Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder, in fact most people have experienced some form of insomnia at least some point in their lives. Insomnia can best be described as having problems going to sleep. It could also be described as waking up and not being able to go back to sleep.

Insomnia can be broken up into two categories: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is when you have trouble sleeping because of something other than a medical problem or health issue, such as stress. Secondary insomnia is the form of insomnia that is caused by some medical problem.

Insomnia can also be divided into categories depending on the length. Acute insomnia is the form of the sleep disorder which last a very short time, usually from one day to a couple of weeks. If you are diagnosed with this form of insomnia it usually means that you have the primary form and should try to find out what is causing you to lose sleep. In most cases of acute, primary insomnia the sleep disturbance will resolve; if you figure out what triggered the insomnia then you can try to prevent future sleep problems. Chronic Insomnia can come and go for months or years. This means that something other than stress or physical discomfort is keeping you from sleeping. If you may be suffering from secondary insomnia you should discuss your concerns with your doctor or sleep specialist, because it could be related to an underlying condition with serious health implications.

There are many links between symptoms of insomnia and depression. For some people, insomnia leads to (or contributes to) depression, and for others depression may be the trigger for bouts of insomnia. Other common symptoms of all types of insomnia are fatigue during the day, anxiety, headaches, drowsiness, and poor concentration.


What Causes Insomnia

Just like with many types of sleep disorders, insomnia has many potential causes.

The most common cause of primary insomnia is stress. Other possible causes include: trying to sleep in an uncomfortable environment (too much light, too cold, too noisy,) or not establishing a reliable sleep schedule. Certain medications and foods can also contribute to primary insomnia.

Secondary insomnia is caused by a medical problem. Medical conditions such as arthritis, cancer, asthma, heartburn or medication have been linked to secondary insomnia. By seeing the proper doctor or sleep specialist you should be able to find a way to get better sleep. There could be multiple root causes that you are unaware about, so talking about it with a friend or family matter may help you to discover why you can’t sleep. Other possible causes of secondary insomnia include Parkinson’s disease, depression, dementia, acid reflux, urinary problems, and pregnancy.

Acute insomnia could be a result from an illness such as the flu or cold. If you don’t follow a proper sleep schedule, your body will set its own internal clock and think it should be awake when really you feel like you should be sleeping.

Regardless of the type of insomnia you have, it is important to consult with a qualified sleep doctor to manage your sleep disorder.

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Treating Insomnia

There are a variety of ways to treat sleep disorders and insomnia is no exception. The first step towards effectively managing any sleep disorder is to have an accurate diagnosis. Once you know what is causing your sleep problems, or what type of sleep disorder you are experiencing, you can come up with the best way to treat your sleep disorder and get the quality of sleep that your body needs.

There are several non-medical treatments for insomnia. These include adjusting surroundings (noise, temperature, lights), eating before going to sleep, and exercising regularly. Other types of non-medical, alternative insomnia sleep disorder treatments include progressive relaxation therapy and hypnotherapy. Both of these techniques seek to induce sleep by utilizing the power of the mind to relax the body and minimize, thus making sleep easier and more attainable. These non-medical treatments for sleep disorders have helped some people manage and control their insomnia sleep disorders.

Your doctor may recommend the use of certain medications to combat and control your insomnia sleep disorder. By going to see a sleep specialist or going to a sleep center, you can determine if you have a type of insomnia that benefits from medication. Insomnia medicines are not simply sleeping pills; they address brain chemistry and other underlying causes of insomnia. However, you may wish to speak to your sleep doctor about using a sleeping medication to temporarily relieve your insomnia sleep disorder. Although this will not cure your insomnia, it could allow you to get sleep in order to get your sleep schedule back on track. Using a CPAP machine can also help you to get more sleep. A CPAP is a machine that goes over your nose and is connected to a machine that sends you oxygen, allowing you to sleep easier. The CPAP is most often used to treat sleep apnea sleep disorders, but your sleep specialist can help you determine if it may help manage your specific case of insomnia.