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Insomnia: Sleepless Knights by Reed Holler

By at June 22, 2013 | 7:55 am | Print

After reading my title, one would think that I did not proofread my title or even use spell check. However, that is not the fact I am using a play on words to help explain how someone with insomnia must go about living their lives. As someone who suffers from insomnia in a more chronic form I know how it feels to just have to push through the days of nights with no sleep. When I wake up, if I even slept, as I get dressed I feel like I am a knight suiting up for battle because I know how smooth the ride is by how much sleep I got the night before. Sleep is very essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart.

Insomnia is stated to be a sleep disorder that is described as having a strenuous time trying to fall asleep or even simply staying asleep. When someone is thought to have insomnia the symptoms can range from, but not limited to, feeling exhausted even after waking up, trouble falling asleep, and waking up earlier in the morning than expected on a consistent basis.

Now after understanding a little bit about insomnia, the causes can be so vast to even put a handle on the pin point. Since insomnia is basically a defense mechanism by the body the causes can stem from stress, anxiety, depression, too much caffeine, alcohol or nicotine, pain from medical conditions, work schedule change, and irregular sleep schedule. Since there are so many different causes to insomnia but this sleep disorder can be broken down into two categories, acute insomnia and chronic insomnia.

Acute insomnia is a short term version of the disorder that can last from one night to weeks on end. The causes of acute insomnia have different characteristics than what would be causes for chronic insomnia. For example, acute insomnia can be caused by stress, illness, medications, emotional or physical discomfort, and outside factors of one’s environmental circumstances. Acute insomnia can happen to anyone since there is such a wide variety of causes so many people can be affected by insomnia at different points in their life. However, Chronic insomnia is a little more specific but also a more extended and serious problem.

Chronic insomnia is the long term classification of the sleeping disorder and is explained as having at least three nights of week for a month or longer.  The causes of chronic insomnia are a lot more specific and can range from depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and pain or discomfort. Since all of these causes are a little more extreme the time period and severity of the chronic insomnia is heightened and should not be taken lightly.  There is many ways that are said to help prevent and counter act against insomnia but that is not to say there is one way to fix this problem.

Some prevention practices that have been found to help suffers of the sleepless nights have been described as having a regular sleep schedule to acclimate the body to the schedule of going to sleep and waking up the same time night after night. Then of course there are some specific things one might want to cut out of their every day diet in order to get a better night sleep. For example, try to avoid things like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol later on in the day because these will aid in getting a restless night of sleep. Also adding exercise to your daily life will in turn fatigue the body causing rest to help recuperate; however, exercising too close to bed time can have a negative effect. The closer to your bed time that you exercise the body will be over stimulated and unable to fall asleep.

Insomnia has/will affect you or someone you know at some point in your life. If you see signs of insomnia ranging from irritability, generally always tired, and problems with concentration or memory one should talk to a doctor and see what are their options if problems persist.

 

References

Web MD (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes)

Family Doctor.org (http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/insomnia.printerview.all.html)

Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187)

The Help Guide (http://www.helpguide.org/life/insomnia_treatment.htm)

The Sleep Foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-related-problems/insomnia-and-sleep)

 

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