Insomnia is defined as difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep long enough to feel rejuvenated and function efficiently the next day. It can happen to people of all ages and both genders, although it seems to be higher in women than men.
Further symptoms include waking up frequently or after a little sleep and then inability to fall sleep again. Normal sleep requirements vary according to the age group but an adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a day.
Types of Insomnia
Many people experience some insomnia, usually lasting for short durations of a few days to a month - this is transient or acute type. Other people suffer long-term insomnia lasting several months or years - chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia is the most serious sleep disorder among other types of insomnia.
Causes & Treatments of Chronic Insomnia
How to get help for chronic insomnia is through different methods. To apply insomnia treatments in chronic cases, one must understand the causes to begin with.
Stress and worry is possibly the number one reason for insomnia. This is because the body reacts to stress in ways that increase alertness and wakefulness. Relaxation programmes such as meditation, yoga and deep-breathing exercises are good insomnia remedies that work to lower the stress and anxiety.
Noise and Activities
An interrupted sleeping environment from noise can affect one's sleep. So insomnia relief can be as simple as a quiet, noise-free bedroom. Certain activities also contribute to sleeplessness - watching television, doing office work or intense exercise just before bed or while in the bed. Some athletes suffer insomnia due to excessive exercise regimes. Home remedies of insomnia can be just to avoid these activities.
Sleep Routine, Menopause and Pregnancy
Paying attention sleep routines provides a non-medicated method of insomnia remedy. The body functions best on regularly patterns of waking up and going to bed. Changing this regularity can lead to chronic sleeping problems. Some women also experience menopausal insomnia related to hormones. Additionally, incidents of pregnancy insomnia are also due to the hormonal changes that take place at this time.
Mental and Body Health
Poor body health can also contribute to disturbed sleep. Disease such as gastrointestinal illnesses, asthma, cardiac conditions, overactive thyroid, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, arthritis and other joint problems and enlarged prostate are connected to poor sleeping. Mental health problems sometimes have insomnia-like symptoms. These include depression, post-traumatic stress, and schizophrenia among others. In such cases both the main illness and the secondary sleeplessness are dealt with in the treatment for insomnia.
Narcotics and Stimulants
Narcotics and stimulants can also lead to insomnia. In treating insomnia doctors advise against taking caffeine, cigarette smoking, alcohol and use of recreational drugs. Some insomnia remedies, both over-the-counter and prescribed, have side effects of disturbed sleeping patterns. Examples are drugs for high blood pressure, epilepsy and asthma, non-steroid anti-inflammatory treatments, antidepressants and certain hormone therapies.
Medications can be given by insomnia doctors. According to research, 95% of cases are treated with medications such as sedatives and sleeping tablets. For people who associate sleep or the bedroom with negative feelings, remedies for insomnia through psychotherapy may be prescribed. Chronic insomnia can be treated with hypnotic meditation for controlled durations. Whatever the case, often several methods are used to get help for chronic insomnia.