Insomnia or sleeplessness as it is commonly known is a little understood affliction. In fact, you will find that insomnia is both a symptom and a malady by itself – and hence, its diagnosis is a bit troublesome. There have been so many myths and fables connecting to insomnia. If you are suffering from this condition, it is really very important to get the right information on insomnia to understand and treat your condition well. If you have been suffering from lack of sleep and do not have any idea what to do about your situation, it would be a good idea to seek information on insomnia from reliable sources such medical journals, your doctor or from websites of reputable organizations.
When you consult your doctor about your sleeping problems, you should ask him or her to discuss the different aspects of this disorder. When discussing information on insomnia with your doctor, you should also ask about the different options of treating the disorder. Note that natural treatments are generally preferred over the sleeping drugs available in the market. The natural treatments do not have the unwanted side effects like those of the pharmaceutical drugs. The natural treatment process is cost effective too. Another way of getting reliable information on insomnia is to go online and browse through some websites. When you do this, make sure that you only use websites of organizations that are authoritative on the topic.
Insomnia or lack of sleep can be of two types, i.e. (i) transient and (ii) intermittent. The former is when one experiences sleeplessness for a period of maximum 2-3 weeks; while the intermittent insomnia is when this gets repeated every now and then. This will mostly be a projection of an underlying problem, such as anxiety, depression, drug abuse, etc.
Insomnia is something that affects the old and young alike. Studies have shown that childhood insomnia has continuously risen all over the United States in the past few years. Experts attribute the increase in cases of childhood insomnia to many factors at home, school and the neighborhood. If you have a child who is struggling with childhood insomnia, you should try to help your child get some sleep. The first thing that you need to do to help your child get some sleep is to find out what is keeping him or her awake at night. If your child could not sleep because of some unfounded fear, you should try to be patient with him.
Children have very rich imaginations and the things which you think are so unreasonable and unreal, could be very real for them. Never for one moment belittle your child’s fear. One of the best ways to put a child to sleep is to read them some gentle and soothing bedtime stories. The soothing sound of your voice actually helps cure childhood insomnia. The human body responds well to schedules and rhythm. To help your child overcome childhood insomnia, you should set a specific time for your child to go to bed.
Generally speaking, there are two major types of insomnia, i.e. acute insomnia and chronic insomnia or hyper insomnia. You will know that you are suffering from acute insomnia when you cannot sleep because of some apparent reason like noise, bright light, too much of heat or cold, incoming illness, recovering from illness, uncomfortable bed, and so on. The other causes of acute insomnia are erratic sleeping schedules, i.e. working on night shifts, working late night, watching TV which interferes with the body’s normal biological clock. Normally, removing the irritants and minor home remedies would be sufficient to cure this type of insomnia.
The hyper insomnia or chronic insomnia is quite difficult to manage or cure. This is usually the result of a serious underlying problem, or a disease by itself triggered by some anxiety or serious health problem (which could be neurological, medical and/or psychiatric). Most of the times, the hyper insomnia would be connected with some psychiatric problem or other and hence would require long and careful tests for proper diagnosis. Reports show that hyper insomnia accounts for more than 45 percent of the cases.
The other major cause for hyper insomnia is drug abuse, not necessarily narcotics. There are many drugs some as innocent as decongestants and antidepressants that can cause long term insomnia. The other culprits could be coffee (and any caffeine consisting drinks), steroids (prescribed by the doctor), beta blockers, and even sleeping pills (withdrawal symptoms when they are discontinued). It is best to take medical advice and treatment for hyper insomnia.
Chronic insomnia is a complicated condition in which the patient has difficulty in sleeping or getting refreshing sleep for more than a month. Depression is a major cause of chronic insomnia. Other causes include diseases like arthritis, heart problems, kidney problems, respiratory diseases, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, sleep apnea, and several other conditions. Constant experience of mental stress and excessive use of stimulants like caffeine (coffee, tea etc.) are also responsible for causing chronic insomnia.
Treatment of chronic insomnia consists of diagnosing and eliminating the underlying medical/psychological disorders. Stopping or minimizing behaviors that aggravate insomnia are also part of the treatment plans. Sleeping pills may be prescribed by the physician for temporary use but they are not allowed for long-term use. Different behavioral techniques are employed to treat chronic insomnia. These include techniques like relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, reconditioning, and using bright light.