Insomnia – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Insomnia is a frustrating sleep disorder that can make it very difficult for a person to fall off to sleep. It is also a problem that often prevents the individual from being able to stay asleep once that have drifted off. Below is a list of the most common symptoms that are found in a person that has been diagnosed with insomnia.

  • Still feeling very tired after waking up each morning
  • Having tremendous problems in being able to fall off to sleep
  • Waking up in the mornings at a very early time
  • Waking up many times throughout the night and having difficulty in returning to sleep

Two Different Types of Insomnia

While just about every person has heard of insomnia, there are actually few people that realize there are two different types of this sleep disorder. The two types of insomnia are as follows:

  • Primary – When an individual is experiencing issues with their sleep and it is not related to another problem or health condition, it is generally diagnosed as primary insomnia.
  • Secondary – When an individual experiences issues with their sleep that is due to another problem or health condition they are often diagnosed with secondary insomnia. This type of insomnia is often caused from cancer, asthma, arthritis, depression, heartburn, the use of alcohol or other substance, and pain medications taken for various health problems.

Insomnia and Common Causes of this Sleep Disorder

There are actually several different causes of this frustrating type of sleep disorder. To list a few of the most common insomnia causes that disrupt the sleep of numerous people are as follows.

  • Problems that a person is suffering either physically or emotionally.
  • Issues that cause the disruption of a person’s regular sleep habits. This often includes things like changing shifts at work and jet lag that is frequently caused when flying in a plane for several hours.
  • Major life stresses. Some of the common causes of excessive amounts of stress include things like a divorce, the death of a close friend or family member, or a major illness.
  • Certain medicines commonly used to treat specific types of illnesses. Some of the most common are those taken for high blood pressure, the common cold, asthma, depression, and allergies.
  • Some environmental elements can cause problems with this disorder. To list a few of these would include excessively low or high temperatures, extreme noise, and bothersome light.

The Normal Process of Diagnosing Insomnia

There are a few different steps that are normally taken before a physician diagnoses a patient with a sleep disorder like insomnia. The first thing that is generally performed is a physical examination. Other information is also usually obtained through the physician obtaining a sleep history of the patient, as well as a medical history. If the doctor feels it is necessary, a recommendation to a sleep center may be made so special testing can be performed.

Treatment Options for Insomnia

Physicians rarely prescribe medication for mild or acute levels of insomnia. This is simply because it is usually easily treated by making small changes to the patient’s sleeping habits. In cases where insomnia is more extreme, sleeping aids may be prescribed. Some situations may also call for the use of behavioral therapy techniques, therapy involving sleep restriction, and various exercises for relaxation.


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