Insomnia is a very common disorder that affects sleep. The diagnosis is given to someone if
they’re unable to go to sleep, feel unrested after sleep or consistently wake up too early for
at least three months, at least three times each week. Insomnia can contribute to the
development of (or even cause) other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and
Insomnia comes in two types:
Secondary insomnia happens alongside or is caused by other health conditions, or may
occur as a side effect of prescription medication. Most people with chronic insomnia have
secondary insomnia. This can occur long-term (chronic) or short-term (acute).
Primary insomnia is not a symptom or a side effect of another medical condition. It is a
disorder in its own right. After ruling out other medical conditions as a cause, your doctor
may conclude that your sleeplessness is as a result of primary insomnia.
Poor sleep hygiene, biological factors, specific substances and medical or psychiatric
conditions all have the potential to cause secondary insomnia. The human brain has two
cycles: a sleep cycle and a wake cycle. When one cycle turns on, the other turns off – i.e.
when your sleep cycle kicks in, your wake cycle is switched off and vice versa. Insomnia can
occur as a result of an issue with either of these cycles: either too little drive to sleep or too
much drive to wake.
Researchers have only recently started thinking about insomnia as a brain’s inability to stop
being awake, rather than its ability to start being asleep. Before you can hope to recover
from insomnia, you’ll need to understand what it is that’s causing your sleep issues. Some
of the most common causes of insomnia include…
★ Anxiety, depression and stress;
★ Inappropriate room temperature;
★ Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol;
★ Travel exhaustion and jet lag;
★ Shift work;
★ Recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy;
★ Uncomfortable beds;
Chronic insomnia is usually linked to an underlying physical or emotional issue. In cases
where insomnia is tied up to an obvious temporary cause like the breakdown of a
relationship, jet lag or stress over an upcoming presentation, insomnia may only last for a
few days before going away of its own accord. However, insomnia can be stubbornly
persistent in other cases.
Certain individuals can be especially vulnerable to chronic insomnia as a result of their
sleep patterns, attitudes to sleep and the way they behave because of these attitudes,
according to some research. On the bright side, because so many of the causes are
behavioural, there are a great number of highly effective behavioural treatments available.
Biosex Men are at a lower risk for insomnia than biosex women. This may be a result of any
number of biological factors such as pregnancy, menopause, the postpartum period and
the specific hormones released during puberty.
In order to feel rested, most adult women need to get at least seven hours of sleep each
night. It seems women just aren’t making the grade when it comes to getting the right
amount of sleep. For many, sleep comes last, behind kids, relationships, social events,
careers and all other parts of life.
About one in seven adults has chronic (long-term) insomnia. Insomnia symptoms like
trouble staying asleep, difficulty getting to sleep or both are experienced by as many as
25% of women. This can often affect their ability to carry out daily tasks like going to school,
self-care and working.
Low back pain, fibromyalgia, digestive issues and arthritis are just a few of the many painful
conditions that have the potential to keep you awake. Unsurprisingly, your sleep is very