Insomnia is a sleep disorder when a person has difficulty falling or staying asleep. Those who suffer from insomnia have one or more of the falling symptoms; difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep or waking up too early.
Insomnia comes in two forms; first and secondary insomnia. First insomnia is when a person has trouble getting to sleep that is not due to any health condition. Secondary insomnia is when a person has sleep problems that are due to a health condition like depression, heartburn or arthritis.
Diagnosis of insomnia can be accomplished several ways such as with a physical exam, a sleep habits review from your doctor or a sleep study. Keep in mind; there are several treatments for insomnia such as cognitive behavioral therapy, stimulus control therapy, relaxation techniques, sleep restriction and light therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia works for some because it helps you control negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake. This therapy teaches you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to sleep. In addition, it can help you control negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake.
Relaxation techniques work for others. Examples of relaxation techniques are biofeedback, muscle relaxation and breathing exercises at bedtime. Sleep restriction is another treatment for sleeplessness. Sleep restriction decreases the time you spend in bed and prevents daytime naps. This makes you more tired the next night.
Prescription medications are another way to treat insomnia. These medications can help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Examples of medications prescribed for insomnia are Sonata, Lunesta and Ambien. However, prescription pills for insomnia can have side effects such as causing grogginess during the daytime or increasing the risk of falling and they can be habit forming.
Prescription sleeping pills can have unwanted effects, such as feeling sleepy in the morning, being at risk for accidents in your home and they can be habit forming. Talk with your doctor to see if these medications would be a viable option for you.
Most importantly, there are some basic tips you can use at home that may help such as sticking to a sleep schedule, staying active throughout the day, engaging in mild exercise a few hours before bedtime, talking with your doctor about the medications you take during the day and avoiding naps. Other tips are avoiding caffeine and alcohol and not smoking.
Additional tips are avoiding large meals and beverages before bed, making your bedroom dark, quiet and cool and creating a relaxing bedtime ritual such as reading or listening to soft music. In addition, if you can’t sleep get out of bed and avoid trying too hard to sleep. Get up, read in another room until you feel sleep and then go back to bed to sleep. Alternative medicines for sleeplessness are melatonin, acupuncture, Yoga and meditation.
The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are a healthy heart, preventing cancer, reducing stress, feeling more alert during the day, improving your memory, losing weight, reducing the risk of depression and helping your body to repair itself.
To conclude, insomnia is a sleep disorder when a person has difficulty falling or staying asleep. Those who suffer from insomnia have one or more of the falling symptoms; difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep.
Talk with your doctor soon if your sleeplessness continues. Treatments for insomnia may help you get the sleep you need. With all the many benefits of a good night’s sleep it makes sense to sleep well.