Insomnia - Experience

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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 and/or quantity of sleep.

Insomnia is very common and occurs in 90% of the general population has experienced acute insomnia at least once. 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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See what others are saying

Comment from: aly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I find sleeping quite difficult although there is enough time. I have daily mood swings, low temperance and get angry quickly.

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Comment from: ingenuechan, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

My sleep pattern is as follows: I lay down tired and instantly feel awake. I toss and turn until I fall asleep. As soon as I start to fall asleep the sweating starts. I kick off my covers and I"m cold and sweating. I"ll fall asleep around 11 and wake up between 2 and 3 am with my heart pounding. If I turnover, sometimes it feels like I get an adrenaline rush and I am instantly awake for the rest of the night. Then I will get tired around 10 am and pass out if I can, usually this isn"t the case. I have always had some difficulty sleeping ever since I was a child but in the last 3 months I have to say it has gotten exponentially worse. I do realize what some of the underlying stress factors are and am trying to reconcile those issues. I wonder if it is just insomnia or if I have hyperthyroidism.

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