Insomnia is a kind of sleep disorder in which the affected individual is not able to sleep properly, finds difficulty in falling asleep, or is not able to stay asleep peacefully. Patients who are dealing with insomnia do not feel active and fresh once they wake. Patients with insomnia may lose the ability to feel fresh or healthy after they wake up. The affected people may experience fatigue and other related symptoms.
Insomnia is the most widespread sleep disorder experienced by most people around the world. About 6 to 10 percent of all adults experience the symptoms which are strong enough to be clinically diagnosed with the insomnia disorder.
Clinically speaking a person is suffering from insomnia if they have:
- Difficulty sleeping at least 3 nights in a single week for 3 long months
- Difficulties due to lack of sleep which can cause major distress or stress in the normal life
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which maintenance and initiation of a normal sleep cycle are extremely difficult. Insomnia can be classified based on time duration as:
- Acute insomnia
- Transient insomnia
- Chronic insomnia
Acute insomnia: The duration of acute insomnia is one month. The main problem with this type of insomnia is that it occurs due to different stressful situations such as work deadlines, new jobs and other new experiences. Popularly acute insomnia is also known as adjustment insomnia. The only possible way to cope with this type of insomnia is to dissolve the stressor, or the affected individual must learn to cope with the reason which is causing the stress.
Transient insomnia: Transient insomnia can last up to one week. One of the main causes of transient insomnia is a change in the environment in which one sleeps, anxiety, stress, or maybe depression.
Chronic insomnia: The duration of chronic insomnia is more than one month. Generally, insomnia is a short term problem, but when under specific conditions it can be chronic.
Chronic insomnia is generally linked to certain medical and mental health disorders. Patients who are highly affected by the underlying effects of other health issues usually suffer from chronic insomnia.
Classification of insomnia according to the cause:
- Primary insomnia: It occurs due to the patient’s own or personal problem.
- Secondary insomnia: It occurs due to other specific health issues suffered.
Classification of insomnia based on severity:
- Mild insomnia: The cause of mild insomnia is lack of sleep and fatigue.
- Moderate insomnia: This type of insomnia can interfere with the daily activities of life.
- Severe insomnia: Severe insomnia occurs and creates a huge impact on the patient’s life.
Factors that are vital to identify the different types of insomnia are given below. They include how often the person wakes up from sleep or have trouble in:
- Acquiring restorative sleep
- Staying asleep or falling asleep
Insomnia can lead to various other health issues that may make the patient’s day to day life more difficult. Some of the symptoms of insomnia that affect life are mentioned below:
- Difficulty in communicating and building social networks
- Frequent headaches
- Anxiety-related to sleep
- Medication needed to fall asleep
- Lack of concentration
- Anxiety or maybe depression
- Low energy levels
- Excessive snoring
- No fixed sleep pattern
Various physical and mental health factors affect sleep and are considered the main factors that cause insomnia. Short term stress or different health problems are the most common causes of this health condition.
The various other common causes of insomnia include:
- Usage of recreational drugs
- Bad dreams
- Lack of physical exercise
- Disruptions in sleeping pattern
- Doing activities that can interfere with the normal pattern of sleep
- Usage of screens before going to bed can disrupt sleep and may cause changes in the sleeping pattern.
Mental health issues responsible for insomnia are schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, anxiety and depression. Other syndromes which may limit sleep include chronic pain, overactive thyroid gland activity, sleep apnoea, [GERD] gastroesophageal reflux disease, [COPD] chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and restless leg syndrome.
In women, sleep disorders can occur during menopause due to an imbalance in hormonal levels. The aged suffer from sleep disorders because of medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Some of the affected individuals may be a victim of a rare genetic disorder known as fatal familial insomnia, which prevents the patient from getting sufficient sleep, and can even be life-threatening.
Your diagnosis starts with your doctor asking about your medical history and performing certain physical examinations. They may investigate problems such as snoring, anxiety and depression.
Tests that are used to diagnose insomnia are:
- Mental health exam to inquire about the patient’s mental health and patterns connected to the medical issue.
- Actigraphy: An actigraphy test is performed to check the sleep-wake patterns.
- Polysomnogram: A test is done to measure activity during sleep.
- Epworth sleepiness cycle: It is a questionnaire used to access daytime sleepiness.
- Sleep diary: A tool to track the sleep patterns, and used to diagnose the ongoing condition of the patient.
How can doctors diagnose insomnia?
Doctors can diagnose insomnia by investigating your mental health and sleep-wake patterns. They may then ask questions related to your physical health. Any kind of other health issues or problems are discussed for better planning and to offer effective treatment.
Sleep is the greatest gift to humans which is important for every living being if they want to tackle the ups and downs of life effectively. But sometimes problems such as insomnia can be really disturbing and require immediate as well as a safe treatment. Homoeopathy is the safest method for getting rid of insomnia and all the other health issues. All the drugs which are used in homeotherapy are 100 percent natural. As the medicines are naturally made they can be consumed during pregnancy as well. Homoeopathic treatment is free from side effects and is highly recommended to children in addition to pregnant women.
Homeotherapy can be used to successfully cure insomnia as well as various other problems such as anxiety and depression. Other problems related to insomnia such as thyroid level disturbances are also treatable. If a person takes a proper diet, has a healthy lifestyle and follows a good sleep pattern then they can save themselves from all the disorders.