What is insomnia?

Insomnia is identified as the inability in finding amount of sleep that you need to awaken feeling refreshed and rested. Insomnia contains a wide variety of sleeping disorders, as of deficient in quality of a sleep to deficient in quantity of a sleep. Even though you are spending 8 to 9 hours in a bed, when you have the feel of drowsy and fatigue throughout the day, then you might have the possibility in experiencing insomnia sooner. Insomnia is highly common and 90% of the people have experienced an acute insomnia as a minimum once in their life. Around 10% of the people might suffer from long-standing (chronic) insomnia. Insomnia has an impact on people of every age including children, even if it is highly common with adults and its occurrence with age. Generally, women are affected frequently with insomnia than men.

Some people will have question on what is insomnia indication. When you have insomnia, subsequently you might have the feel of frustration in sleep and regularly experiences one or else more of the followings: low energy, mood disturbances, fatigue as well as decreased performance at school or in work.

Types of insomnia

Insomnia is of three types: transient, acute and chronic insomnia.

Transient insomnia – this will occur when the symptoms of insomnia ends from one or two days to a few weeks.

Acute insomnia – this is also known as short term insomnia. Acute insomnia will end for a short period, from some nights to three weeks. It will go away on its own without any treatment.

Chronic insomnia – the insomnia that lasts above three weeks is categorized as a chronic insomnia. As said by National Institution of Health, most of the chronic insomnia cases are known to be secondary, which means they are symptoms or side effects of several other problems.

Characteristic daily sleep requirements of people at different ages:

Age no. of hours needed
Above 65 years 6 – 8
16 – 65 years 6 – 9
10 years 10 – 11
2 years 9 – 13
Infant 13 – 17

Symptoms of insomnia

The people who have insomnia will habitually requires 30 minutes or else more time to fall asleep and possibly will get just 6 to less hours of sleep for more than three nights in a week for above one month or more. The insomnia itself might be an indication (symptoms) of a fundamental medical condition. But, there are some signs and symptoms of insomnia. They are as follows:

  • General tiredness
  • Feeling sleepiness in a day
  • Irritability
  • Difficult in falling sleep at night
  • Problems in memory or concentration
  • Awakening previous than desired
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Awakening in night
  • Tension headaches
  • Increased accidents or errors
  • Gastro intestinal symptoms

What causes insomnia?

The below given are some of the most important causes for insomnia. When you have any one of these causes, then you might suffer from insomnia.

  • Illness
  • Important life stress
  • Air travel, especially when you travel from west towards east
  • Physical or emotional discomfort
  • Medical conditions like prostate enlargement, reflux, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke
  • Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine
  • Medications like stimulants, some antidepressants and decongestants
  • Pain from arthritis
  • Not being active during the day
  • Shift work
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Environmental factors such as extreme or light temperature, noise, which interfere with sleep

Who will get insomnia?

There are few people who are more probable to experience from insomnia than other people. These include:

  • The elderly
  • Travellers
  • Drug users
  • Shift workers through regular changes in shifts
  • Pregnant women
  • Young adult or adolescent students
  • Person having mental health disorders
  • Pregnant women

Diagnosing insomnia

When you feel you are having insomnia, then get a help from the health care provider. Usually, sleep specialist will start the diagnostic session by inquiring set of question about sleep patterns and medical history. Physical exam might be conducted to seek conditions that could cause insomnia. Sometimes, you will be referred to sleep center to take some special tests.

Treatment for insomnia

Several kinds of insomnia will resolve themselves as soon as an underlying cause is wears off or removed. Generally, treating insomnia will mainly focus on concluding the causes of sleeping difficulty. Once when identified, underlying causes can be accurately corrected or treated. In general, the insomnia treatment can be separated into behavioural approaches or non medical and medical therapy. On how to cure insomnia, both approaches are essentially needed as well as combinations of both approach can be more effectual than using either approach alone.

Some of the non pharmacological approaches for treating insomnia consist of:

Cognitive therapy – also called as group therapy or one on one counselling. Poor sleep will lead to stress as well as anxious feelings will make you not to get sleep sooner. Sequentially this leads to tension and stress, which leads towards poor sleeping habits like use of alcohol or sleeping pills to sleep at night or else taking daytime dozes for the lost sleep. This will leads to worsening insomnia. The main aim of the Cognitive therapy is to break the cycle of insomnia. CBT also helps to change the unhelpful behaviors and thoughts that may possibly be contributing to insomnia.

Sleep hygiene contains the following strategies:

  • Maintain a normal sleep schedule
  • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in afternoon or evening
  • Avoid smoking, particularly in the evening
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed
  • Don’t force you to sleep
  • Alter the bedroom environment to encourage sleep
  • Resolve anxiety and stress prior to bed
  • Use relaxation techniques like muscle relaxation and medication
  • Do regular exercises, but not four to five hours before bed time
  • Sleep in so far as probable to feel relaxed
  • Avoid going to bed hungry

Sleep restriction – It reduces the time exhausted in bed and partly takes away your body of nap or sleep so you will feel more tired in the next night.

Stimulus control therapy – you have to go to bed only when you feel sleep, refrain from eating, reading, TV or distressing in bed, put an alarm for similar time in every morning and avoid long daytime sleeps.

The medical treatments to insomnia consist of:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Ramelteon
  • Prescription sleeping bills
  • Melatonin
  • Above the counter sleeping aids
  • Valerian officinalis

When to look for the professional insomnia treatment

Still you are having the problem of insomnia even after trying the above listed treatments? Here on how to cure insomnia, sleep disorder specialist or doctor may possibly help you. You can get help from professional if:

  • When insomnia do not respond for self help strategies
  • When insomnia causes major problem at work, home or school
  • When you experience scary symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain
  • When insomnia takes place almost every night as well as is getting worse