Friday, November 25, 2011

Insomnia: Perils Of Staying Awake All Night by Paul Stevens

Insomnia or sleep disorder is a difficult condition. According to the report by United States Department of Health and Human Services in the year 2007, approximately 64 million Americans regularly suffer from insomnia each year. This condition is more common among women then men. There are different types of insomnia, which will be discussed further.

Types Of Insomnia

Transient Insomnia - Under this condition, the victim faces difficulty in falling asleep even after laying on the bed. Ideally, one should fall asleep within half an hour of going to bed. However, due to anxiety, stress, excessive thinking, and worrying, the person may not be able to fall asleep. It is also known as mild insomnia and lasts from days to weeks.

Acute insomnia - It is a type of insomnia where the victim is unable to sleep well for a period of three to four weeks. It is also known as short-term or moderate insomnia.

Chronic insomnia - This is a severe type of insomnia that lasts for years. The victim may become irritable and feel fatigued due to lack of rest. It is important to seek medical treatment for this kind of condition.

There are different patterns of insomnia like onset insomnia, middle of the night insomnia, and terminal insomnia. In case of onset insomnia, the sufferer is unable to sleep in the beginning of the night. It is often associated with anxiety and stress. A worried mind creates many thoughts and cannot be at peace. Middle of the night insomnia is characterized by the inability to fall asleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, the victim may wake up early in the morning and find it difficult to sleep again. Terminal sleep disorder is often a characteristic of clinical depression. The victim wakes up early in the morning and cannot fall asleep again.

Insomnia can have a serious impact on the victim's overall health and well-being. The mental trauma that one experiences can lead to low confidence levels and lack of enthusiasm. Sufferers do not feel energetic or excited while performing daily tasks and activities. In fact, work too seems like a burden. The consequences of this sleep disorder aren't ordinary. This condition can lead to other diseases as well. Here are some consequences of insomnia.

Consequences of Insomnia

Psychological Functioning - Prolonged insomnia can affect the mental functioning of an individual. It causes problems related to concentration, memory impairment, and lack of reasoning ability, difficulty in performing ordinary daily tasks, depression, and anxiety.

Headaches - Insomniacs sometimes wake up with a splitting headache. At times, the headache occurs in the night or early in the morning. It is also accompanied by nausea.

Heart disease - Chronic insomnia can put the nervous system at a risk of heart diseases. Typically, the sufferer faces anxiety and restless throughout the day and night. His mind is not at peace or rest, and this condition makes him vulnerable to heart diseases.

Hormonal changes - This condition increases the activity of hormones that cause stress. The sufferer may experience mood swings and become irritable.

The cause of this condition is not limited to one or two aspects. There are several causes of insomnia, such as stress, anxiety, mental tension, work problems, financial difficulties, emotional breakdowns, poor sleep conditions like too much light, noise, extreme weather, etc. Apart from these causes, insomnia is also caused due to some medical condition, rare genetic condition, stimulants, psychoactive drugs, pain, or shift in hormones.