"Insomnia is the inability to obtain adequate amount or quality of sleep. The difficulty can be with falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both" ("Insomnia Encyclopedia"). Sleeping is a major point in physically and mentally restoring yourself for the tasks ahead. Most people say that about eight hours of sleep is an adequate amount, however it differs from person to person depending on their sex, age, and health conditions. An estimated one-third of the population suffers from some form of insomnia. "In recent studies, a survey reported that 30% of American women and 20% of American men took medication to help them sleep during the course of a year" ("Insomnia"). The medications these people took are called hypnotics. The causes of insomnia vary for different situations.
"Transient insomnia can be caused by temporary situations like
arguments, medical illness and jet lag. On the other hand chronic
insomnia has many causes. Sleep apnea, over use of caffeine, anxiety
disorders, stress and several other factors. The symptoms of insomnia
can be noticed right in the morning. When you wake up and are not
feeling refreshed from a nights sleep. A person may have difficulty
sleeping, toss and turn for hours or fall asleep easily but are awakened
very early in the morning. To diagnose a person with insomnia, a patient
may keep a record for two weeks of their sleeping patterns, food intake,
exercise, etc., and then a physician can base their diagnosis by the
reported signs and symptoms. If an insomnia patient does not respond to
treatments then they may have a
sleeping disorder that requires a
specialist" ("Insomnia Encyclopedia").
Before insomnia even occurs, there are ways that a person can prevent or lessen the effects of it. Exercising regularly would be something a person should do, but not close to bedtime because exercising stimulates arousal. Avoiding caffeine and nicotine, such as coffee, tea, or soda, also helps to prevent insomnia. Going out into the late afternoon sun helps release the melatonin that helps regulate circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is a daily cycle of activity that is performed. For example, going to the gym, school, and then work, is a daily cycle, whereas sitting on the couch all day and occasionally driving to the store and back is not. It is doing something with your body, but not over doing it. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation helps to release energy. And treating insomnia in its early stages helps prevent psychiatric disorders such as depression. The longer you wait to try to cure insomnia the longer and harder it is going to be.
According to different resources, there are many different kinds of treatments for insomnia. The first is a change in behavior. This therapy is used to re-establish healthy sleep patterns by helping an individual deal with his/her sleep problem. For this method a physician is not needed. A patient can try this on his/her own.
The first step is a change in daily routine. Only go to bed when sleepy and
use the bedroom for sleep only. Snacking, watching television and
reading should be done in another part of the house. Watching the
television before going to sleep should be avoided because it has an
arousing effect on the body. Another thing that should be avoided is
napping. This interferes with your sleeping pattern at night ("Insomnia
Encyclopedia"). More than half of insomnia patients improve from the behavioral approach. There are several behavioral remedies for insomnia. Avoiding stimulants before sleep can help prepare a person for going to bed. Also something as simple as writing down worries or concerns before sleep can help alleviate stress. For example, some people like to keep a diary or journal. Doing this allows the person to write down all the things from their day that were both good and bad, let them all out, and then the person can focus on something else, such as sleep. They no longer have those stressful...
Cited: Chokroverty, Sudhansu. "100 Questions and Answers about Sleep and Sleep Disorders." 2003. Google.(Dec. 14 2004). http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/insomnia.html. (28 November 2004).
"Insomnia." Health and Age. 2003. http://www.healthandage.com/Home/?gm=20&gc=26. (28 November 2004).
Kinosian, Janet. The Well-Rested Woman: 60 Soothing Suggestions for Getting a Good Night 's Sleep. Conari Press.
Morin, Charles M. Relief from Insomnia: Getting the Sleep of Your Dreams. New York: DoubleDay, 1996.
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