Signs of and Treatments for Insomnia

Symptoms and diagnosis of insomnia.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people each year. Insomnia can be acute (short term) or chronic (ongoing). Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or feel rested upon waking. There are several contributing factors to acute insomnia. These include high amounts of caffeine, stress, anxiety and trauma. People often experience insomnia during periods of high stress. Life changing events can also be contributors. The main life changing events people experience are getting married, getting divorced, having children, moving and changing or losing a job. Insomnia can keep you from getting the sleep you require thus starting a continuous cycle of stress and insomnia.

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to relieve symptoms of insomnia. First identify if the insomnia is part of another condition. If you can find the root problem you are likely to resolve the symptom. If insomnia is occurring during a high stress or life changing time then you can try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or breathing techniques to help manage the stress. This will remind your body how to stay calm and stay asleep. If you are consuming caffeine you should reduce or eliminate it in your daily diet. If you find yourself drinking caffeine in the afternoon or the hours before going to bed you should limit the times you allow yourself the caffeine. Getting regular exercise can increase energy which may in fact cause you to sleep less. The sleep you do get however will be better if you exercise regularly. Finally, the bedroom should be reserved for sleep and sex. You should not work or watch television in your bedroom. Entering your bedroom should prepare you mentally for sleep. If all you do is sleep in your room your body will associate a good night of sleep with your bedroom. Developing good sleep habits can help prevent or reverse acute insomnia.

If your insomnia is brought on by another condition or is chronic you may opt for additional treatment. Your doctor can conduct a physical including an evaluation of family medical history. Your doctor may also request you do a sleep study. Sleep studies are done in a controlled environment under a practitioner’s supervision. You will often be asked to go to a sleep clinic for monitoring for the night. They will monitor your physical and neurological functions while you sleep. This will help diagnose any chronic sleep disorders. Once the sleep study has been conducted your practitioner can make a diagnosis and recommend other treatment options. These options range from breathing machines to medications. Remember, if you think your insomnia may be due to another condition treatment for that condition may be necessary to treat the insomnia.


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