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Facts About Insomnia

The facts about insomnia are fairly well known and the medical community has developed many ways to successfully treat it. If you are one of the thousands of people who suffer from insomnia, your first step to getting better is getting the facts.

What exactly is insomnia? It is defined as getting inadequate or poor quality sleep caused by one of several factors. An inability to fall asleep properly, the tendency to wake up frequently during the night, waking up very early in the morning and getting less than restful sleep are all common factors in insomnia.

The word "insomnia" is derived from the Latin "in" or "not" and "somnus" or "sleep". (Somnus being the Roman god of sleep.)

One of the most important facts about insomnia is that it is not related to the amount of time you sleep but rather the quality of the sleep you get. The amount of sleep needed actually varies from individual to individual, so it can’t be used as a successful measure across the board. A much more accurate indicator is whether you are waking up feeling refreshed and able to handle your everyday activities.

Full moon againt a dark blue cloudy sky.Photo: Arjun Kartha

Insomnia itself can vary in length, from short term to off and on bouts to chronic or long term. Sleep disruption which lasts anywhere from a single day to several weeks is considered short term. If your sleep pattern is disturbed by a specific experience, such as travel or a change in your work hours, that can produce on and off or transient insomnia.

When insomnia occurs most nights and lasts for a month or more, then it is considered chronic and can become a serious health issue. This is when you are most in need of medical intervention. The more you can learn of the facts about insomnia, the better off you’ll be when you discuss it with your doctor.

Insomnia can have a variety of causes, from stress and environmental changes to advanced age and, in some cases, underlying medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma or Parkinson’s disease. Insomnia tends to be more common in women then men, and among those over age 60, although it can occur in people of any gender or age.

Once you have been diagnosed with insomnia, there are several techniques you can use to relieve it. Among the most crucial facts about insomnia is that sleeping pills, while they may seem the obvious choice, should never be considered as a long term solution. Usually, a combination of relaxation techniques, changing potentially disruptive behaviors, and sleep restriction can be used to ease symptoms and restore natural sleep patterns. Sleeping pills should never be considered without a doctor’s supervision.

Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to get a good night’s sleep. If insomnia is taking a hold of your life, then talk to your doctor and consider your options. While insomnia is troubling, it is also easily cured, so there is no reason to give in to it. Get the facts on insomnia today and you’ll be back to sleeping like a baby before you know it!

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