Insomnia Essay

1809 words - 7 pages


Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that plagues millions of people around the globe by not allowing them to sleep. Its severity can range between a couple of days to a couple of months, and is curable in most cases. In any given year, about one-third of all adults suffer from insomnia (Hendrickson 1). Insomnia itself is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying mental or physical condition of the person.
There is not a strict definition for insomnia, but it could be narrowed down to: a person not being able to sleep, having difficulty falling to sleep, or having trouble staying asleep. Medications are available for the treatment of insomnia, but they should not be used on a regular basis. Some thirty-five to forty-five percent of people witness serious bouts of insomnia at some point in their lives, but of that percentage, fewer than twenty-three percent actually seek treatment for the problem (Brogan 2).

There are a wide variety of causes for insomnia, but most experts estimate that three fourths of all cases are psychological (Insomnia 1). One-third to half of all patients with chronic insomnia has an underlying psychiatric illness. Another ten to fifteen percent have a drug or alcohol abuse problem (Hendrickson 1).
One of the most common cause of insomnia is stress, which can be defined as mental or physical tension, as well as the inability to relax (Hauri 92). Anxiety and is also a common cause common. After having high anxiety, many people recover their normal sleep rhythm spontaneously, but other become depressed and develop chronic insomnia (Winter 1). Some insomniacs have trouble sleeping due to an injury or near death experience that happened because they were drowsy. One sleepless night can cause a chain reaction of depression and exhaustion because the next night you might be worried about sleeping and will soon develop chronic insomnia. Many insomniacs try to hard to go to sleep.

They lie awake with thoughts buzzing around in their head making it difficult to fall asleep. Many people who experience insomnia become frustrated, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. After a while insomniacs begin to anticipate bad nights, which makes the condition worse.
Of the physical causes, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine are the most common. Alcohol may make you fall asleep faster since it is a depressant, but it makes you sleep less soundly and you awake more frequently during the night. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants that cause you not to feel sleepy, thus causing you not to sleep well. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, sodas, and tea (Appendix B). Since caffeine can stay in your body for up to twenty hours, a cup of coffee in the morning or a soda at lunch may greatly affect your sleeping. Caffeine is also found in chocolate and most chocolate products (Appendix A). Eliminating caffeine from your diet could solve your sleep problem even if your insomnia set in...

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