Insomnia – Definition

How many nights have you spent watching the clock and counting the hours, wishing desperately to fall asleep? Who is used to wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours (and paradoxically, you’ll be ready to fall asleep anywhere during the day)? Who already knows he won’t sleep tonight because of a big day tomorrow? Believe me, I’ve been through all this because I started suffering from insomnia when I was a kid and I still do, sporadically (thanks God!). Many of you have been asking questions about insomnia so let me introduce you to this very common medical problem but oh, so disturbing and crippling!

According to the U.S. National Library of medicine:

‘‘Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, or having nonrefreshing sleep for at least 1 month.’’ 1

The primary insomnia is caused by a known mental or physical condition such as the use of alcohol, taking too much caffeine, using drugs, anxiety or stress. The secondary insomnia is caused by a medical condition. As an example, depression is a common cause of this type of insomnia. Moreover, it appears that sleeping difficulties are what lead people who suffer from depression to seek medical help.

You probably suffer from insomnia if you present these symptoms:

  • Difficulty of falling asleep on most nights;
  • Feeling tired during the day or falling asleep during the day;
  • Not feeling refreshed when you wake up (if you were able to sleep of course!);
  • Waking up several times during the night.

Now, don’t panic. Most people will suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. However, it does not mean it is a trivial problem. Indeed, sleeping difficulties affect all our spheres of life and can lead to feelings like extreme frustration and distress. Consequently, it is imperative to find out why you don’t sleep normally.

Obviously, it is easy to treat your sleeping problems if you are already aware of their cause. Sometimes, it could be as simple as not drinking coffee in the evening. However, it’s recommended to seek medical help if you can’t pinpoint the problem. Ronald Ozminkowski, PhD, from the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Cornell University, Washington, DC, recently conducted a study concerning the costs of untreated insomnia. In a statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, he said:

“Our study suggests that it costs far less to treat insomnia than to ignore it. Untreated insomnia affects individuals’ health, quality of life, and job performance — and increases their use of healthcare services substantially.”2

In the following post, I’ll help you to uncover the cause of your sleeping problems and, of course, I’ll share some tips with you about possible treatments. Trust me: you have very good chance overcome insomnia!

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References

1. U.S. National Library of medicine / A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia (August 17, 2009) Insomnia (Online) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001808/

2. CASSELS, Caroline (Medscape Medical News) (March 8, 2007). Untreated insomnia has exhausting effect on human resources. (Online) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/553341

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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