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Insomnia

  • February 10, 2020
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A refreshing and good night’s sleep mostly keeps you active and energetic by the day. In insomnia, which is a sleep disorder, one is deprived of contented sleep and often wakes up feeling tired.

Insomnia could be short-term (acute), lasting for days or long-term (chronic). Symptoms of insomnia include:

Insomnia may be primary when it is an only problem or secondary. It is secondary when it comes associated with other underlying medical conditions like depression, arthritis, heartburn, or cancer. The common causes thus include:

  • Age, stress or traum
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Travel or irregular work schedule
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol
  • Certain medications

The recommended first-line of treatment is 'Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia’ (CBT-I), which primarily focuses on overcoming negative thoughts. Prescription sleeping pills are generally not advisable for over a few weeks as they are habit-forming with known side-effects.

Herbal supplements like 'chamomile,' approved safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), are commonly considered for treating insomnia. Alternative therapies like ‘guided meditation’ and other relaxation techniques often improve quality of life. However, not all alternative approaches may be benign and always talk to your doctor before resorting to one.

More common among senior adults earlier, insomnia is now catching up on teens due to stress and excessive bedtime use of gadgets! Staying physically active and aiming for the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep with a consistent sleep schedule will help readjust the body's natural clock.

Developed by Scientific Angle Publications LLP. Brought to you by Health Meter Services

Disclaimer: Don’t follow any suggestions in this article without consulting a qualified doctor

Sources:

  1. ‘Insomnia- Diagnosis and Treatment’- Mayoclinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167
  2. ‘Alternative treatments and Remedies for Insomnia’- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/alternative_treatments_for_insomnia#1