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Insomnia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is insomnia?

This persistent disorder, insomnia tends to cause sleeping difficulties, such as difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep, despite adequate sleep opportunity. Individual with insomnia would awake feeling lazy and wear out, consequently greatly affecting his functioning ability during the entire day. The medical condition not just saps your mood and energy level, but also affects your work performance and health. Standard requirement of sleep for an adult is 7-8 hours a night.

Few individuals experience chronic (long-term) insomnia, whereas many individuals experience the condition sometimes. It can be a primary problem; however it can be also secondary because of other causes, for example medication or disease. Often, simple modifications in your habits can greatly help.

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Symptoms of insomnia are:

  • Trouble falling asleep.
  • Awakening very early.
  • Awakening in the night.
  • Feeling low even after sleep.
  • Daytime sleepiness or tiredness.
  • Depression, irritability or anxiety.
  • Difficulty to focus, remember or paying attention.
  • Increased accidents or errors.
  • Ongoing worries regarding sleep.
  • Distress in your intestines and stomach (gastrointestinal tract).
  • Tension headaches.

What are the causes of insomnia?

Few causes of the condition are:

  • Stress: tension regarding school, work, family or health can keep the mind active even at night, causing sleep difficulties. Stressful events in life for example illness or death of a dear one, job loss or a divorce can trigger insomnia.
  • Anxiety: serious anxiety disorders or every day anxieties can disrupt sleep.
  • Depression: depression can cause either trouble sleeping or too much sleep.
  • Medical conditions: in case you have breathing difficulties, frequent need to urinate or chronic pain, you are more likely to develop insomnia. Moreover, examples of the conditions associated with insomnia are cancer, arthritis, lung disease, heart failure stroke etc.
  • Change in work schedule or environment: working an early or late shift can upset the circadian rhythms of your body causing sleep difficulties.
  • Bad sleeping habits: such include an uncomfortable environment of sleep, irregular schedule of sleep etc.
  • Medications: certain antidepressants, blood pressure and heart medications, stimulants, allergy medications and corticosteroids can disturb your sleep.
  • Excessive eating in late evening.
  • Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can also trigger insomnia.
  • Insomnia is quite common as you age.

What are the risk factors of insomnia?

You are more likely to develop insomnia if you are:

  • A woman, above 60 years of age.
  • Under excessive stress.
  • Suffering from mental health disorder.
  • Working night hours/ changing shifts

Additionally, long distance travel also tends to trigger insomnia.

How is insomnia diagnosed?

The doctor will need details regarding your sleep patterns. He may also perform a physical exam in order to determine any other possible cause that triggered insomnia. A blood test can be conducted for the purpose.

How is insomnia treated?

Addressing the basic cause of the condition and modifying the sleeping habits can restore a peaceful sleep in many cases. In case such measures do not seem to work, the doctor can recommend certain medications for helping with sleep and relaxation.


By : Natural Health News

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