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Medical Article

Don’t to be insomnic

Sufficient sleep is a requisite for an energetic day.  Sleeplessness tolls your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. A person with insufficient sleep feel will feel tired the subsequent day and is unable to concentrate on his work.  Insomnia or sleeplessness is a common sleep disorder characterized by insufficient sleep. It affects productivity and personal life of a person. The factors connected to insomnia are physiological, psychological, physical or environmental. Lifestyle and medication intake may also cause insomina. Insomnia should be treated promptly in order to improve the quality of life and to prevent other health problems.

Diagnosis of Insomnia

Insomnia is not always a disease by itself. It is usually a symptom associated with other disease conditions that cause sleep disturbance. Nearly everyone experience insomnia at different phases of their life. Women and elderly people are at higher risk of insomnia. The Insomnia patient feel difficulty to fall asleep, lie awake for long periods at night, wake up several times during the night, wake up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep, not feel refreshed when you get up, find it hard to nap during the day, despite feel tired and irritable during the day and have difficulty concentrating.
Diagnosis of insomnia is made based on the history and physical examination of the patient. The health care provider asked to keep sleep diary and questionnaire used to diagnose the type of insomnia and plans treatment. In some cases, a polyomnogram, an overnight sleep study may be required.

Reasons behind  Insomnia

(a)    Psychological Factors :  Mental health condition such as depression, Schizophrenia and Alzeimer’s disease may create chemical imbalance of brain and triggers insomnia. In the same way work pressure, family issue and social relationship may affect a person’s sleep.

(b)    Medical Problems or illness :  Medical conditions like chronic pain, cancer, injury, surgery, cluster headache, arthritis, and acidity interfere with sleep. Breathing difficulty, like asthma can cause difficulty in sleeping. The patient may be awakened repeatedly at night, resulting in disturbed sleep.

(c)    Restless legs syndrome : The person with restless legs syndrome has an irresistible urge to move the legs. It will be worse in the evening or night. The patient has a habit of rhythmic movement of legs that occur periodically during sleep, which could disturb the sleep. Thus, these patients usually have a difficulty in falling asleep.

(d)    Life style habits :  Night shift and parties make some people stay late night. Such habits affect their sleep. Insomnia patients should avoid strenuous activity like this. They have to stick to regular sleep and keep mind relaxed by listening music or reading.

(e)    Environmental factors :  Staying in unfamiliar environment, excessive heat, cold, noise and light can also affect sleep.

(f)    Older Age :  Older people have tendency to sleep earlier and get up early in the morning, their sleeping disorder could be associated with health condition or the multiple medication that they take.

(g)    Jet lag :  International travellers usually suffers Jet Lag. This is because, the biological clock of the body has to reach to the timing of the new place. Jet Lag usually subsides on its own.

(h)    Medications :  Sleeplessness or insomnia may come as a side effect of drugs. Antidepressants, antihypertensives, anti-allergic drugs, corticosteroids and stimulants like Ritalin are some examples. Pain killers, weight loss products and decongestants are reported to cause insomnia.

(i)    Hormonal changes  : Hormonal changes during menstruation, menopause and pregnancy affects sleep pattern of women and leads to insomnia.

(j)    Stimulants effect :  Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine disrupt sleep. Using coffee, tea,cola and other caffeine containing drinks and nicotine contain tobacco during late afternoon and evening disrupt normal sleep.

(k)    Drug abuse :  sleep disorder is common in drug abusers during the period of intoxication or withdrawal.

Treatment of insomnia

A Psychologist or a Psychiatrist will provide treatment for insomnia. The first stage of treatment identifies health condition and education of the patient about good sleep routine. Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits. Insomnia caused by stress, travel and other sleep disruptions, may prescribe sleeping pills to relieve from the condition. Treatment also includes behavioural therapy, like relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, stimulus control therapy and cognitive therapy. Commonly used drugs to treat chronic insomnia are benzodiazepines, like furazepam and triazolam, Zolpidem and Zopiclone. These drugs act by inducing sedation.  Medication like hypnotics and melatonin may be necessary in some cases.