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Sleep and Insomnia

By Superjek1 May 05, 2013 1191 Words
In 1969, a man suffered from a torture that was used for centuries. For six days and five nights, he was forced to stand on a brick without the permission to sleep. His brain was constantly attacked by the desire to sleep. On the sixth day, the man was finally allowed to sleep. He slept for 25 hours straight. Sleep deprivation remains one of the most severe form of mental torture ("Shattered! - The Need to Sleep Part 1", 2012). Nowadays, insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. More than 30% of the population is affected by this problem without even knowing it (“Can't Sleep”, 2011). This problem is characterized by certain causes and consequences but can sometimes be cured with specific remedies.

First of all, sleep is unavoidable. From giant mammals to small insects, everyone has to sleep for a certain period of time. It is proved that sleep architecture is different for each individual. For instance, dolphins need to get air every five minutes or so. In order to not drown, one third of the brain falls asleep while the other part remains active. It allows the animal to reach the surface at any time ("Shattered! - The Need to Sleep Part 1", 2012). Our world is based on the productivity and the efficiency of people. This kind of lifestyle has an enormous impact on the

Everything About Insomnia 2

duration and quality of sleep (Cartwright, 2010, p. 35). When missing several hours of sleep every night, it can be described as a specific sleep disorder: insomnia.
In addition, insomnia can be caused by many things. Generally, women are more at risk with the menstrual cycles and the pregnancy accompanied later by the menopause. During pregnancy, the increasing size of the fetus makes the task difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Also, women tend to have their sleep interrupted with their role of child guard (Cartwright, 2010, p. 43). Another problem that causes insomnia is the room temperature. A room that is too cold or too hot will deteriorate the quality of sleep. It is easier for the body to fall asleep when the room is fresh. It is proved that when the room is cooler, quality sleep is favored. On the other hand, a hot room will not allow the body to relax and the sweat glands will have the tendency to be active. ("Emedecinehealth”, 2012). Stress can also lead to insomnia. People who are generally stressed in their daily life will report signs of insomnia. Concerns about work, exams or relationships will keep the mind anxious and alert for the night. It is proved that relaxed people tend to sleep better than stressed people. It also becomes a problem when there is a stress about going to bed and not be able to fall asleep ("Insomnia", 2011). Over all, even small things can generate an important sleep disorder such as insomnia.

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Above all causes, Insomnia has its own consequences. The most important consequence is obesity. As the hours of sleep per individual decreases, the chance to get obese increases. Short sleep or insomnia reduces the amount of leptin in the body, creating a greater desire for food. It is shown that a small night will engender a greater appetite. A study showed that people who are sleeping less than six hours a night are seven and a half times more likely to be overweight (Cartwright, 2010, p. 40). There is also the mental part that is affected. People are complaining that they have a poor ability to concentrate during tasks. They also cannot focus on something for very long. At sleep, the brain is busy working on the information learned during the day. When sleep is deprived, the ability to learn and memorize new information is impaired ("Emedecinehealth”, 2012). In short, insomnia affects every aspect of the body, from the physical part to the mental part.

The next step is the remedies of Insomnia. Doctors will generally talk about the importance of a good sleep hygiene. Many patients will beat insomnia simply by changing their sleep habits. For instance, going to bed at the same hour every night will help the system to fall asleep faster. Adjusting the temperature can also improve significantly the quality of sleep ("Insomnia", 2011). If this does not work, there is also the medical way, where they put the patient in a lab for a night and they record all the brain waves that may indicate a problem. Then, they can tell the optimal conditions for every individual (Kolpert, 2013). After, the doctors can prescribe some sleeping pills that may cause serious side effects. Doctors usually do not Everything About Insomnia 4

recommend those types of pills for more than a few weeks ("Insomnia", 2011). Some studies "have shown that combining medical and non-medical treatments typically is more successful in treating insomnia than either one alone" ("Emedecinehealth", 2012). Above all, insomnia is a serious problem but there are good solutions to cure it.

In conclusion, sleep has an enormous effect on our daily life and health. Missing several hours of sleep on a regular basis is very harmful for the entire body. This phenomenon of sleep disorder is called Insomnia and can be caused by many aspects of our lives. There are also all the consequences that comes along. Fortunately, many remedies are available for the public. It only depends on how serious the problem is. Taking care of your body and health is the first step for a good night sleep.

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References
BBCExplorations. (2012, May 11). Shattered! - The Need To Sleep Part 1. March 27th, 2013, Can't sleep. (2006). Facts About Insomnia. Retrieved March 27th, 2013, Cartwright, R. D. (2010). The Twenty-four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives. United States: Oxford University Press Emedecinehealth. (2012). Insomnia. Retrieved March 27th, 2013,

from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/insomnia/article_em.htm
from http://www.the-sleep-zone.com/facts-about-insomnia.html from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFfrdX--WgQ
Insomnia (2011). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 27th, 2013, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187 Kolbert, E. (2013, March 11th). Up all Night. The New Yorker, p.26.

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Outline
Opening statement : Sleep deprivation is one of the most severe form of mental torture. Thesis: Insomnia is a major sleeping problem which is characterized by certain causes, consequences and can be cured with many remedies. I.Sleep

A. Every living creature need to sleep (Up all night)
B. Different sleep architecture, dolphins (BBC Video)
C. Sleep disorder, Insomnia. (Short Sleep and Its Consequences: Insomnia) II.Insomnia and causes
A. Women (Short Sleep and Its Consequences: Insomnia)
B. Room temperature (emedecinehealth)
C. Stress (Mayo Clinic)
III.Consequences of Insomnia
A. Obesity (Short Sleep and Its Consequences: Insomnia)
B. Brain is affected (emedecinehealth)

Everything About Insomnia 7 IV.Solution to insomnia
A. Sleep Hygiene (Mayo Clinic)
B. Lab test (Up all night)
C. Sleeping pills (Mayo Clinic)
Conclusion: Insomnia is caused by many things and has many consequences. Fortunately, there are also many remedies available.

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