Definition of insomnia: ———————————- Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. Individuals with insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. People with insomnia often don’t feel refreshed when they wake up from sleeping, either. This can lead to fatigue and other symptoms. The APA defines insomnia as a disorder in which people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Doctors make a clinical diagnosis of insomnia if both of these criteria apply: Sleep difficulties occurring at least three nights a week for a minimum of 3 months. Sleep difficulties creating major distress or functional difficulties in a person’s life. Keep reading to learn all about the: symptoms causes types of insomnia Insomnia causes The causes of your insomnia will depend on the type of sleeplessness you experience. Short-term insomnia, or acute insomnia, may be caused by a number of things including: stress an upsetting or traumatic event changes to your sleep habits, like sleeping in a hotel or new home physical pain jet lag certain medications Chronic insomnia lasts for at least 3 months and can be primary or secondary. Primary insomnia has no known cause. Secondary insomnia occurs with another condition that can include: medical conditions that make it harder to sleep, such as arthritis or back pain psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression substance use sleep apnea diabetes Risk factors for insomnia: —————————————- Insomnia can occur at any age and is more likely to affect women than men. high levels of stress emotional disorders, such as depression or distress related to a life event lower income traveling to different time zones sedentary lifestyle changes in work hours or working night shifts Having certain medical conditions, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, can also lead to insomnia. Menopause can lead to insomnia as well. Insomnia symptoms: ——————————— People who experience insomnia usually report at least one of these symptoms: waking too early in the morning unrefreshing sleep trouble falling or staying asleep These symptoms of insomnia can lead to other symptoms, including: fatigue mood changes irritability You may also have difficulty concentrating on tasks during the day. Treating insomnia: —————————- There are both pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical treatments for insomnia. Your doctor can talk to you about what treatments might be appropriate. You may need to try a number of different treatments before finding the one that’s most effective for you. The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for chronic insomnia in adults. Sleep hygiene training may also be recommended. Sometimes, behaviors that interfere with sleep cause insomnia. Sleep hygiene training can help you change some of these disruptive behaviors. Suggested changes may include: avoiding caffeinated beverages near bedtime avoiding exercise near bedtime minimizing time spent on your bed when you’re not specifically intending to sleep, such as watching TV or surfing the web on your phone If there’s an underlying psychological or medical disorder contributing to your insomnia, getting appropriate treatment for it can alleviate sleep difficulties. Insomnia medications: ———————————– Sometimes, medications are used to treat insomnia. An example of an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can be used for sleep is an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Medications like this can have side effects, especially long term, so it’s important to talk to a doctor before starting yourself on an OTC medication for insomnia. Prescription medications that may be used to treat insomnia include: eszopiclone (Lunesta) zolpidem (Ambien) Talk with your doctor before using any medications or supplements to treat your insomnia. There might be dangerous side effects or drug interactions. Not every “sleep aid” is appropriate for everyone. #sleepingdisorders #Insomnia #insomniacauses #insomniasymptoms #insomniatreatment #insomniaprevention #insomniadiagnosis #stress #chronicinsomnia #riskfactorsofinsomnia #health #healthcare #healthawareness #medicalawareness