Insomnia can be defined as the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep for a desired time period. It can be understood by two criteria: their inability to get to sleep when desired and the inability to stay asleep.
Insomnia can be described by an unwanted delay in achieving desired sleep, or experiencing constant disruptions in sleep. Lack of restorative sleep is also a characteristic of this sleep disorder. It can occur at any age or time in life. For individuals suffering from primary insomnia, this may not be a characteristic of medical or psychiatric syndrome. Early primary insomnia, if not diagnosed and treated, can lead to other health problems which necessitate further treatment. Secondary insomnia occurs as a result of any other illness like headaches, migraines, cancers, depression, arthritis and many other diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
- Difficulty falling asleep instantly
- Waking up several times at night
- Waking up earlier than desired
- Feeling tired and groggy upon waking up
- Not feeling refreshed after a waking from sleep
- Sweating excessively during sleep
- Sleep talking
- Irritability during the day
- Poor concentration at work
- Desire to take untimely naps during the day
Causes and Risk Factors
There are various psycholigical and physical factors leading to sleep disorders like Hypersomnia, Narolepsy, Breathing Related Sleep Disorders, Dyssomnia and Insomnia. Insomnia is categorized as either acute or chronic and has respective causes and risk hazards involved. Acute Insomnia generally lasts for a few days or for a few weeks at most.
Causes of Acute Insomnia
- Major life stress
- Being under medication for allergies, cold etc.
- Physical pain or illness
- Emotional disturbance like moving away
- Disturbance in routine like jetlag
- External disturbances like temperature change
- Change of the surroundings like setting up a new house
Chronic Insomnia brings with it greater risks. Insomnia is designated as chronic if a person is experiencing it for over a month.
Causes of Chronic Insomnia
- Any major ongoing depression
- Apprehension and anxiety
- Continuing stress
If one continues to ignore the symptoms, it will eventually lead to higher risks. These risk factors may comprise of:
- Psychiatric disorders
- Body pain
- Bad posture and heart diseases
- Enduring muscle pain
It is essential for people to recognize insomnia as a sleep disorder that should be treated properly at a rehabilitation center. It is important to avoid the use of alcohol to treat this sleep disorder. While alcohol may help with getting to sleep, it prevents restorative sleep and can lead to disrupted, broken sleep throughout the night. It is vital for one’s health to receive enough high quality sleep and neglecting this sleep disorder for too long can lead to various health issues like heart disease, memory problems, or depression. Sedatives or sleeping pills can be of great relief, however individuals should consult the doctor before starting any new medication.