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Key Information About Insomnia

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Doctors worldwide suggest a minimum of eight hours as optimum sleep time needed.

Some experts are of the opinion that the “ideal” eight hours sleep a night is an average – some people will need more, some less.

Insomnia is the condition of being unable to sleep over a period of time. It is a growing problem.

Worldwide studies suggest that up to 50 percent of the world’s population suffer from insomnia.

This disorder takes a toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems.

For instance a research study suggests that insomnia increases cardiovascular disease risk by 16 percent.

key-information-about-insomnia

Causes

Travel schedule, problems at work or school, eating too much late in the night, stress, work schedule, concerns about jobs, health, income, family, friends or relationships, and poor sleep habits are some causes of insomnia.

Vitamin B-12 regulates melatonin levels in the body – the hormone responsible for regulating circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. Vitamin B-12 deficiency eventually results in insomnia.

Some experts have warned that sleep tracker apps and devices can worsen insomnia both through inaccurate data and by making your anxieties that much worse.

Sleep problems during pregnancy are extremely common, especially towards the later stages of pregnancy when physical discomforts become more numerous and the baby grows larger.

Symptoms

Symptoms include waking during night hours, difficulty falling asleep at night, feeling tired in the morning, irritability, waking very early, anxiety, feeling sleepy during daytime, depression, headache and inability to concentrate.

Marc Raphaelson, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, told POPSUGAR that brief sleep interruptions are common and often normal, but he becomes concerned that a patient has insomnia if he or she has "difficulty initiating (falling) asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or wakes up in the early morning after short sleep."

If these problems last for more than a month and consistently affect your ability to function during the day, it's time to talk to your doctor.

Complications

Chronic insomnia is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, depression, anxiety and premature death.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Treatment

Most common treatments are medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes can include better sleep habits, exercising in the daytime, and eating a balanced diet.

Eszopiclone (Lunesta), ramelteon (Rozerem) and trazodone (Desyrel) are some medicines used to treat insomnia.

Medications for chronic insomnia may be effective, but they are not typically recommended for long-term use due to their potential side effects and risk of dependence.

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Swiss drugmaker Idorsia said on January 10 2022 that it has received the US FDA's approval for its treatment for insomnia in adult patients. The drug will be available under the brand name Quviviq.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is emerging as a solution to aid persistent insomnia in place of medication.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), CBT-I “combines behavioral strategies, such as setting a consistent sleep schedule and getting out of bed when struggling with sleep, with cognitive strategies, such as replacing fears about sleeplessness with more helpful expectations.”

A research study indicated that Heartfulness Meditation may be an important option in the aggregate of treatments for chronic insomnia.

The study, which was published by the Oxford University Press, was conducted by Sleep Research Society.

Intermittent dosing of zolpidem with placebo after one month of full dose nightly zolpidem is an effective acute and extended treatment for patients with chronic insomnia while using 50 percent less medication, according to study results published in Sleep Medicine.

Sleepio, a digital sleep improvement program, helps you sleep well without pills or potions.

When people are having trouble sleeping, taking a lavender pill helps them have quality sleep.

— Professor Murat Kartal, Bezmialem University.

Prevention

Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.

Exercise at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. Restrict vigorous exercise to the morning or afternoon.

Do not exercise before going to sleep; do Heartfulness relaxation instead. Avoid bright lights in the bedroom.

Make bedtime all about sleep and not about other things like watching TV, playing on your phone, or reading.

Design a healthy work schedule. Take steps to relieve symptoms of jet lag. Drink plenty of water.

key-information-about-insomnia

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Insomnia is the condition of being unable to _____ over a period of time
    • breathe
    • run
    • sleep
    • walk
  2. What percent of world's population suffer from insomnia?
    • 20
    • 30
    • 40
    • 50
  3. Which is a cause of insomnia?
    • Travel schedule
    • Problems at work
    • Stress
    • All the above
  4. Sleep problems during pregnancy are extremely common.
    • True
    • False
  5. Which is a symptom of insomnia?
    • feeling sleepy during daytime
    • irritability
    • waking during night hours
    • All the above

Answer Key

  1. sleep
  2. 50
  3. All the above
  4. True
  5. All the above

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

Comments

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 19, 2019:

This was very interesting to read. I rarely get 7 or 8 hours sleep a night. I usually wake up a couple of times in the night, and sometimes takes me a long time to get to sleep. Ah well, I manage on the few hours I do get!

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