Insomnia

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.
There are two types of insomnia:

Primary insomnia : Is a condition when a person is having sleep problems and they are not directly associated with any other health state or problem.

Secondary insomnia: Means that a person is having sleep problems caused by something else, for instance health condition (such as asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol).

Insomnia can differ in how often it occurs and how long it lasts. It can be “short-term” - acute insomnia – which  can last one night to few weeks. It can also last a “long time”- chronic insomnia - when a person suffer from insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer. Insomnia may also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems.

Causes of Insomnia   

Acute insomnia have causes such as:
- Stressful events (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving).
- Illness.
- Emotional or physical discomfort.
- Environmental factors similar to noise, light, or extreme temperatures that may interfere with sleep.
- Some medications (those used to treat conditions such as colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma).
- Interferences in normal sleep schedule (such as jet lag or switching from a day to night shift)
Causes of chronic insomnia include:
- Depression and/or anxiety.
- Chronic stress.
- Pain or discomfort at night.

Symptoms of Insomnia

People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty with falling asleep
- Often waking up during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Sleepiness during the day.
- General tiredness.
- Irritability.
- Problems with concentration or memory.

Good Night’s Sleep – sleep hygiene tips

Good sleep habits can help you beat insomnia. Here are some tips:

- Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. --Try not to take naps during the day
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day.
- Get regular exercise. (but not close to bedtime hour, at least three to four hours before the time you go to sleep)
- Don't eat a heavy meal late in the day. In addition, a light snack before bedtime may help you fall asleep.
- Make your bedroom comfortable (has to be dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold). ----Follow a routine, such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a bath, to help you relax before sleep.
- Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex.
- If you have a problem with sleeping, get up and read or do something that is not overly stimulating until you feel sleepy.
- If you find yourself lying awake and worrying about things, try to make a “to-do list” before you go to bed.

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