What is insomnia and why do I suffer from insomnia? These are two very common questions from people who suffer from insomnia or sleeplessness. Insomnia is sleep disorder which is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Both adults and children can have symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is often times caused by either environmental issues, but in some instances it can be the result of a underlying medical problem. There are two types of insomnia – Acute Insomnia and Chronic Insomnia.
Symptoms of Insomnia
There are several symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is both a sleep disorder and a symptom of other sleep, medical, and psychiatric disorders. If you are suffering from insomnia you will find it hard to fall asleep at night or once you fall asleep find it difficult to stay asleep throughout the night. Many who suffer from insomnia may only get about half the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep nightly.
Symptoms of insomnia can be classified into two types; Primary Insomnia and Secondary Insomnia. Primary insomnia is defined by someone who is having sleep problems which are not a result of a medical condition or disorder. Secondary insomnia is defined by someone who is having sleep problems as a result of a medical condition or illness, pain, medication side effects, or a substance abuse problem such as alcohol or drug abuse. Read more on the Symptoms of Insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
So what are the causes of insomnia? Some of the causes of insomnia occur naturally in your body while others are a direct result of your environmental, lifestyle, or some psychological factors. Naturally occurring causes of insomnia include hormone fluctuations, illnesses or injuries. Environmental, lifestyle, or some psychological factors include dependency on drugs and alcohol, addiction to caffeinated drinks such as soda, tea, energy drinks and coffee, stress at home or work, financial problems, and eating habits just to name a few. Read more on the Causes of Insomnia.
Cures For Insomnia
There is a variety of cures for insomnia that can help you with sleeplessness. Everyone is different and thus everyone’s sleep needs will vary. What works for someone else may not work for you and your sleep needs. In order find the cure that works for you, you’ll need to know what is causing your symptoms. Maintain a log of your daily activities and sleep patterns, including the time you get up, the time you go to bed, when you start feeling tired during the day, etc. This information will be valuable to you or your doctor when searching for treatment options.
A wide variety of both natural and home remedies exist many of which don’t cost you a dime. Insomnia medicine is a viable option but should only be used as part of a plan from your doctor. Home remedies for insomnia include lifestyle changes such as diet, sleep regiment, changing habits at home and at work to reduce stress, and exercise.
Some people respond better to herbal remedies for insomnia which treat insomnia through the use of various herbs and herbal supplements, herbal teas, etc. These herbal supplements are a great alternative to over-the-counter sleep aids and prescription drugs which can be habit forming.
A variety of over the counter and prescription sleep aids can be prescribed by your doctor to help you sleep at night. Only your doctor can determine which insomnia medication is right for you. While these insomnia medicines can provide temporary relief, they should not be considered as a long term insomnia cure.
There are a lot of over the counter insomnia products for mild sleep disorders. These sleep aids generally have been approved by the FDA. These over-the-counter sleep aids should be taken after a consultation with your doctor as some may be habit forming.
Studies have shown that behavioral and lifestyle changes have a more lasting effect on insomnia.