Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can be not being able to fall asleep or not being able to stay asleep. About 60 million people are affected by insomnia every year in adults and in children.
Insomnia can be acute or chronic. Acute insomnia can last a few weeks or just one night. Insomnia is defined as chronic when a person can’t sleep at least three nights a week for a month period or longer. Some causes of acute insomnia can include: stress, illness, physical or emotional discomfort, and when sleep schedule is interfered. Chronic insomnia can be caused by: chronic stress, depression and anxiety. Some symptoms of insomnia include: a hard time falling asleep, getting up too early in the morning, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
To diagnosis insomnia your doctor will want to do an evaluation. He might want a physical exam, a medical history, and your sleep history. He may ask you questions like, how many hours do you sleep at night? How long does it take you to fall asleep? How often do you wake up in the middle of the night and how long does it take you to fall back to sleep? Do you have a healthy diet? How much caffeine do you intake daily? Among many more questions. He might even have you keep a journal with your sleep patterns.
“Insomnia can affect you physically and mentally. People with insomnia say they have a lower quality of life compared to people without insomnia. Some complications of insomnia are, lower performance at school or work, slower reaction time, depression or anxiety disorders, irritability, overweight, depressed immune system, an increased risk and severity of conditions or long-term diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and substance abuse.”(Mayo clinic staff).
There are several ways to treat insomnia. “Behavioral treatments teach you new sleep behaviors and ways to improve your sleeping environment. Good sleep habits promote sound sleep and daytime alertness. Behavior therapies are generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with insomnia. Behavioral treatments include: Education about good sleeping habits, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Relaxation techniques, Stimulus control, and Light therapy”(Mayo clinic staff). In some cases, doctors will prescribe drugs. All insomnia medications should be taken shortly before bed. “Taking prescription sleeping pills — such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) or ramelteon (Rozerem) — may help you get to sleep. Doctors generally don't recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for more than a...