Webster's dictionary describes insomnia as habitual sleeplessness, inability to sleep. I describe it as miserable. There are few things I can think of that make me more irritable than getting up in the morning feeling like I haven't even closed my eyes. Sometimes insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, other times it's the inability to stay asleep. I have suffered from both problems. Because it is a symptom, it means there is an underlying reason, some kind of disorder that is causing the problem.
There are different types of insomnia:
Transient insomnia: Lasts from days to weeks. It can be caused by changes in the sleep environment, timing of sleep, depression or stress.
Acute insomnia: This is the inability to sleep well for a long period of time. Anywhere from three weeks to six months.
Chronic insomnia: Can last for years. It can be caused by another disorder. Its effects vary, according to its causes. Symptoms might include sleepiness, muscular fatigue, hallucinations and/or mental fatigues.
Some of the patterns of insomnia:
Onset insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.
Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia: Characterized by difficulty returning to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning.
Terminal insomnia: Early morning waking. Often a characteristic of clinical depression.
Probable causes of insomnia:
Drugs or stimulants.
Disturbances of the circadian rhythm such as jet lag or shift work.
Parasomina includes sleepwalking, nightmares.
Insomnia sufferers, their sleep duration and mortality:
A survey done in America found those who reported sleeping 7 hours per night had the lowest mortality rates. Those who slept for fewer than 6 hours or more than 8 had the highest mortality rate. The survey also showed mild to moderate insomnia for most people may actually increase longevity. It is unclear why sleeping longer than 7 hours is associated with excess mortality. According to an item I saw on T.V. researchers have found that some people have a gene that allows them to be fully rested with just 6 hours of sleep. They didn't give any additional details.
Treatment for insomnia:
As stated earlier, insomnia is usually a symptom caused by another disease or disorder. It is important to identify or rule out medical and psychological problems before deciding on the treatment.
If you suffer from insomnia, ask your doctor about melatonin. It is available without prescription in the United States at your local health food store.
Because it is sold as a dietary supplement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that apply to medicine are not applicable to melatonin.
There are unwanted side effects in some people. This is only one of the reasons it is a good idea to inform your doctor that you are interested in using melatonin for your insomnia.
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Check out my website: Topnotchherbalsupplements.com.
Here's to healthier living for you and yours.
Interesting note: A common misconception is that the amount of sleep required decreases as we age. Not true, we still require about the same amount of sleep. What does change is the ability to sleep for longer periods of time.
I have tried to be as accurate as possible, however, none is guaranteed.You should always check with your health care provider before adding any herbal supplement to your diet.
Any information on this site is for education purposes only, not intended as medical advice.