Insomnia – Symptoms, Causes and Medications

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up.

What are the main causes of insomnia?

Common causes of insomnia include stress, an irregular sleep schedule, poor sleeping habits, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, physical illnesses and pain, medications, neurological problems, and specific sleep disorders.

What are the 3 types of insomnia?

The three types of insomnia include transient insomnia (less than one week), acute insomnia (short term), and chronic insomnia (long term). Insomnia is the most common type of sleep disorder and it involves problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or getting quality sleep, despite adequate opportunity to do so.

How can I stop my insomnia?

Basic tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
    Stay active.
  • Check your medications.
  • Avoid or limit naps.
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don’t use nicotine.
  • Don’t put up with pain.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed.

How do I know if I have insomnia?

Insomnia symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night.
  • Waking up during the night.
  • Waking up too early.
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep.
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness.
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety.
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering.
  • Increased errors or accidents.

What is Parasomnia?

Parasomnias are disruptive sleep-related disorders. Abnormal movements, talk, emotions and actions happen while you’re sleeping although your bed partner might think you’re awake. Examples include sleep terrors, sleepwalking, nightmare disorder, sleep-related eating disorder and sleep paralysis.

Is insomnia caused by depression?

There is a definite link between lack of sleep and depression. In fact, one of the common signs of depression is insomnia or an inability to fall and stay asleep. That’s not to say insomnia or other sleep problems are caused only by depression.

What age group does insomnia affect the most?

People aged 60 and older are more susceptible to insomnia, and this can be attributed to a few different factors3. Seniors are at higher risk of medical and psychiatric conditions that can lead to insomnia symptoms, as well as other sleep disorders such as sleep-disordered breathing or restless legs syndrome.

What exercise is good for insomnia?

While researchers are still working to understand exactly how physical activity affects sleep, they’ve found that moderate aerobic exercise is the most effective at relieving insomnia. Specifically, moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of time you spend in deep sleep.

What is the drug of choice for insomnia?

Benzodiazepines that have been approved by the FDA for treating chronic insomnia include zolpidem, estazolam, flurazepam (Dalmane), temazepam (Restoril), quazepam (Doral), and triazolam (Halcion). Rapidly acting drugs with shorter half-lives (i.e., estazolam, triazolam, and temazepam) are preferred.

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