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Causes And Treatment For Insomnia

Posted Feb 14 2010 7:13am

What is insomnia and is it a sleeping disorder? To answer these questions you need to know what a sleeping disorder is and what does it mean when someone has insomnia.

When someone is said to have insomnia they have a condition in which they are having difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep. Individuals with insomnia may fall asleep quicklybut then wake up too soon and have trouble getting back to sleep. Others with insomnia can’t fall asleep. Either waythey have poor-quality sleep that leaves them feeling unrefreshedand unable to function properly because they do not feel alert during the day.

There are two types of insomnia including the most common type which is secondary insomnia. Secondary insomnia is when the insomnia is actually a symptom of or a side-effect from another medical problem. There are certain illness in which insomnia could be a side-effect such as heart and lung diseases. Some individuals will experience insomnia when they have painanxiety or suffer from depression. Certain medications may delay or disrupt your sleep as a side effect of those medications. Another possibility is that a sleep disorder such as restless legs syndrome could cause you to not be able to get to sleep. Other things that can disrupt your sleep is a change in your sleep routine or when you have a poor sleep environment.

The other type of insomnia is primary insomnia. Primary insomnia is when you can’t sleep or have trouble staying asleep for one month or longer. Primary insomnia is not associated with any other condition or disease and is not a side-effect from a medication. Primary insomnia is a stand-alone disorder.

Insomnia can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of energy due to the improper amount of sleep and the poor quality of sleep. If you have primary insomnia which is long-term you can suffer from depression or irritability as a result of the insomnia.

Those with insomnia have a difficult time paying attentionmay have a hard time learning or remembering. Individuals with insomnia often do not do their best at schoolwork or at home.

The insomnia can be mild or it can be severe. Factors that determine how severe the insomnia is are how long the insomnia has been going on and how often it occurs.


Secondary insomnia does not usually require treatment as it typically resolves itself given time as the issue that initiates the insomnia is resolved. Better sleeping habits and improved lifestyle changes can have a positive affect on secondary insomnia.

If you have primary insomnia you may need the help of a medical doctoror sleep specialist in order to find relief for this type of insomnia.

Causes of insomnia:

Secondary insomnia can be a symptom of an emotionalneurological or medical disorderor it can be a symptom of another sleep disorder such as restless legs syndrome.

Secondary insomnia may be caused by posttraumatic stress disorderAlzheimer’s diseaseParkinson’sanxietydepressionpain or just plain being too excited about an upcoming event to get to sleep.

Chronic pain such as arthritiscancer and headaches can cause secondary insomnia. Other conditions such as asthma or heart failure where the individual is having difficulty breathing can lead to insomnia. Gastrointestinal disorders such as heartburn can also contribute to insomnia.

Medications or other substances may also lead to insomnia such as stimulantscaffeinetobacconicotinealcoholsedativestheophyllineand certain allergy and cold medicines and also beta blockers used to treat heart conditions.

Causes of primary insomnia include emotional or medical conditions. Some life-changes can trigger bouts of long-term insomnia such as a change in work schedulea major life change or long-lasting stress or emotional upset such as a relationship break-up.

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