In broad terms, insomnia refers to difficulty experienced in falling asleep or maintaining restoring/refreshing sleep. It is a topic of great debate whether insomnia is a symptom or disorder. Whether disorder or symptom, different kinds of insomnia have been recognized and are described here.
Kinds of Insomnia
Sleep Onset Insomnia is also called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome because the patient delays the major sleep episode and this delay causes sleeplessness and difficulty in getting up at the desired time. Psycho-Physiological Insomnia is caused due to anxiety or psychological problem which creates physical symptoms and prevents sleep. In Idiopathic type of insomnia, the nervous system becomes incapable of controlling the sleeping and waking mechanism of the body. The result is a lifelong failure to get proper sleep. It usually starts in early childhood.
Childhood insomnia in children is of two types- Limit- Setting Sleep Disorder and Sleep-Onset Association Disorder. Altitude Insomnia is an acute version of insomnia, short-lived but intense, accompanied by symptoms of headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite, all occurring when you move to high altitudes. Insomnia that results as an allergic response to certain foods is called Food Allergy Insomnia. Toxin-Induced Sleep Disorder is insomnia caused due to poisoning with toxins like heavy metals or certain organic compounds. Environmental Insomnia is sleep difficulty caused by the presence of certain environmental factors in the surrounding e.g. noise, smell, smoke etc. Stimulant-Dependent Sleep Disorder is insomnia resulting from using substances (drugs for example) that stimulate the nervous system. The person becomes addicted to their use and fails to get sleep when abstinence from the drug is practiced.
Alcohol and Insomnia
Many people believe that alcohol and insomnia are not related since alcohol actually puts a person to sleep when it is consumed in excess. Yes, it is true that initially a person who consumes large amounts of alcoholic drinks would fall asleep or pass out as it is popularly known. However, if such binges are happening often enough, the effect will be drastically reversed and the person is bound to have a very fitful sleep. People who suffer from diseases such as blood pressure, indigestion and gastric or kidney or heart problems, and the like are prone to develop insomnia if alcohol is introduced in the diet on a regular basis. It would be good to stay away from alcoholic beverages at least 3-4 hours before bedtime
Anxiety and Insomnia
Anxiety and insomnia have been found as causally related in people who remain excessively worried about some problem or coming event. While sleeplessness on account of mild anxiety for a couple of nights is normal in many cases, prolonged sleeplessness accompanied by constant worrying is clearly a case related to the causal relation between anxiety and insomnia. Anxiety is not a single disorder but a group of psychological disorders called Anxiety Disorders. These include generalized anxiety, panic and phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Different approaches treat anxiety and related insomnia differently. These include psychological counseling, psychotherapy, prescribed medication, nutritional treatment, herbal formulas, and alternative treatments like acupuncture.
Stress Related Insomnia
There are so many people all over the world who are so stressed out during the day that they find it almost impossible to sleep at night. If you are one of those people who have been losing sleep because of stress, you should try to find some solutions to your stress and insomnia problems. Studies show that stress and insomnia are so closely related that when one is present, the other is more likely to follow. For instance, if you have some emotional problems that have been bugging you for sometime, you will find it difficult to take your mind off of your problem. There are many prescription drugs that can help you with your stress and insomnia problem. There are many natural cures for treating stress related insomnia. Most cases of stress related insomnia can be cured by simply taking a break from your daily routine. Taking a walk in the park and breathing some fresh air can help you relax and calm your nerves.
Depression and Insomnia
Depression and insomnia seem to feed off on one another. A person becomes depressed and cannot stop worrying, living in fear, or having anxiety attacks. This does not end when the day does, and the night only continues the barrage of voices that carry over from the day. Insomnia then sets in, and the physical strain on the body weakens the mind and body further until depression sets in again. Relief comes when one identifies the source of the insomnia, whether it is clinical depression or something altogether different. Counseling may prove to be quite helpful in dealing with cases of depression and anxiety. It is important to know that options are available in the form or medications, herbs and supplements in order to help someone suffering from depression and insomnia.
Depression Anxiety Insomnia
One of the most common causes for sleeping disorders is depression and anxiety. In most cases, depression anxiety and insomnia would go hand in hand that people often find themselves dealing with two types of disorders at the same time. According to experts, depression anxiety and insomnia usually go together because the more stressed out and disturbed the person, the more he or she will find it difficult to sleep at night. There are so many people who experience depression anxiety and insomnia for a long period of time simply because they refuse to admit the real cause of their problems. If you really want to help yourself cope with depression anxiety and insomnia, learn to be honest with yourself.