Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief

     

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is one of the most commonly addressed problems with sleeping. It refers to a state of habitual sleeplessness. It can include the issue of not being able to fall asleep in the first place or the problem of waking up during the night and not being able to fall back to sleep. This condition can last from a few days to weeks or months at a time.

Besides not being able to sleep, other symptoms include waking up early in the morning and yet not feeling awake or refreshed enough from the sleep you did have. Also, daytime fatigue and drowsiness along with irritability will highlight that you are not getting enough of or the right kind of sleep. For some individuals the problem becomes so persistent that they will resort to sleeping pills or alcohol to achieve some rest.

It has been stated that close to 20% of the population can be suffering from insomnia at any given time. And while it is not regarded to be dangerous to an individual in and of itself, it can be extremely frustrating and have an eventual dramatic effect on their daily lives.

Initially the effect may just be the aforementioned drowsiness or irritability. And for many it may result in a lesser ability to perform routine tasks or demonstrate higher creativity. If it continues over a few days it can begin to dramatically affect one's work performance and may even alter one's personality traits. If it becomes a chronic issue, studies have shown that productivity declines, safety and health problems can result

As can be imagined, there is a long list of medical causes that could contribute to someone developing insomnia. These include straightforward physical pain and muscle aches, indigestion, breathing issues, depression, anxiety, hypoglycemia, stress and profound grief. Obviously, while some of these conditions may be temporary, others may be lifelong issues that require a constant surveillance.

Certain drugs or food products such as caffeine can stimulate the body and contribute to sleeplessness. Included in this list are Pseudoephedrine which is a decongestant that is found in many cold and allergy products, medications for heart problems and high blood pressure, some appetite suppressant drugs, the antiseizure drug Dilantin, and some thyroid replacement medication.

In recent times, attention has been brought to a condition known as 'restless leg syndrome' which can also prevent someone from getting a good night's sleep. This is manifested by their legs twitching or jerking involuntarily while lying down. Much is unfortunately still unknown about this problem.

However, a very well documented and serious disorder known as 'sleep apnea' disrupts sleep through irregular breathing. The breathing process actually stops, sometimes for a few seconds, or up to as much as two minutes. Gasping for air the affected sleeper awakens. This can repeat itself dozens of times during the night and yet the individual may not remember it in the morning.

Of course other factors can come into play such as traveling and going through a change in time zones. Who hasn't had to fight a case of jet lag? Or some other change in schedule could throw off a person's sleep schedule and make it difficult to get back into what may be a more usual routine. And there also exists the possibility that a person simply doesn't follow through on good bedtime habits that can induce good sleep. Ultimately, whatever the underlying cause, the result is insomnia. And it can become a great challenge to find a good night's sleep.

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