Insomnia

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What is insomnia?

Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both, despite adequate opportunity and time to sleep, leading to impaired daytime functioning. Insomnia may be due to poor quality or quantity of sleep.

Insomnia is very common and occurs in 30% to 50% of the general population. Approximately 10% of the population may suffer from chronic (long-standing) insomnia.

Insomnia affects people of all ages including children, although it is more common in adults and its frequency increases with age. In general, women are affected more frequently than men.

Insomnia may be divided into three classes based on the duration of symptoms.

  • Insomnia lasting one week or less may be termed transient insomnia;

  • short-term insomnia lasts more than one week but resolves in less than three weeks; and

  • long-term or chronic insomnia lasts more than three weeks.

Insomnia can also be classified based on the underlying reasons for insomnia such as sleep hygiene, medical conditions, sleep disorders, stress factors, and so on.

It is important to make a distinction between insomnia and other similar terminology; short duration sleep and sleep deprivation.

  • Short duration sleep may be normal in some individuals who may require less time for sleep without feeling daytime impairment, the central symptom in the definition of insomnia.

  • In insomnia, adequate time and opportunity for sleep is available, whereas in sleep deprivation, lack of sleep is due to lack of opportunity or time to sleep because of voluntary or intentional avoidance of sleep.

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Insomnia - Treatment Question: Please describe your effective treatments with insomnia.
Insomnia - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with insomnia.
Insomnia - Causes Question: What caused your insomnia?
Insomnia - Sleep Hygiene Question: Describe the types of sleep hygiene you practice to treat insomnia. What works for you?
Insomnia - Medications Question: What medications have you taken to relieve your insomnia? Please relate your experience.
Insomnia - Symptoms Question: What are the symptoms of your insomnia?
Do You Suffer from Insomnia?

Insomnia Symptoms

Insomnia is the perception of inadequate or poor-quality sleep. It can be due to problems falling asleep, early wakening, waking frequently during the night, unrefreshing sleep, or a combination of these. Contrary to some popular beliefs, insomnia is not defined by the total amount of sleep one gets or how long it takes a person to fall asleep. Individuals can vary in their need for sleep, and in the time required to fall asleep. What is a refreshing night's sleep for one person might be insomnia for another person.

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