Background information on insomnia and other sleeping disorders

There are many disorders that fit and cater for the different type of problems. You have heard about people complaining in the elevator when you are on your way to class that they can’t sleep last night. Or maybe even feeling sleepy during the day. Sleep is basically when the body sensory and motor activity are being suspended naturally in a recurring manner while disorder means disturbance of the normal function. The cases above are usually related to sleeping disorders. There are many different types of sleeping disorders in which has become a prominent issue in many. Many people don’t know they are facing sleep disorder until they are facing problems coping with their office work or everyday life. The study of sleep disorder started in 1913 when a French scientist named Henri Pieron wrote a book titled “Le probleme physiologique du sommeil,” which explains how sleep was examined from the psychology perspective. The book was known to be the first to explain about how sleep was examined. After a few years, Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman, or known as “Father of American sleep research,” started questioning the regulation of sleep and did a case study of sleep characteristics in different populations and the effect of sleep deprivation. 30 years later, Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman student whose name was, Dr. Eugene made a discovery on rapid eye movement or known as REM. As time goes by, technology enhances which improves the study of sleep disorder. There are many different types of sleep disorder that can be found among sleep disorder patients are like Insomnia, Sleep apnea and Narcolepsy. To date there are over 80 sleep disorder which people around the world are suffering from.

The sleep disorder that I will be talking would be Insomnia. Insomnia is known to be one of the famous as well as common sleep disorders up to date. What is Insomnia? Insomnia is a condition which a person is having trouble falling or staying asleep. The condition can be mild or maybe severe depending on the length of time the person is having trouble falling asleep. Insomnia comes in many different ways. There are some who have trouble sleeping or staying asleep which means they wake up too soon. However there are some who suffer from both which are sleeping and staying asleep. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours a person sleep or how long it takes for a person to fall asleep. This is because each person sleeping hours varies as their need for sleep varies which is affected by many ways like age and lifestyle activities.

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What makes Insomnia different? Insomnia is evidenced by trouble falling or staying asleep. However there is no key difference when compared to other sleep disorder like sleep apnea, which is known as breathing interruptions during sleep. This makes sleep disorder to be easily identified and treated compared to other disorder which shares the same symptoms and required greater study to identify the specific disorder.

There are many causes why Insomnia happens to people. The cause of Insomnia can be divided into two categories, which are Primary Insomnia and Secondary Insomnia.

Primary Insomnia usually happens without a symptom or side effect from medical condition. This type of Insomnia usually happens with a minimum period of one month. Life changing problems, which occur, may trigger primary Insomnia in a person. Examples would be a person working overtime to complete a big work project or worrying about money problems, which they have invested in. However, a person might still suffer from Insomnia even when the problem they are suffering from before has been solved. This is because of the habits like taking evening naps or going to bed at wrong hours which have been cultivated during the period in which when the person is suffering from Insomnia.

Secondary Insomnia is usually the symptom or effect from a problem that triggers this sleeping disorder. Usually this type of Insomnia is related to a person having emotional problems as well as medical problems. An example would be when a person suffers from Parkinson’s disease; they tend to take Dopamine, which produces the feeling of pleasure. However overdose of Dopamine may cause the body to face difficulty in falling asleep as Dopamine gives the person a feeling of pleasure to stay awake. Other factors like taking tobacco and alcohol may also lead to Insomnia. This is because alcohol can disrupt the way the kidney works, which result in, unbalance blood PH value and unbalance blood pressure.

There are a few types of Insomnia and they are transient, intermittent and chronic. Transient means short terms Insomnia that usually happens from a single night until a few weeks. However intermittent Insomnia usually happens once in a while. It works like transient Insomnia but not constant. Lastly would be chronic Insomnia, which usually happens for the longest time and would usually last for more than a month.

Insomnia is usually found in both males and females. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, it is reported that one out of three adults may suffer from Insomnia. It is also reported that Insomnia is usually most common among females compared to men. Older people are most likely to suffer Insomnia compared to younger people due to the body sleeping routine, which have been shaped over the years. Younger people tend to have a much more active lifestyle and their sleeping hours varies. Other external life related factors like death of a relative or under influence of major stress can also play a role in causing Insomnia

Symptoms are basically changes in bodily function that is beyond the norm a person experience. Sometimes a symptom that happens can be physically, mentally and even both. The problems that usually relate to a person suffering from insomnia is usually trouble falling asleep or stay sleeping. There are quite a number of symptoms white relates to the external factors and lifestyle of a person, which causes Insomnia. Symptoms like sleeping for short periods and wake up too early is usually related to long-term problems like money related or thinking about big projects at work. This may cause a person to feel irritated and depressed. People who are suffering from primary insomnia tend to put pressure on themselves in order to get the right amount of sleep, which causes a sense of frustration and lead to further sleeping problems. The lack of sleep when suffering from Insomnia may cause other symptoms like feeling tired during the day or not well rested which result in lack of focus when performing daily tasks. An example would be driving when feeling tired or drowsy due to the lack of sleep. Statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a minimum of 30000 vehicles crash happens every year.

When a person thinks they are suffering from Insomnia, they are a few methods used by doctors to identify if a person is suffering from Insomnia. The few methods used to identify Insomnia are through medical and sleep histories as well as physical exam. There are times doctors will use sleep study when they are unable to identify the cause of problems, which caused the person to suffer from Insomnia.

When it comes to medical history, doctors will ask a series of question regarding health problems the person is currently diagnosed with to pass events, which may have triggered Insomnia. The patient is then required to answer those questions verbally and sometimes the answers may give a clue to what have caused the person to suffer from Insomnia. Next method used by doctors is sleep history. This method is usually able to give doctors a clearer picture to the sleep problem. Simple questions are being asked in order to allow the patient to describe the problem. Questions asked are like how often does the person have trouble staying away during the day to how much time does the person take to fall asleep. The doctor then followed by asking about distractions being faced in life to daily routine before going to bed. Questions like this allows the doctor to further identify if things in the person life may worsen the sleeping disorder. The third method used would be physical exam. Physical exam means that the patient is being put through blood tests so that doctors can identify conditions that cause sleep problems. The final method done would be sleep study where a patient undergoes a study called polysomnogram (PSG) where it records all the motor activity in the body like heart rate and blood pressure.

Insomnia which are acute or known as short term can be treated by changing the lifestyle of a person. This means that a person should reduce the amount of caffeine and tobacco intake before going to bed as the effects from caffeine can change the way our body clock works. Lifestyle treatment like good bedtime habits should be adopted as well as regular exercise should be done. This is because a good lifestyle helps to create a balance in our body.

The second therapy that helps a person to overcome the problem of Insomnia would be cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy encourages the use of several methods that relieve sleep anxiety. Relaxation techniques help to control breathing and regulating mood towards a better manner. CBT also helps a person to create positive thinking, which helps a person to sleep better. On the other hand, CBT makes the person who is suffering from Insomnia to get involve by talking to a therapist. This method allows the person to speak to the therapist about things they have in mind and also helps them to settle their mind. The last therapy would be medicines. A medicine that is used to treat Insomnia comes in two ways. One would be prescription medicine and the other would be over-the-counter products. Prescription medicines used to treat Insomnia can be both short and long term medication. This method would be much more appropriate compared to over-the-counter products as prescription medicines allow patients to follow up with the doctor and adjust the medication accordingly to the level of Insomnia the patient is suffering. Whereas over-the-counter products does not ensure its effectiveness to overcome Insomnia. This is because taking the same dosage of the same medication over long periods of time may cause a threat to the body when the same medication is being used again in the future.

In conclusion, there are many different types of sleep disorder and one of it is called Insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that a person is having trouble falling or staying asleep and it can be a short as well as a long-term effect. There are many causes of why insomnia happens and it can be divided into primary and secondary causes. Primary cause is when the Insomnia is not related to another medical condition and secondary insomnia is the symptom of another problem. Besides that, it is known that older people suffer insomnia more than younger people. Symptoms shown that when a person is suffering from Insomnia is when they sleep for short periods of time and felt that they have not slept at all. A series of tests is done to further identify about the person who is suffering from Insomnia. Tests like physical test and medical history check. Lastly would be treating Insomnia through various ways like changing of a person lifestyle and the use of medication.

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