Insomnia, a sleeping disorder, is a common and severe condition. It is a disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking early.
Chronic insomnia is classified as difficulty sleeping at least three nights a week for three months or more. Causes for chronic insomnia may be mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Environmental factors, such as a noisy bedroom or uncomfortable bed, can also contribute to chronic insomnia and changes in routine or medications.
An individual with insomnia may experience daytime fatigue, mood disturbances, and difficulties with attention, memory, and concentration.
Ergonomic and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine, exercising regularly, and creating a sleep schedule, can all help treat insomnia.
Acute insomnia is usually caused by stress, such as an illness, trauma, or environmental change, in which an individual has difficulty sleeping for days or weeks.
Sleep medications, such as benzodiazepines, may be prescribed for an individual with acute insomnia and are usually taken for a short period.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is recommended for an individual with chronic insomnia. This form of therapy helps to break old habits, recognize and overcome causes of insomnia, and learn behaviors to promote better sleep.
Sleep hygiene measures can also be effective in learning to avoid behaviors that disrupt sleep and increase the likelihood of getting enough quality sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that the body naturally releases when darkness falls and helps regulate sleep cycles. Taking melatonin supplements can be beneficial in promoting a good night’s sleep.
Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of developing many physical and mental health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and anxiety.