What is Insomnia
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is when a person has any sleep related difficulties, mainly falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early in the morning. Each of these can be extremely irritating and can affect the way that the rest of your day plays out. This is because when you do get up you are still tired and not refreshed. Over a period of time people who suffer from insomnia tend to develop mood disorders, they lack motivation, the inability to concentrate, lack of energy, and constantly being tired.
People need adequate sleep in order to maintain a healthy and productive life. It has been said the people spend about 1/3 of their lifetimes sleeping. That certainly seems like a lot of time but proper sleep is needed for a healthy human body including the vital organs and the brain. The brain really works some magic while a person is asleep. Without sleep the brain begins to lose its ability to function.
While the amount of sleep that a person gets does not seem to be quite as important as the quality of sleep that they get, the two are still completely related. Insomnia has very grave effect over a period of time, both physical and psychological. Impaired mind functioning, accidents, anxiety and depression, stress, heart attacks, and headaches are common consequences of insomnia. Health can deteriorate as the person gets mentally and physically weaker, becomes more irritable, and develops a wakened immune system that can lead to all kinds of illness.
Sleep occurs in a very unique manner. When it is time for sleep, the retina in the eye sends a message to your brain; your brain in turn sends a message to another part of the brain to produce the hormone melatonin, this in turn causes a drop in body temperature and the person begins to feel signs of sleepiness. While this is going on, the brain starts to deactivate three of the brains chemical messengers that are responsible for keeping one alert, histamine, norephinephrine, and serotonin. So it is very important that the brain gets its rest so that it can function properly on a daily basis.
There are various types of insomnia and various causes as well. Insomnia can be broken up into primary and secondary. Primary insomnia means there is absolutely no medical, physical, or emotional reason for the insomnia. Secondary insomnia means there is a reason for the insomnia is it medical, psychological or physical. Generally, secondary insomnia is treated by a physician and primary insomnia is treated with behavioral therapy.
The behavioral therapy often includes things such as sleep hygiene, progressive muscle relaxation, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, and sleep restriction and scheduling. These have been very successful in treatment centers across the country.
It is imperative that a person get relaxed prior to attempting to go to sleep. Reading a book, watching some TV, or anything relaxing is a great start when attempting to get some sleep but if you lay there and find that you lost all interest in sleeping, get out of bed and do something else until you feel tired again. Laying there, tossing and turning is not going to do anything but make matters worse.
Why You Should Never Ignore Insomnia?
First, you should never think that insomnia is acceptable and write it off in any way at all. In fact, insomnia can actually be a sign of bigger problems. Insomnia may not be a disease so to speak but it is a condition that can be treated. One of the biggest problems is that most people do not ever discuss their insomnia problems with their doctor; therefore they can never be resolved.
So many times, people think that insomnia is a temporary condition that will go away on its own but it never does, it just gets worse. You could be suffering from anxiety, panic, or depression and may not even be aware of it yet. The doctor will figure this out and can give you something to make you feel better which will likely leads to you gaining back your sleep.
Insomnia should not be ignored for many reasons. Perhaps it is your medication that is causing this insomnia, or maybe you have a medical condition that has yet to be diagnosed, or maybe you have an emotional condition that you are unaware of. Whatever the reason you can be certain of one thing and that is that there definitely is a reason. Insomnia, especially chronic insomnia is your body's way of letting you know that something is not right.
If you were to decide to ignore insomnia, eventually your physical health would deteriorate; your mental health would as well. Your performance at work and basically in all that you do will lack the vigor that it once had and you will become irritable and moody with loved ones. This is your body's way of handling what insomnia is dishing out. One of the major ways for people to remain healthy is to get plenty of rest and eat a well balanced diet so when you are only averaging a couple of hours at best, of sleep per night you will soon feel like you have been hit by a truck. Your mind may even go into a delirious state and your wick will be very short.
If you go and see the doctor so he can find out what is causing the insomnia, at the very least he will be able to provide you with some medication to help you get some rest. Medications for insomnia have come a long way and they can now be used for a period of up to six months and they no longer have the addictive properties that they once had. In other words, they are now safe to use and they do not leave you feeling lethargic the next morning.
This will help you get some rest but there is no insomnia medicine that can be taken indefinitely so you will have to work in a proactive manner to work with doctors and such to develop a new plan for when the medication period is over. The bottom line is that you do not want to become dependent on anything to fall into a good night's sleep.