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How Serious Is Long Term Insomnia?

Aug 17, 2007
Long term insomnia is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people in the United States. Persistent insomnia, which is sometimes called chronic insomnia, is characterized by the inability to sleep that often persists for several nights. This type of sleep disorder can even last for up to months depending on the gravity of the problem.

Long term insomnia is often caused by a number of factors although most experts hold worrying as the culprit responsible. However not all experts believe that psychological factors are the root of persistent insomnia. In some cases, persistent insomnia can even be a result of some type of physical problem.

Certain physiological factors have been found to cause persistent insomnia in some patients that participated in a study conducted by the Association of Sleep Disorders in the United States. An individual with physical disorders such as abnormal muscle activity or breathing problems often experience sleep disorders that can be as serious as persistent insomnia.

Long term insomnia can also be attributed to two well-known psychological factors namely depression and stress. Research has also shown that more women are at risk of experiencing persistent insomnia due to biological factors such as menopause. Other factors that can cause persistent insomnia can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle with too much caffeine, nicotine or alcohol as well as late night snacks.

Dependence on prescription drugs such as anti-depressants can also lead to sleep disorders. Several environmental factors can also lead to persistent insomnia like excessive light or noise, working the night shift, and jet lag. Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed can also lead to persistent insomnia.

Easy Techniques to Ease Long Term Insomnia

Despite being a serious sleep disorder, people suffering from persistent insomnia need not worry, as there are natural remedies that can be employed to help ease the problem. The most logical solution would be to refrain from takings naps during the day. Too much sleep during the day will make it harder to sleep at night.

Yoga is a great exercise that can help a patient suffering persistent insomnia loosen up and focus. Yoga is a unique form of relaxation technique that can teach a person to meditate and visualize away their worries. Reducing stress will help decrease stress hormones.

Other than yoga, insomniacs can also engage in physically energizing workouts to raise adrenaline levels and increase the body's core temperature. Exercise such as this is best done in the afternoon or even in the early evening as the hormone levels go down five to six hours after exercise can help promote deep sleep. Avoid exercising right before bedtime, as the body will be too stimulated to fall asleep.

Pass up a heavy meal at least four hours before hitting the sheets. Going to bed on a full stomach will make it harder to sleep, as the tummy feels bloated; however drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime can help promote sleep as it contains tryptophan.

Aside from milk, other protein-rich foods like nuts, tuna, dates, and even potatoes can help promote sleep. These foods contain tryptophan, which is a chemical that sends a message to the brain that initiates the release of the hormone serotonin to help a person relax.

Alternative remedies such, as acupuncture may be a solution to persistent insomnia. This ancient Chinese remedy is known to be quite effective in treating a variety of sicknesses and is a dependable alternative to taking prescription drugs that at times can be addictive.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can also be taken to treat persistent insomnia. These may include calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Other types of supplements that can be taken to pacify the nervous system would be vitamins B3, B6, and C.

The overall ambience of the bedroom can cause a person to lose sleep. In some cases, loud wall colors or uncomfortable beddings, curtains or carpets with frenzied patterns can keep a person awake all night. It helps to have bedroom walls painted in soft pastel colors that are calming to look at.

Severe chronic insomnia will require professional assistance and a lot of patience on the part of the patient. It is also a good idea to start a sleep diary wherein the patient can write down their observations in order to identify any pattern that could have led to the sleeping disorder.
About the Author
Gaetane Ross is a Certified Natural Health Consultant who has spent 4 years focusing on Nutrition and Health. She also specializes in Alternative Medicine. Gaetane's mission is to positively transform the lives of everyone she meets by providing advice on Healthy Living.

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