Sleeplessness

Other names: Insomnia

DEFINITION

Insomnia is a persistent disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. With Insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

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Common causes of Insomnia include:

RISK FACTORS

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Risk factors for Insomnia:

COMPLICATIONS

Insomnia can lead to lower performance at work or school, psychiatric problems like Depression and anxiety disorders, overweight or Obesity, irritability, increased risk of long-term diseases like high blood pressure, Heart disease and Diabetes, as well as substance abuse.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Before your appointment with a doctor about Insomnia, consider keeping a sleep diary and listing symptoms and medications. Some questions to ask your doctor include the likely cause of your Insomnia, the best treatment options, managing other health conditions together with Insomnia, and the possibility of visiting a sleep clinic.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire, keep a sleep diary, and undergo physical exams or blood tests to determine the cause of your Insomnia. In some cases, spending a night at a sleep center may be necessary.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Treatment for Insomnia may involve behavior therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or prescription medications like zolpidem (Ambien). Over-the-counter sleep AIDS containing antihistamines are also an option.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Improving sleep habits and addressing underlying causes of Insomnia can help restore restful sleep. Lifestyle changes include regular exercise, avoiding naps, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake before bed, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Some people try alternative therapies like melatonin supplements, valerian root, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation for Insomnia. However, consult with your doctor before trying any alternative treatments.


QUESTIONS

  1. What is Insomnia?

Answer: Insomnia is a persistent disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep despite having the opportunity for adequate rest.

  1. What are common symptoms of Insomnia?

Answer: Symptoms may include difficulty falling asleep at night, awakening during the night, not feeling well-rested after sleep, daytime tiredness or sleepiness.

  1. What are some common causes of Insomnia?

Answer: Stress, anxiety, depression, medical conditions, poor sleep habits, medications, caffeine/nicotine/alcohol use are common causes.

  1. Who is more likely to experience Insomnia?

Answer: Women are more likely to experience Insomnia than men.

  1. How can someone prepare for an appointment about their Insomnia?

Answer: Keeping a sleep diary, listing symptoms and medications taken can help prepare for an appointment about Insomnia.

  1. What are some complications of untreated Insomnia?

Answer: Complications may include lower job/school performance, psychiatric problems like Depression/anxiety disorders, increased risk of diseases like high blood pressure/Heart disease/Diabetes.

  1. What are some lifestyle changes that can help with Insomnia?

Answer: Regular exercise, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule avoiding naps/caffeine/alcohol before bed can improve sleep habits.

  1. What are some alternative therapies people try for treating Insomnia?

Answer: Alternative therapies may include melatonin supplements,valerian root acupuncture,yoga,and meditation but should be discussed with a doctor first.

  1. What type of therapy is generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with Insomnia?

Answer: Behavioral therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with Insomnia.

  1. How much sleep do most adults need per night?

Answer: Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.