Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sleep Disorders and Insomnia

There are over 100 sleep disorders that have been identified and insomnia is definitely one of the most common problems.
Episodes of insomnia can be short- or long-term (chronic) and involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep as well as awakening very early. Some reasons for suffering with insomnia include: anxiety, stress, depression, caffeine, alcohol, drugs and medications, illness, napping during the day, and surrounding influences (too much noise or light).
Some disorders of insomnia are:

Insomnia due to a dependence or cessation of stimulants

Delayed sleep phase syndrome (the individual believes s/he sleeps better from morning to mid-afternoon

Insomnia due to ceasing or building tolerance to sleep medications, known as Hypnotic dependent sleep disorder and

Pyschophysiological insomnia, known as learned insomnia

The treatment for insomnia depends on uncovering the cause. First the patient must work on the sleeping environment, ensuring minimal noise, minimal light, reducing caffeine, and reducing stimulants. If the problem of insomnia persists, talk to your doctor, especially if you are considering taking over-the-counter sleeping medications. Your doctor will guide you in the right direction according to your overall health.

Your bedroom should be a place of sleep, and only sleep, especially if you suffer from any type of sleep disorder.

Tips to help insomnia:

Do not read in bed

Do not watch TV in bed, in fact remove television from bedroom

Do not engage in sex in the bedroom, choose another room for that as well

Try to go to bed at the same time each night

Cut back on smoking (especially before bedtime)

Reduce the intake of caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, etc)

Limit the intake of soda late at night, due to the amount of sugar

One major factor of insomnia is depression. Depression is usually treated with medication and therefore, should be discussed with your doctor.


Some sleep disorders go away all on their own, while others require medical attention and medication and is therefore highly recommended that you consult your doctor at the onset of insomnia.

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