Course : Introduction to Psychology
Section : A
Submitted to :
Sleep disorder - insomnia; learned insomnia; chronic insomnia; Primary insomnia
Insomnia is trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.
Episodes may come and go (episodic), last up to 3 weeks (short-term), or be long-lasting (chronic).
Why is this topic selected? Current status?
Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time or another in their lives. An estimated 30%-50% of the general population is affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia.
Current status-Insomnia affects all age groups. Among adults, insomnia affects women more often than men. The incidence tends to increase with age. It is typically more common in people in lower socioeconomic (income) groups, chronic alcoholics, and mental health patients. Stress most commonly triggers short-term or acute insomnia. If you do not address your insomnia, however, it may develop into chronic insomnia.
Some surveys have shown that 30% to 35% of Americans reported difficulty falling asleep during the previous year and about 10% reported problems with long standing insomnia. There also seems to be an association between depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Although the nature of this association is unknown, people with depression or anxiety were significantly more likely to develop insomnia.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Sleep habits we learned as children may affect our sleep behaviors as adults. When we repeat these behaviors over many years, they become habits. * Poor sleep or lifestyle habits that may cause insomnia or make it worse: * Going to bed at different times each night * Daytime napping * Poor sleeping environment, such as too much noise or light * Spending too much time in bed while awake * Working evening or night shifts * Not getting enough exercise * Using the television, computer, or smartphone in bed
The use of some medications and drugs may also affect sleep: * Alcohol or other drugs * Heavy smoking * Too much caffeine, especially late in the day * Getting used to certain types of sleep medications * Some cold medications and diet pills * Other medicines, herbs, or supplements prescribed by a health care provider or bought on your own
Physical, social, and mental health issues can affect sleep patterns, including: * Anxiety disorders * Bipolar disorder * Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease * Feeling sad or depressed. Often, insomnia is the symptom that causes people with depression to seek medical help.
Physical pain or discomfort
Stress, whether it is short-term or long-term. For some people, the stress caused by the insomnia makes it even harder to fall asleep.
With age, sleep patterns tend to change. Many people find that aging causes them to have a harder time falling asleep, and that they wake up more often.
The most common complaints or symptoms in people with insomnia are:
Trouble falling asleep on most nights
Feeling tired during the day or falling asleep during the day
Not feeling refreshed when you wake up
Waking up several times during sleep
People who have insomnia sometimes keep thinking about getting enough sleep. The more they try to sleep, the more frustrated and upset they get, and the harder sleep becomes.
A lack of restful sleep can affect your ability to do your daily activities because you are tired or have trouble concentrating.
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your current medications, drug use, and medical history. Usually, these are the only methods needed to diagnose insomnia.
Polysomnography, an overnight sleep study, can help rule out other types of sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea).
It is important to remember that not getting 8 hours of sleep every night does not mean you are putting your health at risk. Different people have different sleep needs. Some people do fine on 6 hours of sleep a night. Others only do well if they get 10 to 11 hours of sleep.
Treatment often begins by reviewing any drugs or medical conditions that may be causing your insomnia or making it worse.
Thinking about any lifestyle and sleep habits that may be affecting your sleep is an important next step. This is called sleep hygiene. Making some changes in your sleep habits may improve or solve your insomnia.
Using medicine to treat insomnia can sometimes be useful, but there can be risks.
Antihistamines (the main ingredient in over-the-counter sleeping pills) may cause memory problems over time, especially in the elderly.
Only use sedatives under the close care of a doctor, because they can cause tolerance and sometimes dependence. Stopping these medications suddenly can cause rebound insomnia and withdrawal.
Lower doses of certain antidepressant medicines may help. These medicines do not carry the same problems with tolerance and dependence as sedatives.
It may help to see a psychiatrist or other mental health provider to test for a mood or anxiety disorder that can cause insomnia.
They may use talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help you gain control over anxiety or depression.
A psychiatrist may also prescribe antidepressants or another medicine to help your sleeping problem and any mood or anxiety disorder you might have.
Most people are able to sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene. See a doctor if you have insomnia that does not improve.
Daytime sleepiness is the most common complication of insomnia. There is also evidence that a lack of sleep can lower your immune system's ability to fight infections.
A lack of sleep is also a common cause of auto accidents. If you are driving and feel sleepy, take a break.
General recommendations for prevention of insomnia include the following:
Work to improve your sleep habits.
Learn to relax. Self-hypnosis, biofeedback and relaxation breathing are often helpful.
Control your environment. Avoid light, noise, and excessive temperatures. Use the bed only to sleep and avoid using it for reading and watching TV. Sexual activity is an exception.
Establish a bedtime routine. Fix wake time.
Avoid large meals, excessive fluid intake, and strenuous exercise before bedtime and reduce the use of stimulants including caffeine and nicotine.
If you do not fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, try a relaxing activity such as listening to soothing music or reading.
Limit daytime naps to less than 15 minutes unless directed by your doctor.
It is generally preferable to avoid naps whenever possible to help consolidate your night's sleep.
There are certain sleep disorders, however, that will benefit from naps. Discuss this issue with your doctor.
A doctor from Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Medicine department reports that lack of sleep led to irritable behavior and lack of concentration.
Another Doctor from Gynae department reports raod traffic accident due to day time somnolence.
Another Doctor from Eye department notices weight gain and irritability due to stress and lack of sleep.
These are the main points to remember: 1. Insomnia is a symptom, not a cause. It is the way your body reacts when there is something wrong. 2. Each insomnia case is different, resulting from different causes. You must determine what is causing insomnia in your particular case. 3. Depending on the cause of your insomnia, determine what individual treatment options are best for you. 4. Be persistent in your efforts. It may take several weeks for your body to react to a particular treatment and for results to become evident. Don't be afraid to experiment. 5. Sleeping pills are only temporary fixes and not the insomnia solution. In fact, they can worsen the problem, create dependency, and cause many unwanted side effects.
Insomnia affects the general well being of the affected person. It is very important to get treated at the earliest. Otherwise chronic insomnia may cause further health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. There have been many cases of people getting successfully cured of this aliment by undergoing proper treatment.
Insomnia is an extremely common and complex problem that can result from a number of different causes. Insomnia is a symptom of disturbance, not a disease in itself. Addressing this condition requires a thorough analysis of each case to identify factors that may cause or contribute to the problem.
Medications used to treat insomnia are associated with frequent complications and side effects, and they only rarely solve the problem. These drugs only address the symptoms of insomnia and fail to resolve any of the underlying issues. They deliver a modicum of temporary relief, sometimes exacerbating the condition.
Treatment of insomnia begins with a thorough evaluation and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the health, environment, emotional state, behavior, and diet. Once any contributing factors from these areas are identified and addressed, classical homeopathic medical treatment (CHM) commences.
CHM is based on the individual characteristics of each case. It offers a unique and effective method of treatment without any of the usual side effects or significant risks associated with conventional medications.
Resolution of both acute and chronic insomnia can be achieved using a holistic analysis. This may result in increased overall health and well-being beyond the “quick fix” temporary resolution of symptoms so common in the allopathic medical system.