What Causes Insomnia ?March 17th, 2012 | Posted by in Sleep Disorder
Many cases of insomnia are physician-created. At first, drugs are effective in increasing sleep, but soon the tolerance to drug develops, and progressively more of it is required to produce the effect. The patient cannot stop taking the drug without running the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which include insomnia.
Sleep apnea is another cause of insomnia. In sleep apnea, the patient stops breathing many times each night. Each time the patient awakens, begins to breathe again, and drifts back to sleep. Sleep apnea usually leads to a sense of having slept poorly. However, some patients are totally unaware of those multiple awakenings and instead complain of excessive sleepiness during the day.
Sleep apnea disorders are of two types. The first type results from obstruction of the respiratory passages. The second type results from the failure of the central nervous system to stimulate respiration. Sleep apnea is more common in males, in the overweight, and in the elderly.
Two other causes of insomnia involve the legs. Nocturnal myoclonus is a periodic twitching of the body usually the legs, during sleep. Most patients suffering from this disorder complain of poor sleep and daytime sleepiness but are unaware of the nature of their problem. In contrast, people with restless legs are all too aware of their problem. They complain of tension and uneasiness in their legs that keep them from falling asleep.
Remarkably, one of the most effective treatments for insomnia is sleep restriction therapy. First the amount of time than an insomniac is allowed to spend in bed is substantially reduced. Then, after a period of sleep restriction, the amount of time spent in bed is gradually increased in small increments, as long as sleep latency remains in the normal range. Even severe insomniacs benefit from this treatment.
Tips to Combat Insomnia
* Read something pleasant or relaxing just before going to sleep.
* Arrange your schedule so you go to sleep at the same time each night.
* Take a warm bath or have a massage before going to sleep.
* Avoid coffee or tea late in the day.
* Exercise every day, but not just before going to sleep.
* Don’t smoke.
* Don’t nap during the day.
* Don’t worry; almost everyone experiences difficulty falling asleep sometimes, so don’t be overly concerned unless the problem persists for more than a few days.
* If, despite these measures, you find yourself tossing and turning, get up and read, work, or watch television until you feel drowsy. Lying in bed and worrying about your loss of sleep is definitely not the answer!
Watch this short video on Insomnia