What Are the Basics of Insomnia?

What is the definition of insomnia?

Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder that can linger again and again. You may find it hard to fall asleep, wake up repeatedly, or wake up too early and not be able to go back to sleep.

Insomnia can have an adverse influence on your quality of life. Your mood and vigor will be affected.

Certain treatments can improve the symptoms and help you sleep better.


How many types of insomnia do we have?

Generally speaking, there are 3 types of insomnia.

  • Transient insomnia
    Transient insomnia is temporary that it lasts one week or less.
  • Short-term insomnia
    If your insomnia lingers for a month or less, it can be short-term insomnia.
  • Long-term insomnia
    It can also be known as chronic insomnia. It lasts more than one month.


What are the symptoms of insomnia?

You may have insomnia if these following symptoms and signs are annoying you:

  • Having difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up too early and being unable to get back to sleep
  • Repeatedly waking up at night

  • Fatigue in the daytime
  • Anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Having difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Making more mistakes


What are the causes of insomnia?

Many factors can trigger insomnia. Find out the exact causes and treat them, then the symptoms can be resolved.

Causes of insomnia include:

  • Poor sleep habits
    They refer to bad habits before you go to bed. Eating heavy food at night, sleeping with the television on, doing exciting activities before bed and falling asleep at a different time every night can all disturb your sleep cycle.
  • Mental health problems
    Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to insomnia.
  • Medical conditions
    Some other health problems may also cause insomnia, including asthma, arthritis, hear failure, chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Medications
    Some drugs can interfere your sleep because they contain caffeine and other stimulants.
  • Gender
    Women are more likely to be insomniacs, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

  • Stress
    Stress from your family life and your work can lead to sleeplessness.


What are the treatments for insomnia?

Mild insomnia may need no specific treatment. Changing your sleep habits can help you resolve the problem.

Other treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter sleep aids
    They can help you feel sleepy, but it is not recommended to use them regularly. They may cause side effects including daytime sleepiness, cognitive decline, and dizziness.
  • Prescription medications
    Your doctor will prescribe you drugs that can help you fall asleep, but these drugs can also bring side effects.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
    This can help you change habits that can worsen your condition and learn how to promote sleep. It tends to be equally or more effective than sleep aids.


What medications can help treat insomnia?

Both over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids can help you fall asleep at night.

There are antihistamines in over-the-counter drugs, and they can help you fall asleep. Nevertheless, they should not be taken for a long period of time.

Many sleep aids are prescription medications, and some of them can be used for a long term. You need to follow the doctor’s guidance carefully.

However, both nonprescription and prescription medications can cause side effects. Consult your doctor and know more information about the potential adverse effects.


How to prevent insomnia?

You can develop good sleep habits, or good sleep hygiene, to prevent insomnia.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t eat heave meals and beverages at night
  • Have a regular daily routine and avoid changing sleep time every day
  • Avoid or limit intake of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine
  • Create a comfortable bedroom atmosphere
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid stimulant activities before bed


Here are some basics of insomnia. To know more detailed information, you can consult a doctor for professional suggestions.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.