours, or working night shifts (that changes sleeping routine)
  • lower-income
  • traveling to different time zones
  • sedentary lifestyle

 However, certain medical conditions, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, may also lead to insomnolence. The condition like Menopause leads to it as well. 

Signs or Symptoms 

The people who experience it may usually report one of these symptoms that include:

  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • unrefreshing/discomfort sleep
  • trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up often in the middle of the night

However, these symptoms may also lead to other symptoms as well, including:

  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability, or
  • Fatigue

A patient might also feel difficulty in concentrating on the daily tasks of the day. 

Treatments

There are treatments for both pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical insomnia.

Your doctor might talk to you about what treatment will be appropriate to you. However, you can try the number of treatments to find out the one which is most effective on you.

The ACP (American College of Physicians) recommends CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) as a first-line treatment for the permanent condition in adults.

Besides, sleep hygiene is also one of the treatments for it because sometimes the behavioral interfere with sleep causes restlessness. And, this sleep hygiene training might help you to achieve a perfect sleeping pattern as well.

Some of the suggested changes may include:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages before bedtime
  • Avoid exercise near excessive bedtime exercise
  • minimizing the time you spend on your bed when you’re not precisely aiming to sleep, such as watching TV or surfing the internet on your mobile.

Medications

The medications for this are also available, and it is also prescribed by most of the physicians.

An over-the-counter (OTC) drug that can be used to treat wakefulness is an antihistamine, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). But, medications like this can cause side effects, or they may be long-term. A doctor’s prescription is necessary to avoid the risk factors of the medicines.

However, the prescription medications of it include:

  • Ambien (Zolpidem)
  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)

These medications are effective in treating it, but they are short-term. Ambien is a highly prescribed medication in it, but it is a sedative-hypnotic drug that may cause addiction. So, it maintains a good schedule with precaution is necessary. Your doctor will support it, and you should for his advice for effective treatment.

Talk with your physician before using any remedies or supplements to treat your condition.

Additionally, there might be dangerous side effects or interactions if they are misused or taken without a prescription. Because not all the ‘sleep aid’ medication is for everyone, talk with your doctor about your condition first.

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