is defined as being a response to one of two things. Either a sufferer
finds it next to impossible
to fall asleep, or if they can, they then
find it difficult to stay
asleep long enough to allow the body to
complete all 5 stages of the sleep cycle.
can be broken down into three main types:
- Transient insomnia –
The condition usually lasts between a few days and
- Acute insomnia – The
symptoms can last for a few weeks at any one time;
- Chronic insomnia –
This long term type
can often last for months or years.
causes of insomnia have not been conclusively medically proven but
sleep studies have shown there are a number of factors that can be
linked to all three types of insomnia. In many cases one factor can
often be the trigger or
catalyst for another one. Listed below are four
of the most well-known factors but many more can be attributed to
People not only deal with levels of stress in different ways but the
causes of their stress may vary enormously from person to person.
Everyday stress may be caused by things like work, money, family and
illness. One common point about stress is that it can be extremely
damaging to one’s mental and physical health.
This is thought to be caused primarily by a chemical imbalance
the brain. However, tests show that serious events which happen during
a person’s life can trigger depression or other types of mental
illness. Sufferers of long term or chronic depression will more often
than not show signs that can be recognized by the people closest to
them. Some of these signs include weight changes, helplessness, lack of
energy, self loathing, mood swings and a lack of social interaction.
Many illnesses or injuries can have a detrimental effect on our ability
to achieve quality sleep that our body and mind requires for general
well-being. The symptoms and pain caused by illness or injury is
usually the main reason
for our sleep patterns to become
Depending on what medication you are taking for what type of illness or
injury, the effects can differ greatly. Some medication can cause
terrible side effects, which can include vomiting,
dizziness, hot or
cold flashes, bowel movements, sweating and nausea to name a few. All
of these side effects can be medically linked with disruption of the
body's sleeping pattern and can be a direct or indirect cause of
Explained below are the most common symptoms of insomnia. If you
recognize these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it is possible
that insomnia could be the cause, although you might be suffering from
a more serious sleep
disorder. Either way, you should consider visiting
a doctor or physician for the possibility of carrying out a sleep study.
during the day: If a person has trouble getting quality sleep at night,
they may be more susceptible to falling asleep during the day. People
insomnia especially, can frequently doze off without
meaning to or realizing that they have.
can be a dangerous problem in itself. Chronic sufferers may be advised
that driving or operating dangerous machinery could be extremely
hazardous to not only their own health but to other people around them
A lack of sleep can cause a sufferer to find it difficult to
concentrate or focus on any one task for more than a small period of
time. Even the easiest
everyday tasks that would seem trivial to
non-sufferers can turn out to be too difficult to complete.
problem can cause insomniacs difficulty when trying to live a
well-rounded life. Things like jobs, socializing, driving, and
meaningful relationships can be hindered by this sleeping problem. Lack
of coordination, due to extreme tiredness, can cause insomniacs to be
prone to accidents.
Most Common Effects of Insomnia
of energy: Sleeping for the medically recommended 8 to 10 hours
per night gives the body a chance to recharge its batteries for the
upcoming day. If sleeping is not achieved, or the sleeping
stages are constantly interrupted, the body does not have the chance to
shut down the muscles and nervous system required to give the it the
necessary energy it needs.
of this energy is created
by the food we consume. So when a sufferer of
insomnia loses or lacks appetite, it denies the body the fuel it needs
to create energy for both physical and mental activities.
loss: Lack of quality sleep due to the effects of insomnia can alter
short term memory. These effects could possibly be
attributed to the
fact that the brain is deprived of proper sleep for a period of
shows that when a person is asleep the brain goes through a
process of sorting and storing information, learned or observed
throughout the day.
If suffering from
insomnia, the brain does
not get the required time it needs to complete this
process so some of the information that should have been catalogued and
stored can be lost or forgotten.
are quite a few known treatments such as medication
lifestyle changes, exercise and behavior therapy, but no conclusive
cure has been found yet. All of these treatments have the ability to
work in individual cases but most will depend on trying to discover the
cause of the problem, as insomnia is not usually the original problem
but one of the side effects of often deeper rooted traumas or
appointment with a sleep specialist, possibly at a sleep
often be the first step on the road to recovery and a way of getting
back a decent quality of life.