Insomnia-problem of new generation

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Insomnia-problem of new generation

Post by mr.banker on Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:37 am

Insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and non-organic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in year 2007, approximately 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year.Insomnia occurs 1.4 times more commonly in women than in men.




Causes
Insomnia can be caused by:

Psychoactive drugs or stimulants, including certain medications, herbs, caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, MDMA, methamphetamine and modafinil
Hormone shifts such as those that precede menstruation and those during menopause
Life problems like fear, stress, anxiety, emotional or mental tension, work problems, financial stress, unsatisfactory sex life
Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, clinical depression, general anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Disturbances of the circadian rhythm, such as shift work and jet lag, can cause an inability to sleep at some times of the day and excessive sleepiness at other times of the day. Jet lag is seen in people who travel through multiple time zones, as the time relative to the rising and setting of the sun no longer coincides with the body's internal concept of it. The insomnia experienced by shift workers is also a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
Estrogen is considered to play a significant role in women’s mental health (including insomnia). A conceptual model of how estrogen affects mood was suggested by Douma et al 2005 based on their extensive literature review relating activity of endogenous, bio-identical and synthetic estrogen with mood and well-being. They concluded the sudden estrogen withdrawal, fluctuating estrogen, and periods of sustained estrogen low levels correlated with significant mood lowering. Clinical recovery from depression postpartum, perimenopause, and postmenopause was shown to be effective after levels of estrogen were stabilized and/or restored.
Certain neurological disorders, brain lesions, or a history of traumatic brain injury
Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism and Wilson's syndrome
Abuse of over-the counter or prescription sleep aids can produce rebound insomnia
Poor sleep hygiene
Parasomnia, which includes a number of disruptive sleep events including nightmares, sleepwalking, violent behavior while sleeping, and REM behavior disorder, in which a person moves his/her physical body in response to events within his/her dreams
A rare genetic condition can cause a prion-based, permanent and eventually fatal form of insomnia called fatal familial insomnia
A common misperception is that the amount of sleep a person requires decreases as he or she ages. The ability to sleep for long periods, rather than the need for sleep, appears to be lost as people get older. Some elderly insomniacs toss and turn in bed and occasionally fall off the bed at night, diminishing the amount of sleep they receive.

An overactive mind or physical pain may also be causes. Finding the underlying cause of insomnia is usually necessary to cure it. Insomnia can be common after the loss of a loved one, even years or decades after the death, if they have not gone through the grieving process. Overall, symptoms and the degree of their severity affect each individual differently depending on their mental health, physical condition, and attitude or personality

Treatment for insomnia
In many cases, insomnia is caused by another disease or psychological problem. In this case, medical or psychological help may be useful.


Medications
Many insomniacs rely on sleeping tablets and other sedatives to get rest. All sedative drugs have the potential of causing psychological dependence where the individual cannot psychologically accept that they can sleep without drugs. Certain classes of sedatives such as benzodiazepines and newer nonbenzodiazepine drugs can also cause physical dependence which manifests in withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not carefully titrated down.

In comparing the options, a systematic review found that benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines have similar efficacy which was not significantly more than for antidepressants. Benzodiazepines did not have a significant tendency for more adverse drug reactions.

Complementary and alternative medicine
Some traditional and anecdotal remedies for insomnia include: drinking warm milk before bedtime, taking a warm bath, exercising vigorously for half an hour in the afternoon, eating a large lunch and then having only a light evening meal at least three hours before bed, avoiding mentally stimulating activities in the evening hours, going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up early, and avoiding exposing the eyes to too much light, especially blue light, a few hours before bedtime. Initial treatment of insomnia may include the rules of sleep hygiene.

Using aromatherapy, including jasmine oil, lavender oil, Mahabhringaraj and other relaxing essential oils, may also help induce a state of restfulness. Many believe that listening to slow paced music will help insomniacs fall asleep.

The more relaxed a person is, the greater the likelihood of getting a good night's sleep. Relaxation techniques such as meditation have been shown to help people sleep.

Traditional Chinese medicine has included treatment for insomnia. A typical approach may utilize acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle analysis, herbology and other techniques, with the goal of resolving the problem at a subtle level.

In the Buddhist tradition, people suffering from insomnia or nightmares may be advised to meditate on "loving-kindness", or metta. This practice of generating a feeling of love and goodwill is claimed to have a soothing and calming effect on the mind and body. This is claimed to stem partly from the creation of relaxing positive thoughts and feelings, and partly from the pacification of negative ones. In the Metta (Mettanisamsa) Sutta, Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, tells the gathered monks that easeful sleep is one benefit of this form of meditation
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