What is Insomnia ?

Insomnia is defined as having difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep, which leads to a negative impact on the next day.  Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis or a disease. There are three types of insomnia: transient, acute and chronic.  Insomnia is a medical condition that touches the lives of approximately 64 million adults in the United States  making insomnia the most common sleep disorder.  So, if you're having trouble sleeping, it may be comforting to know that youre not alone. 

•Primary Insomnia: The common complaint of primary insomnia is difficulty falling or staying asleep that is consistent for at least one month. Symptoms include decreased energy, lower concentration, and fatigue. Although symptoms are similar, primary insomnia should not be confused with insomnia related to a mental health impairment or another health condition. Insomnia, in general, often increases with age and affects women more (National Womens Health Information Center, n.d.). 

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services in the year 2007, approximately 64 million Americans regularly suffer from insomnia each year.  Insomnia is 1.4 times more common in women than in men.  In fact, old age women are more prone towards this sleep-disorder.  National Institutes of Health recommends sleep for most adults 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.  
Insomnia can be caused by Restless Legs Syndrome, mental disorders, poor sleep hygiene, disturbances of the circadian rhythm, psychoactive drugs or stimulants, and estrogen.  Also, certain neurological disorders, brain lesions, or a history of traumatic brain injury may be the cause of insomnia.

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of Insomnia. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, give us a call at (818) 80.SLEEPand we can diagnose your sleep disorder. According to National Sleep Foundation, symptoms of insomnia include: 

•difficulty falling sleep 
•waking up frequently during the night 
•difficulty returning to sleep 
•waking up too early in the morning 
•un-refreshing sleep 
•daytime sleepiness 
•difficulty concentrating 
•daytime functioning, irritability and difficulty concentrating

After being diagnosed for insomnia, there are various forms of treatments.
A recent study found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is more effective than hypnotic medications in controlling insomnia. CBT helps people recognize, challenge, and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.  In this therapy, patients are taught to improve sleep habits. CBT shows superiority over pharmacological hypnotic drugs and is recommended as a first line treatment for insomnia.

Other methods for treatment are antidepressants, melatonin and melatonin agonists (hormone and supplement melatonin is effective in several types of insomnia) and antihistamines used in nonprescription sleep aid such as Tylenol PM - with a 50 mg recommended mandated by FDA.  

Any medical decisions should be made in follow-up visits with the physician.  However, some insomniacs turn to natural way of healing, herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, lavender, hops, and passion-flower

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