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Insomnia: Sleepless Knights by Reed Holler

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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 are not limited to, feeling exhausted even after waking up, trouble falling asleep, and waking up earlier in the morning than expected consistently.

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 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 irregul sleep schedule. Since there are so many different causes of insomnia 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 period and severity of the chronic insomnia is heightened and should not be taken lightly.  Many ways are said to help prevent and counteract insomnia but that is not to say there is one way to fix this problem.

Some prevention practices that have been found to help those suffering from 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 at the same time night after night. Then of course there are some specific things one might want to cut out of their everyday diet to get a better night’s 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 bedtime can have a negative effect. The closer to your bedtime that you exercise the body will be overstimulated 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.



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