Insomnia can be caused by physical and psychological factors. There is sometimes an underlying medical condition that causes chronic insomnia, while transient insomnia may be due to a recent event or occurrence. Insomnia is commonly caused by:
- Disruptions in circadian rhythm – jet lag, job shift changes, high altitudes, environmental noise, extreme heat or cold.
- Psychological issues – bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, or psychotic disorders.
- Medical conditions – chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, congestive heart failure, angina, acid-reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, sleep apnea, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, brain lesions, tumors, stroke.
- Hormones – estrogen, hormone shifts during menstruation.
- Other factors – sleeping next to a snoring partner, parasites, genetic conditions, overactive mind, pregnancy.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the following medications can cause insomnia in some patients:
- alpha blockers
- beta blockers
- SSRI antidepressants
- ACE inhibitors
- ARBs (angiotensin II-receptor blockers)
- cholinesterase inhibitors
- second generation (non-sedating) H1 agonists
Insomnia has a wide range of causes including stress.
Insomnia includes a wide range of sleeping disorders, from lack of sleep quality to lack of sleep quantity. Insomnia is commonly separated into three types:
- Transient insomnia – occurs when symptoms last up to three nights.
- Acute insomnia – also called short-term insomnia. Symptoms persist for several weeks.
- Chronic insomnia – this type lasts for months, and sometimes years. According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of chronic insomnia cases are side effects resulting from another primary problem.
Some types of insomnia resolve when the underlying cause is treated or wears off. In general, insomnia treatment focuses on determining the cause.
Once identified, this underlying cause can be properly treated or corrected.
In addition to treating the underlying cause of insomnia, both medical and non-pharmacological (behavioral) treatments may be used as therapies.
Non-pharmacological approaches include cognitive behaviorlal therapy (CBT) in one-on-one counseling sessions or group therapy:
Medical treatments for insomnia include:
- prescription sleeping pills
- sleep aids available online or over-the-counter
- melatonin, which can be purchased online
Home remedies for insomnia include:
- Improving “sleep hygiene”: Not sleeping too much or too little, exercising daily, not forcing sleep, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine at night, avoiding smoking, avoiding going to bed hungry, and ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment.
- Using relaxation techniques: Examples include meditation and muscle relaxation.
- Stimulus control therapy – only go to bed when sleepy. Avoid watching TV, reading, eating, or worrying in bed. Set an alarm for the same time every morning (even weekends) and avoid long daytime naps.
- Sleep restriction: Decreasing the time spent in bed and partially depriving the body of sleep can increase tiredness, ready for the next night.
Dr. Birken recommends a safe and effective product called Kavinace Ultra PM. “This product helps patients fall asleep and stay asleep.,” Dr. Birken said. ” Very effective. I have taken it for several years with excellent results.”
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