INSOMNIA

07 May 2019

ABSTRACT –

Insomnia is a sleep disorder where a person finds it difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Insomnia causes adverse effects on day time and schedules. This disorder can disrupt mind and body physically as well as mentally. However, certain changes in habits can make this condition better. The types of insomnia depends on the health condition associated with this sleep disorder.

Types:
  • Primary Insomnia
  • Secondary Insomnia

Depending on how long it lasts, there are further types:

  • Transient (1-3 days)
  • Acute Insomnia (Short-term, for few weeks)
  • Chronic Insomnia (Long-term, for months)

CAUSES –

  • Excessive stress
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol abuse
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Psychological and emotional issues
  • Environmental factors
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Less active lifestyle

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

  • Difficulty in socializing
  • Sleeping issues and getting up early than desired in the morning
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Day-time drowsiness after a night’s sleep
  • Depression
  • Deprived concentration and focus
  • Headache
  • Inattentiveness

COMPLICATIONS –

  • Increases the risk of accidents
  • Poorer performance at job or other activities
  • Mental health and other serious conditions like heart diseases or high BP.

DIAGNOSIS –

  • Physical examination
  • Medical history
  • Polysomnography also known as sleep test to understand and track the sleep patterns.
  • Keeping a track on sleep diary
  • Special tests to be done in sleep center in some cases

TREATMENT –

  • Certain medications like antidepressants, antihistamines and prescribed sleeping pills
  • Changing sleeping habits and following a good sleep routine
  • Behavioural therapies such as relaxation exercises, listen to music
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or any such beverages in night
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid stress
  • Take medicines on time

RISK FACTORS –

  • Ageing
  • Shift workers with fluctuations in daily shift timings
  • Pregnancy and menopause
  • Mental health disorders
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse
  • Irregular and improper schedule

PREVENTION –

  • Maintain consistency in the daily routine
  • Reduce naps
  • Avoid heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol before sleep time
  • Limit phone usage after lights are off
  • Exercise regularly

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • It is estimated that 10 to 30% of the total population suffers from insomnia in which females and elderly are more prone to get affected.
  • The prevalence has increased in teenagers and adults as well because of excessive stress and augmented usage of mobile phones at night.

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