Insomnia: Types, Reasons and Treatment

Insomnia is caused by everyday situations involving emotional extremes of happiness or anxiety. Although the term insomnia literally translates into “no sleep”, it is used by most people to describe trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The consequence of this is being unable to function as well as usual the following day. About one in three American adults says he or she is a poor sleeper and one in six says the problem is quite serious. Insomnia knows no bounds it can affect the young and old male or female. Sleep specialists distinguish among three types of insomnia: transient, short term and chronic.

Transient insomnia is the experience of a night or two of poor sleep. Probably everyone suffers from it now and then. Often people who experience transient insomnia complain of difficulty in concentrating, weariness and irritability the following day. Sleeping in a strange bed may even bring on transient insomnia. Most people do not sleep quite as well as usual their first night away from home, whether it is a pleasant visit to a friends house or a vacation or under the stressful conditions of a hospital stay. Short-term insomnia involves sleep disturbances that last for two to three weeks. Here, ongoing stress at school, work or home is often the reason: worrying about grades, learning of your parents impending divorce or having a serious illness or death in the family are all events that trigger short-term insomnia.

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Chronic insomnia is poor sleep that last longer than three weeks. This form of insomnia is a complex disorder with many possible causes and afflicts more than 35 million Americans. While most people blame this on stress, the use of stimulants may also be at fault. It is relatively easy to pinpoint the reasons for transient and short-term insomnia. That is not the case for chronic insomnia, which may last for years disrupting sleep most or every night. Rapid travel across many time zones upset the inner clocks that regulate the timing of sleeping and waking. As a result, trouble in sleeping at night as well as staying awake throughout the day is commonly called jet lag but is actually a form of insomnia. Stress undoubtedly plays a key role in insomnia, particularly for teenagers and people in their 20’s and 30’s, but is by no means the only culprit.

As mentioned before stimulants are also responsible for cases of insomnia. Even though caffeine near bedtime may not interfere with falling asleep, it may trigger awakenings later. Caffeine related ingredients are found in soft drinks, chocolate, coffee and strong tea. Nicotine is also a stimulant and it has been shown that smokers take longer to fall asleep and sleep more lightly than non-smokers. Nicotine may be found in many commonly used drugs, including non-prescription drugs for weight loss, asthma and colds. Alcohol, which is sometimes used as a nightcap to induce sleep, may also act to make sleep more fragile throughout the night. Noise is also a cause for insomnia, passing traffic outside your window, jets flying by overhead, or your TV left on during your sleep may disturb your sleep even though you don’t awaken completely. Some expert believe that having a “white noise” such as a fan or the static of a radio to mask the disturbing sounds can act as a shield against any kind of sudden noise that could jolt you out of sleep.

Even when your eyes are closed, light still comes through and this again may not awaken you but will cause for a less stable state of sleep. Pain is also a reason for insomnia, disorders such as arthritis, back injury, headache and many other forms of discomfort may also upset sleep. A nationwide study of 8,000 patients seeking treatment at sleep disorder centers shows that physical problems such as trouble with breathing or over active leg muscles account for over half of all cases in chronic insomnia. This startling finding makes sleep specialists think that insomnia is not always an illness but a symptom, much like a fever or headache. Insomnia can take major tolls on a family with a member who suffers from insomnia the person can be irritable, anxious and have impaired concentration and memory. This can make for a uncomfortable setting to live in and a unpleasant environment

Sleeping pills, are thought to be a cure for insomnia but they unfortunately are not. When sleeping pills are used every night, they cease to benefit sleep after a few weeks, due to the fact that the body becomes used to the pills and they have no effect. Abruptly discontinuing their use, however may lead to a worsening form of insomnia called “rebound wakefulness” this problem can be fixed by a gradual reduction of the amount of medication taken nightly until no forms of medications are consumed. Some forms of sleeping pills that do not have these negative are such prescription drugs as Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are part of a class of drugs called hyponotics that are commonly prescribed to extreme sufferers of insomnia. Some types of these drugs are lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), triazolam (Halcion), flurazepem (Dalmane), tempazempam (Restoril), oxazepam (Serax), and prazepam (Centrax).

There are types of unconventional therapies that are used to assist in the depression of insomnia, some of these therapies are so-called natural substances such as, hops, kava, chamomile, and lemon balm. Recently there has been a new approach to curing insomnia which is called (LEET) low energy emission therapy, this method uses radio waves transmitted through a spoon-like device that a person with insomnia places into the mouth before sleep. The early studies on this device show that it could have some very promising results. Since there is no cure for insomnia millions of people suffer from it and are affected by it everyday in their professional careers and family life.

Out of 150 people polled on-line at my website 18 male suffered from transient insomnia 22 form short-term, 4 from Chronic and 28 said that they did not believe to have suffered from it at all on a regular basis. Female respondents said that 14 had experienced Transient insomnia, 38 had Short-term, 8 suffered from Chronic insomnia while 18 did not experience it at all. From these statistic that I have collected I have made the hypothesis that women are more susceptible to insomnia of any kind than that of the male species.

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Insomnia: Types, Reasons and Treatment. (2018, Jul 04). Retrieved from