Symptoms And Effects Of Primary Insomnia

1032 words - 4 pages

Insomnia is defined as a "difficulty in initiating or maintaining a restorative sleep that results in fatigue, the severity of persistence of which causes clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning" (APA Dictionary of Pscyhology, 2007, p. 485). The pineal gland in the brain produces melatonin. Melatonin relates to the ‘circadian' rhythms which in time helps control sleep (Gillam, 2009). Through use of polysomnography, researchers found that inadequate sleep may be an effect of a longer period of stage 1 sleep while shorter sleep of stages 3 and 4 (American Psychiatric Association [DSM-IV-TR], 2000). Insomnia predominately exists among older adults and people who are middle-aged. "Population surveys indicate a 1-year prevalence of insomnia complaints of 30%-45% in adults. The prevalence of primary Insomnia is approximately 1%-10% in the general adult population and up to 25% in the elderly” (DSM-IV-TR, 2000, p. 601).
Some other conditions are confused with insomnia: "short sleepers" do not have the symptoms such as stress, tiredness, and problems getting to sleep as do people with Insomnia. If a person is not aware of their condition, they may develop an insomnia style of sleep; people with "Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder" only experience symptoms of insomnia at times they are not used to sleeping; "Narcolepsy" is similar, but it associates with tiredness during the daytime, and muscle weakness caused by emotion, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. Breathing disorders such as sleep apnea mainly occurs with breathing (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Primary insomnia shows symptoms to determine whether a person has the disorder and treatments are provided to help with the symptoms, which are mainly drugs or other type of remedy.

Symptoms
In order to be diagnosed, primary insomnia must not occur along with another mental or sleep disorder, or during substance use. In other words, Insomnia symptoms must occur independently from other factors; insomnia is associated with stress and problems in other areas of lifestyle such as tiredness during daytime, and it is linked with problems staying asleep or getting to sleep (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). According to DSM-IV-TR, primary insomnia is associated with anxiety, depression, and it negatively affects attention skills Genetics are linked to the development of insomnia; it is uncertain how strong this relationship is. Women and older people are more prone to experience Insomnia in general. Older people and men have trouble staying asleep, but the reason is unknown for men. Younger people normally have trouble achieving sleep. Lastly, symptoms of insomnia usually begin from a stress-triggering element. Such symptoms can be lengthened which eventually leads to insomnia (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Studies have conveyed that two main reasons related to insomnia are “physiological, emotional and cognitive activation” and the level of effect that a person may experience when the person goes through times of hardship...

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