What is Insomnia? Causes, symptoms, types and treatments

Do you spend entire nights awake, have trouble falling asleep? How do you know if you are sleepless? Insomnia is a disease that affects almost half the population in the world, either in a timely or chronic manner. Let's see then What is Insomnia? Causes, symptoms, types and treatments.

What is insomnia?

Suffering or suffering from insomnia is a something that could be defined in a subjective way because it can be defined as the state in which we can not achieve sleep, or we also have insomnia when, despite having slept, we have woken up several times during the night, so that our sleep has not been rested, much less, refreshing.

In this way, the fact of suffering from insomnia can be accompanied by fatigue and abnormal drowsiness in comparison with the activity practiced during the day.

Insomnia is also something that goes beyond the number of hours of sleep, but it has to do with the aforementioned "quality of sleep" and the importance of their recovery, without forgetting to try to reach a rest that does not condition Our status the next day.

When we talk about insomnia, we do it as a dream and how it can be altered, but we have to stress how important the amount of sleep will be like the quality of sleep.

Insomnia should also be assessed based on the type of sleeper you are. There are people who need an average of six or seven hours to rest and can already perform 100% without problems. There are others that require up to 9 hours in a row sleeping and when they do not, they can lead to insomnia patients with many more problems to achieve control of the disease and above all, rest.

To know how to treat insomnia it is important to know first what are the causes for this disease

Causes of Insomnia

There are several causes of insomnia, but to be able to find out which ones are we must differentiate between secondary and primary insomnia:

Secondary insomnia

Secondary insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem. This type of insomnia is often a symptom of a emotional, neurological, or other medical or sleep disorder.

Emotional disorders that can cause insomnia include depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are examples of neurological disorders that can cause insomnia.

Many other disorders or factors can also cause insomnia, such as:

  • Conditions that cause chronic (continuous) pain, such as arthritis and headache
  • Conditions that make breathing difficult, such as asthma and heart failure
  • An overactive thyroid
  • An overactive thyroid
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  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as heartburn
  • Sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep-related breathing problems
  • Menopause and hot flashes

Secondary insomnia can also be a side effect of some medications . For example, certain medications for asthma, such as theophylline, and some allergy and cold medications can cause insomnia. Beta blockers can also cause the condition. These medications are used to treat heart conditions.

Commonly used substances can also cause insomnia.It is your own distinct disorder, and its cause is not well understood. Primary insomnia usually lasts at least 1 month.

Many changes in life can trigger primary insomnia. It may be due to stress or a long-term or emotional disorder. Travel or other factors, such as work schedules that interrupt your sleep routine, can also trigger primary insomnia.

Even if these problems are resolved, insomnia may not go away . The difficulty to sleep can persist due to the habits formed to deal with lack of sleep. These habits may include taking naps, worrying about sleep, and going to bed early.

Researchers continue to try to find out if some people are born with an increased risk of primary insomnia.

Symptoms of Insomnia

The main symptom of insomnia is difficulty in falling asleep or reconciled, which leads to lack of dream. If you have insomnia, you can :

  • Rest awake by a long time before falling asleep
  • Sleeping only for short periods
  • Being awake for much of the night
  • Feeling as if you had not slept at all
  • Waking up too early

Lack of sleep can cause other symptoms. You can wake up feeling tired or poorly rested , and you may feel tired during the day. You may also have trouble concentrating on tasks. Insomnia can make you feel anxious, depressed or irritable.

Insomnia can also affect your daily activities and cause serious problems. For example, you may feel sleepy while driving. Driver drowsiness (not related to alcohol) is responsible for almost 20 percent of all serious injuries from automobile accidents. Research also shows that insomnia increases the risk of older women falling.

If insomnia is affecting your daily activities, talk to your doctor. The treatment can help you avoid the symptoms and problems related to the disorder. Also, sleeping poorly can be a sign of other health problems. Finding and treating these problems could improve your overall health and sleep.

Types of Insomnia

There are many types of insomnia that are They can be classified according to duration, start period and causes. As for the duration we can talk about:

Transient insomnia

It lasts for a few days . It is mainly present in people who have a history of normal sleep in a situation of acute physiological stress (as an organic disease) or situational (change of time zone)

Short insomnia

It lasts for a few weeks . It is a type of insomnia that occurs in relation to prolonged physiological stress (a serious illness) or situational stress (a duel). In these cases, it is important to investigate the habits of subjects without sleep and try to understand if any form of alteration has arisen for proper sleep hygiene.

Insomnia long term

Lasts more than one month . Without a doubt, it is a type of insomnia that must be investigated. It can often be caused by chronic organic diseases. Other times it is caused by the abuse of substances such as alcohol or drugs.An indicative classification can be made between:

Insomnia initial

It is the insomnia suffered by the people who are struggling to Fall asleep. These people can also spend many hours in bed before going to sleep

Central insomnia

This type of insomnia occurs in a very light sleep in the middle part of the night . There may also be a complete awakening in the middle of the night, which implies the possibility of going back to sleep in the last hours

Terminal Insomnia

This is the insomnia suffered by people who wake up early in the morning after 4-5 hours of sleep. It can be related to the difficulty of staying asleep in the last hours more characterized by sleep REM that the first hours characterized by the Delta dream. Often, this difficulty is related to tension states.

Treatment against Insomnia

Any case of insomnia has fortunately several treatments, whether natural or medicinal:

Natural treatments

Among the natural treatments we can point out:

  • Maintain a certain regularity, go to sleep and get out of bed at the same time.
  • Let the room you sleep in be cool, dark and silent. The bed and the pillow should be comfortable
  • Practice a daily physical activity that facilitates sleep; However, it is important that it does not happen at bedtime.
  • Avoid heavy foods , alcohol or stimulants.
  • Avoid .
  • Trying to make activities soothing (like a hot bath) before bed.

Medicinal treatments

As for medicinal treatments, medications are often prescribed hypnotics, , that is, for Induce sleep, but this is not the treatment of choice for each type of insomnia. A careful examination of the type of insomnia presented by the patient should in fact guide the doctor to choose the best therapeutic strategy. Sometimes some measures are needed to improve sleep hygiene so that a person can solve the problem of insomnia. The use of hypno-inducing drugs can in many cases be integrated with non-pharmacological strategies, aimed at resolving situational insomnia and some non-situational insomnia.

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