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- Insomnia FAQs
- Patient Comments: Insomnia Treatment - Natural Remedies
- Patient Comments: Insomnia Treatment - OTC Medicine
- Patient Comments: Insomnia Treatment - Doctors and Prescriptions
- Find a local Sleep Specialist in your town
Quick GuideInsomnia Pictures Slideshow: 20 Tips for Better Sleep
What is insomnia and what causes it?
- psychological conditions (for example, depression, anxiety),
- environmental changes (travel, jet lag, or altitude changes), and
- stressful events or a stressful lifestyle.
Insomnia can also be caused by poor sleeping habits such as excessive daytime naps or caffeine consumption and poor sleep hygiene.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates 30% of adults have some symptoms of insomnia, 10% have insomnia symptoms so severe they cause consequences such as daytime sleepiness, and less than 10% have chronic insomnia.
Insomnia may be classified by how long the symptoms are present.
- Transient insomnia usually is due to situational changes such as travel, extreme climate changes, and stressful events. It lasts for less than a week or until the stressful event is resolved.
- Short-term insomnia usually is due to ongoing stressful lifestyle or events, medication side effects or medical conditions and lasts for one to three weeks.
- Chronic insomnia (long-term insomnia) often results from depression, digestive problems, sleep disorders, or substance abuse and continues for more than three weeks.
Transient insomnia may progress to short-term insomnia and without adequate treatment short-term insomnia may become chronic insomnia.
Some of the medications and substances that can contribute to insomnia are:
- caffeine and coffee,
- decongestants (for example, pseudoephedrine),
- diuretics (for example, furosemide [Lasix], hydrochlorothiazide [Dyazide]) especially if taken in the evening or at bedtime,
- antidepressants (for example, bupropion [Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban], fluoxetine [Prozac]),
- appetite suppressants (for example, sibutramine [Meridia], phentermine [Fastin]), and
- benzodiazepines (for example, diazepam [Valium], chlordiazepoxide [Librium], lorazepam [Ativan]),
- marijuana, and
- other addicting drugs.
Insomnia can also result from poor sleep-related habits (poor sleep hygiene).