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CONDITIONS A-Z

Insomnia

Approximately 30-40% of the population is affected by disturbed sleep patterns, and about 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. This condition can affect all age groups, although it is more common in women and older adults.

Insomnia Overview

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep for an adequate length of time. This results in tiredness that can negatively affect your daily life. The condition may be transient, acute, or chronic. Approximately 30-40% of the population in industrialised nations is affected by disturbed sleep patterns, and about 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.

All age groups can be affected by this condition, which is more common among women and older adults. The onset of menopause, illness, psychiatric disorders, and working night or rotating shifts, all represent significant risks for insomnia. About 40% of patients suffer from an associated psychiatric disorder, notably depression. Insomnia is considered a diagnostic symptom for depressive and anxiety disorders.

Only a small number of those affected with chronic insomnia consult their doctor specifically for this condition. Most resort to over-the-counter drugs and self-help strategies in an effort to deal with the problem. However, insomnia can have far-reaching health consequences. So it's worth seeing your doctor if you think you suffer from chronic insomnia.

Common Insomnia Causes

Transient, short-term insomnia is usually caused by dietary and or lifestyle factors, such as caffeine, stress, anxiety, working night shifts and jet lag.

Chronic insomnia has many causes including psychological and medical conditions.

Main Insomnia Symptoms

Patients complain of difficulty falling asleep, with disturbed, fragmented sleep and daytime drowsiness. People suffering from insomnia are also likely to still feel tried on waking. In the long term, this results in a poorer quality of life. Sleep problems may also worsen the effects of other ailments.

Most Common Insomnia Treatments

Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep medications can help but are not meant for long-term use. They can also interfere with your daytime mental alertness. Complimentary therapy and the use of herbs and supplements can also help.

You should seek the help of your doctor if you suffer from chronic insomnia, since your daily life and health would benefit from appropriate treatment. The medical evaluation involves a complete investigation of your medical history. Sleep logs maintained by the patient are a simple way of providing the doctor with necessary details.

Insomnia Self-care and Prevention

Management of this condition includes behaviour therapy, proper sleep habits, and drug therapy. There are many small ways in which you can help yourself to sleep better.

To help get a good night's sleep see Single beds from time4sleep.co.uk



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