What is Insomnia? Its Causes and Symptoms

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Insomnia

 “Persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation or quality is called insomnia.”

Types

Chronic insomnia

Chronic insomnia is characterized by symptoms that occur at least for three months three times per week.

short term insomnia

Insomnia that lasts less than three months is known as short-term insomnia.

Symptoms

Insomnia symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Ongoing worries about sleep

Causes

Insomnia also may be primary problem, or it can be associated with other conditions. Chronic insomnia is usually a result of stress, life habits that disrupt sleep. Treating the underlying cause can also resolve the insomnia, but sometimes it can last for years.

Common causes of chronic insomnia include:

Stress

  • Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family stress can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or any trauma — such as the death or illness of your loved one, divorce, or a job loss — also may lead to insomnia.
Poor sleep habits
  • Poor sleep habits such as, an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or use for watching TV. Computers, smartphones or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Eating too much late in the evening
  • Having a light dinner before bedtime is good, but eating too much can also cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, which may also keep you awake.
  • Chronic insomnia may also be associated with medical conditions or the use of certain types of drugs. Treating the medical condition may help improve sleep, but the insomnia can also persist after the medical condition improves.

Additional common causes of insomnia include:

Mental health disorders

  • Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may disturb your sleep. Also Awakening too early can be a sign of depression. Insomnia can also occur with other mental health disorders as well.

Medications

  • Many kinds of drugs also interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Many other medications — such as some pain medications, allergy and cold medications, and weight-loss products — contain caffeine can disrupt sleep.

Medical conditions

  • Examples of conditions that are linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sleep-related disorders

  • Sleep apnea causes to stop your breathing periodically throughout the night, interrupt your sleep. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs, which can prevent you from falling asleep.

Coffee, tea, cola are stimulants.

  • Drinking them in the late afternoon or also in evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is also can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.

Insomnia and aging

  • Insomnia becomes more common with age. At older age, you may experience:
  • Changes in sleep patterns. Sleep often becomes less restful at older age, also noise or other changes in your environment are more likely to wake you.  But older people generally still need the same amount of sleep as younger people need.

Changes in activity.

  • More common in less physically or socially active person. A lack of activity can also interfere with a good night’s sleep. Also, the less active you are, the more likely you can be to take a daily nap, which can interfere with sleep at night.

Changes in health.

  • Chronic pain from conditions such as, arthritis or back problems as well as depression or anxiety can also interfere with sleep. Issues that increase the need to urinate during the night ―such as prostate or bladder problems ― can also disturb sleep.
  • More medications in Old age people typically use more prescription drugs than younger people do, which also increases the chance of insomnia associated with medications.

Insomnia in children and teens

Sleep problems also concern for children and teenagers as well. However, some children and teens simply have trouble getting to sleep or resist a regular bedtime because their internal clocks are more delayed. They want to go to bed later in night and sleep later in the morning.

Sajid Saleem
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Sajid Saleem

We struggle over for students of general and medical education. Also, we play an essential role in the acquisitions of knowledge and in intellectual development. In general Education we provide the knowledge and the skills needed by everyone, regardless of their future field and occupation. In medical Education we provide knowledge and skills to the students of medical field. A Nutritionist from our team who is expert in food and nutrition can help patients to choose the right things to eat. He is also writing very helpful content for the students of nutrition and diet.