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.
Insomnia may be classified by how long the symptoms are present. Temporary insomnia (transient insomnia) usually is due to situational changes, such as travel and stressful events. It lasts for less than a week or until the stressful event is resolved. Short-term insomnia lasts for one to three weeks, and long-term insomnia (chronic insomnia) continues for more than three weeks. Insomnia may also be classified as primary or secondary. Primary insomnia occurs in the absence of other medical problems, while secondary insomnia occurs as a result of a medical condition such as heart disease, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn causing wakefulness.
Insomnia is more likely to occur in females, people over 60 years of age, and people who have a history of depression, however, anyone can be affected by insomnia. Short-term insomnia may also occur as a side effect of certain medications. Chronic insomnia is more serious and may be caused or worsened by a variety of mental and physical problems.
Although sedative medications may be prescribed by a doctor for severe cases of insomnia, their use is controversial in the management of long-term insomnia. Many treatments for insomnia are behavioral in nature; for example, identifying and reducing behaviors that worsen insomnia or learning and practicing relaxation techniques. Insomnia can be particularly devastating because it often leads to a "vicious cycle" of daytime behaviors that worsen the condition. Persons without adequate sleep can experience tiredness, lack of energy, and concentration problems; which they may attempt to overcome by excessive caffeine intake or nicotine use. Insomniacs may be "too tired" to exercise and take afternoon naps, both of which reduce the ability to fall asleep the following night.
Related Symptoms & Signs
Other causes of insomnia
- Disruptive Bed Partner (Excessive Movement)
- Drug Withdrawal (Benzodiazepines Such As Valium or Ativan, Antihistamines, Amphetamines)
- Erratic Work Schedules or Shift Work
- Excessive Light or Noise in Sleeping Area
- Medication Use (Decongestants, Diuretics, Amphetamines, Antidepressants)
- New or Unfamiliar Environment
- Poor Sleep Habits or Daytime Napping
- Temperature Extremes
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Causes of Insomnia
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to improve the health and well-being of a person, which may help with anxiety, and some adverse effects of cancer therapy, such as insomnia and nausea. Essential oils, in addition to producing aroma, ease symptoms of stress, anxiety, and headaches, and promote more profound levels of relaxation and quality sleep.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Cancer pain is a common experience that may result from the disease, treatment, or diagnostic procedure. Check out the center below for more medical references on cancer, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Cluster headaches are a type of headache that recurs over a period. Episodes can last one to three times a day during this time, which may last from 2 weeks to 3 months. The three main types of treatments for cluster headaches are, 1) Abortive medications that work to stop the process in the brain that causes migraines and stops the symptoms too. 2) Preventive prescription medications, or 3) surgery which involves blocking the trigeminal nerve.
Cocaine and Crack Addiction
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is heated to form vapors, which are then smoked. Cocaine has various effects on the body, including dilating pupils, constricting blood vessels, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
A concussion is a short-lived loss of brain function that is due to head trauma. There are two types of concussion, simple and complex. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, nausea, dizziness, dazed feeling, irritability, and visual symptoms. Physical signs include poor concentration, emotional changes, slurred speech, and personality changes. Concussion is diagnosed with physical examination and testing. Treatment for a concussion in general includes treatment for control of the symptoms and time.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or air pollutants. Conditions that accompany COPD include chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, and emphysema. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Treatment of COPD includes GOLD guidelines, smoking cessation, medications, and surgery. The life expectancy of a person with COPD depends on the stage of the disease.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Depression in Children
Childhood depression can interfere with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life. Symptoms and signs include anger, social withdrawal, vocal outbursts, fatigue, physical complaints, and thoughts of suicide. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Dysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty feeling, loss of energy, helplessness, sluggishness, and persistent aches and pains. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and antidepressants.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux, can cause symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and nausea. Learn about causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
How Can I Cure Insomnia Fast? 15 Tips
Insomnia is the medical term for the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep not just for one night but from several days to months. Nearly 35 out of every 100 people suffer from insomnia.
How Can I Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes?
Adequate quantity and quality of sleep are important for you to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. While for a blessed few dozing off is an easy affair, going to sleep can be a struggle for many. Falling asleep in a short while, such as in 2 minutes, may be achieved by following certain tips and sleep rituals.
How Do You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes?
Good sleep hygiene means practicing habits that help you get good quality sleep every night. Adequate sleep is essential for your overall mental and physical health. There are no quick fixes to fall asleep within five minutes, but there are strategies to help you fall asleep faster.
How Many Types of Insomnia Are There?
Insomnia is trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The three types of insomnia include transient insomnia, short-term insomnia, and chronic insomnia.
How to Stop Snoring
Snoring, like all other sounds, is caused by vibrations that cause particles in the air to form sound waves. While we are asleep, turbulent airflow can cause the tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and give rise to snoring. Any person can snore. Snoring is believed to occur in anywhere from 30% of women to over 45% of men. People who snore can have any body type. In general, as people get older and as they gain weight, snoring will worsen. Snoring can be caused by a number of things, including the sleep position, alcohol, medication, anatomical structure of the mouth and throat, stage of sleep, and mouth breathing.
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone due to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased heart rate, weight loss, heart palpitations, frequent bowel movements, depression, fatigue, fine or brittle hair, sleep problems, thinning skin, and irregular vaginal bleeding. Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Many other health problems or taking excess thyroid hormone medication can cause an overactive thyroid gland. Treatment for the condition is with medication, radioactive iodine, thyroid surgery (rarely), or reducing the dose of thyroid hormone. No diet has been shown to treat hyperthyroidism or its symptoms and signs.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes, and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Jet lag (desynchonosis) is a temporary disorder that results from travel across time zones. Symptoms include anxiety, constipation, headache, nausea, dehydration, diarrhea, confusion, sweating, irritability, and even memory loss.
Get the latest marijuana statistics and information. Learn its side effects and how this drug, also known as pot, affects the brain. Also, learn about medical marijuana for cancer patients and its indications.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms and signs include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies and should be discussed with your physician.
Mental Illness in Children
About 5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, pervasive development disorders, elimination disorders, learning disorders, schizophrenia, tic disorders, and mood disorders. Symptoms of mental illness include frequent outbursts of anger, hyperactivity, fear of gaining weight, excessive worrying, frequent temper tantrums, and hearing voices that aren't there. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, and creative therapies.
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include; depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. For some women, PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and weakness. Treatment involves a series of injections: rabies immune globulin and four rabies vaccines administered over 2 weeks.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause of painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea (OSA), and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. OSA is diagnosed and evaluated through patient history, physical examination and polysomnography. There are many complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments are surgical and non-surgical.
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep: 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement).
Sleep Related Breathing Disorders
Sleep-related breathing disorders are characterized by disruptions of normal breathing patterns that only occur during sleep. Snoring and sleep apnea are the most common sleep-related breathing disorders.
Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic or severe stress can be harmful to your health. Learn what happens in your body when you are stressed and how you can manage your response.
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, and 10 million to 20 million attempt suicide annually.
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Tension Headache (Symptoms, Relief, Causes, Treatment)
A tension headache s one of the most common types of headaches, and the exact cause is not known. Factors that may contribute to tension or stress headaches are lack of sleep, increased stress (referred to as a stress headache), skipping meals, dehydration, medical diseases or conditions, anxiety, or changes at home, work, or school. Treatment of tension headaches include prescription and OTC medications, stress management, and treating any underlying illness or condition.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (West Nile encephalitis) is a brain infection caused by a virus. People become infected with the virus after they're bitten by a mosquito that has fed off of a bird that's infected with the West Nile virus. Symptoms in humans include fever, headache, rash, body ache, and swollen lymph nodes. Treatment for a West Nile virus infection involves supportive care.
What Are the Five Types of Insomnia?
The five types of insomnia are as follows: acute insomnia, chronic insomnia, onset insomnia, maintenance insomnia, and behavioral insomnia of childhood.
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, consolidation, or quality that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep and results in some form of daytime impairment. There are three types of insomnia.
Why Do I Have Insomnia Before My Period?
About 70% of all women say that they experience changes in their sleep before their period begins. This may be due to hormonal changes during menstrual periods.
Examples of Medications for Insomnia
- Belsomra (suvorexant) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Dayvigo (lemborexant)
- Edluar (zolpidem tartrate)
- eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- gotu kola
- lemon balm
- Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium)
- passion flower
- ramelteon (Rozerem)
- Side Effects of Ambien (zolpidem)
- Side Effects of Halcion (triazolam)
- Side Effects of Intermezzo (zolpidem)
- Side Effects of Lunesta (eszopiclone)
- Side Effects of Rozerem (ramelteon)
- Side Effects of Sonata (zaleplon)
- St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
- zaleplon (Sonata)
- zolpidem (Ambien)
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