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How To Get Rid Of Insomnia And Get a Good Night's Sleep

Dec 6, 2007
The term sleep disorder is broadly used to describe a medical condition involving a disruption of the sleep patterns of a person. Some sleep disorders can be so severe that they actually interfere with a person's normal activities and compromise their physic, mental and emotional functioning. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, afflicting an estimated 60 million Americans each year.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by a person's inability to fall asleep or remain asleep; or it can be a combination of both. Many insomniacs report that they are not able to "turn off their mind" or close their eyes and get a decent night's sleep. They may report falling asleep for brief periods then waking or they may report waking at unusually early hours. Insomnia has been shown to increase as the person ages and of the 60 million people who are affected, more women than men are afflicted with it. In fact, women are twice as likely as men to have insomnia.

There are several different types of insomnia. Transient or short term insomnia only lasts a few weeks or even just a single night. Intermittent insomnia is short term with on and off episodes of sleeplessness and does not occur often. Chronic insomnia is ongoing and occurs at least three nights a week, spanning over a month or even more. Each of these types of insomnia can be ether primary, meaning that it is not related to another health issue or secondary which means that it may be caused by a medical condition or some type of external factors.

A diagnosis of insomnia is not always straightforward and simple. Because it can occur as a secondary issue, it may be overshadowed by other health problems. However, a doctor may assess a person and make a diagnosis based on several factors.

* Daytime tiredness
* Inability to fall asleep
* Inability to stay asleep for a reasonable time
* Poor focus and concentration
* Poor memory
* Impaired motor skills and coordination
* Irritability
* Impaired social interaction
* Depression or weepiness

These symptoms are may be accompanied by other conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and medications. A physician can assess these issues and determine if the insomnia is primary or secondary and from there can determine a course of action for treatment. The doctor may ask the patient to keep a sleep diary for a few weeks to see a pattern of sleep activity as well as waking activities that may contribute to the problem.

There are many ways of treating insomnia but they are dependent upon the cause and type. For instance, if the insomnia is the result of a health problem, then often treating the health condition will clear up the insomnia. Behavior modifications may also be in order such as cutting out drinking alcohol at night. There are prescription medications that may be used, but these are generally a last resort.

Some things that the insomniac may try include taking melatonin (a natural remedy for promoting sleep), chamomile tea before bed, relaxation therapy, sleep restriction and reconditioning. There are ways to overcome a sleep problem and it is important to get a handle on it early so that it does not cause greater health problems later.
About the Author
Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles which concern health problems. In them she pays much attention to different diseases, their signs, symptoms and treatment. If you are interested in sleep disorders such as insomnia , its symptoms and treatment, you'll find all this information in her articles.
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