Insomnia

In this research paper I will attempt to familiarize you, the reader, on the
role of sleep, health risks of sleeping disorder that is most common, Insomnia.


I will give you some of the aspects which cause Insomnia and how it can be
treated. We human beings spend one third of our lives in a mysterious,
potentially dangerous and seemingly unproductive state of unconsciousness—and
no one knows exactly why. Scientists have attempted to study the effects of
sleep and its role on our existence but have yet to come up with an accurate
reason why we need sleep. Yes, we do need sleep. All animals, be they mammal,
amphibian, aquatic, etc., need some form of sleep in order to rejuvenate their
body and/or mind. Without sleep our bodies tend to experience some type of
mental or physical malfunctions. Some of us human beings can even become down
right incapable of proper social function. In other words, cranky frustrated
emotional nutcases. So, sleep does play an important role in our daily
functions, and no matter what we must fit it into our lives/schedule. Edisons
light bulb can be considered one of the major technological “curses” of the
modern age, says sleep researcher Harvey Moldofsky, chief psychiatrist at
Toronto Western Hospital. Edison believed that his light bulb would liberate us
from the night and in the process transform our lives. The fact that the light
bulb served as a reliable, controlled was to, banish the night, did not act as
perhaps Edison hoped it would. Yet, it helped banish our need for sleep. And
with this a change in our sleeping patterns. This is one of the ultimate causes
of sleep problems. Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or
poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty sleeping,
waking up too early, unrefreshing sleep, waking frequently through the night.

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When one has Insomnia it is difficult to initiate and/or maintain sleep. Some
believe that Insomnia is not a disorder, it is a symptom that often indicated
other problems. Other diagnosis, hold that Insomnia is the most common of all
sleep disorders and perhaps the most frequent health complaint after pain.


Severe cases can disrupt social and occupational function and is associated with
depression, fatigue, and anxiety. There are different types of Insomnia which
affect our sleep patterns in many different ways. Types of Insomnia are:
? Sleep Onset Insomnia (delayed sleep Phase Syndrome): a disorder in
which the major sleep episode is delayed in relation to the desires clock time
which one wishes to be awakened. ? Idiopathic Insomnia: A life long
inability to obtain adequate sleep that is due to an abnormality of the
neurological control of the sleep-wake system. ? Psychophysiological
Insomnia: A disorder or somatized tension (conversion of anxiety into physical
symptoms) and learned sleep – preventing associated with results in a complaint
of Insomnia and associated decreased functioning during wakefulness. ?
Childhood Insomnia (limit-setting Sleep Disorder): Primarily a childhood
disorder that is characterized by the inadequate enforcement of bed times by a
caretaker with resultant stalling or refusal to go to bed at the appropriate
time. ? Food Allergy Insomnia: A disorder of initiating and maintaining
sleep due to an allergic response to food allergens. ? Environmental
Insomnia (Environmental Sleep disorder): A sleep disorder disturbance due to a
disturbing environmental factor that causes a complaint of either Insomnia or
excessive sleepiness. ? Transient Insomnia (Adjustment Sleep Disorder):
Represents sleep disturbance temporally related to acute stress, conflict or
environmental change causing emotional agitation. ? Periodic Insomnia
(Non 24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome): Consists of a chronic steady pattern
consisting of 1-2 hour daily delays in sleep onset and wake times in an
individual living in society. ? Altitude Insomnia: An acute Insomnia
usually accompanied by headaches, loss of appetite, and fatigue, that occurs
following ascent to high altitudes. ? Hypnotic-Dependency Insomnia
(Hypnotic Dependent Sleep Disorder): Characterized by Insomnia or excessive
sleepiness that is associated with tolerance to or withdrawal from hypnotic
medications. ? Stimulant Dependent Sleep Disorder: Characterized by a
reduction of sleepiness or suppression of sleep by central stimulants and
resultant alterations in wakefulness following drug abstinence. ? Alcohol
Dependent Insomnia (Alcohol Dependent Sleep Disorder): Characterized by
the sustained ingestion of sleep onset by the sustained ingestion of alcohol
that is used for its hypnotic effect. ? Toxins Induced Sleep
Disorders: Characterized by either Insomnia or excessive sleepiness produced by
poisoning with heavy metals or organic toxins. Transient and intermittent
Insomnia generally occur in people who are temporarily experiencing either
stress, environmental noise, extreme temperatures, change in ones environment,
and sleep/wake schedule problems. Sleep is the way the body rests and allows the
mind to slow down and relax. Sleep is a distinct state of mind and body in which
the body is deeply at rest, the metabolism is lowered, and the mind becomes
unconscious to the outside world. The sleeping mind does not become unconscious
entirely; instead, it shifts the direction of consciousness from a chair beside
your body to another chair inside your dream. Aristotle proposed that the
purpose of sleep was to help the body digest food although eating a big meal
before getting into bed is one of the worst things you can do for your rest.


Sleep is not a random phenomenon but a highly structured and well organized
activity following a cycle pattern . Two types of sleep have been identified
rapid eye movement (REM) and non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. The duration
of NREM-REM cycles is approximately 90 minutes., but may vary between 70 and 120
minutes NREM is subdivided into four stages from stage 1 a very light sleep, to
stage 4, the deepest stage of sleep. NREM sleep is also called quiet”
sleep, because most physiological functions are slowed down during this period
of slumber, NREM sleep has been described as an idling brain in a moveable body
. REM sleep is called paradisiacal active, or fast sleep, characterized by
electroenchgalographic (EEG) activation, muscle tone , and the onset of (the
name REM) rapid eye movements during this time. Vivid hallucinatory experiences
occur during REM sleep. With the exception of periodic muscle twitches, the body
is essentially paralyzed during REM, which has been described as a hyperactive
brain in a paralyzed body, Delta or slow wave sleep is predominant in the first
third of the night , where as the proportion of REM sleep may come quicker than
usual, aid delta sleep may consequently be delayed and shortened. Patterns of
sleep generally look like this: light sleep deep sleep- REM sleep_ light
sleep- deep sleep rest and restoration. The first period of light sleep
lasts about 45 minutes. There are five distinct stages of sleep. Stage 1 and 2
are the majority of the night. Stage 3 and 4 are deep sleeping or “delta
sleep” and rest and restoration. Stage 5 is the dream-state, which generally
involves rapid eye movement or REM sleep. Several developmental changes in sleep
patterns occur over the course of life span. Total sleep time is highest in
infancy and gradually declines, leveling off in young adulthood. There are many
different causes for insomnia that affect diverse groups of people in lots of
ways. Causes for insomnia may range from the psychological to psyiological.


Causes of chronic insomnia associated with psychological problems can be deeply
rooted in stress, anxiety and /or depression. Insomnia associated with medical
problems can be caused by a variety of things including: anemia, asthma, kidney
dysfunction, diabetes, HIV, and a variety of medication side effects. Insomnia
can also be due to poor eating habits, caffeine, and lack of exercise. Snoring,
not breathing, and Gasping for air are problems some people have when they are
unable to sleep and breath at the same time which causes sleep apnea. Leg
twitches are a problem some experience when their body suddenly jerks and wakes
them as they are first falling asleep. Almost any sleeping pill, if taken
continuously, will cause insomnia. Sleep can be affected by ones individual
differences, prior sleep history, circadian rhythms, drugs, life styles, and
psychopathology. Caffeine and nicotine are both central nervous system
stimulants, and as such are sleep-disrupting substances. Insomnia can also be
due to poor eating habits, caffeine, and lack of exercise. Medications that are
prescribed bed for sleep can disrupt or eliminate the sleep are: Doral, Halcion.


Restoril , valium, and Xanax. Antihistamines can also cause sleep depravation.


Vitamins and minerals such as B6, niacin amide, calcium, magnesium, or
antioxidants. Life stress factors also cause significant variations in sleep
habits from one individual to the next. Work and leisure activities, the use of
alcohol and drugs, travel social and family obligations all affect the ability
to get a good nights sleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue can be one
characteristic of narcolepsy and hypersomnia . Insomnia can adversely affect
both physical and mental health. Some people suffering from Insomnia depend too
much time in bed unsuccessfully trying to sleep. Diagnosis Diagnosis is based on
two symptoms: 1) the perceived difficulty of initiating and/or maintaining sleep
or feeling unrested despite an adequate amount of sleep or 2) daytime tiredness
or porsocialor work performance as a consequence of impaired sleep. Insomnia is
not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes
to fall asleep. Identifying behaviors that may worsen Insomnia and stopping (or
reducing) them. Normative developmental changes in sleep patterns are outlined
and distinguished from pathological sleeplessness. Sleep problems are also more
common among the widowed, divorced and separated and among people with low
incomes and low socio-economic status. Certain individuals are more likely to
experience Insomnia are the elderly, females, and those persons with a history
of depression. Twenty-five percent of adults and fifty percent of senior
citizens have insomnia problems. Insomnia is also a problem that is prevalent
among people write HIV/ Aids. When loss of sleep impairs a persons ability to
function properly during the day, it may indicate a potential problem. Insomnia
may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy,
difficulty concentrating, and irritability. The main consequence of sleep
depravation in otherwise normal sleepers are sleepless, performance impairment,
and mood alteration. The severity of the effects of sleep depravation depend on
the effects sleep loss is partial, total, acute, or chronic. Insomniacs have
more difficulty coping with minor irritations and report less enjoyment of
family and relationships; they also feel less well physically. About one third
of the adult population is affected by insomnia each year. Insomnia affects
20-40% of all adults, mostly women and the elderly. According to the National
Survey of Psychotherapeutic Drug Use , about 35% of the adult populationis
affected by insomnia during the course of a year. The National Institute of
Mental Health (NIMH) Epidomiologic Catchment Area study yielded a 10.2% of the
population on a chronic basis. Surveys indicate that one-third. ” About 15to
18 percent suffer from percent suffer from intractable sleep difficulties that
are perceived to impediments to them life says Harvey Moldofsky , chief
psychologist at Toronto Western Hospital. Acute sleep loss causes fatigue and
decreases motivation administrative. Total sleep loss for more than one night
leads to micro sleep episodes intruding into wakefulness, effecting attention
span reduction, difficulty concentrating, and performance efficiency is
impaired. As sleep loss accumulates, daytime sleepless increases, and both
cognition and behavioral deficits are exalelated. Chronic insonmia may induce
emotional distress and increase the use of psychotropic medications and the risk
of substance abuse. Sleep disturbances can affect a persons life, causing
significant psychosocial, occupational and health reprocassions. Sleep duration
is low lend to lavevity . Insomnacs are move likely (5% US. 2%) to report motor
vehicle accidents in which fatigue was a factor. Individuals with sleep
disturbances are move likely to display concomitent pshchological distress than
those without sleep complaints reported by insomniacs often have a psychosomatic
connotation: thsior headaches, gadro intestinal problems, no specific aches and
pains, and allergies. There is a strong relationship between sleep and emotional
disturbances. Insomnia causes psychological distress in some individuals, and
that in those already afflicted by emotional problems, chronically disturbed
sleep may only potentiate these difficulties. Reports of fatigue, tiredness, or
drowsiness almost always accompany Insomnia complaints. Sleepiness is almost a
direct result of sleep depravation. And, chronic inability to sleep will
ultimately lead to Insomnia or some type of sleep disorder. Insomnia encompasses
a wide variety of complaints typically reflecting unsatisfactory duration,
efficiency, or quality of sleep. Technology Technology used to measure and aid
in the diagnosis of sleep consist of the EEG, the electro-oculogram (EOG), and
the electromyogram (EMG). The EEG records brain wave activity from the central
and occipital areas. The EOG measures a difference of electrical potential
between the cornea and the retina; this difference is generated with each eye
movement. The EMG monitors muscle tone, and its main recording site is the chin.


Monitoring of oxygen saturation is used in the assessment diagnosis of sleep
apnea. The electrocardiogram (EKG) documents arrhythmias accompanying
respiratory disturbances. Accompanying respiratory disturbances. EMG monitoring
of the anterior tibilias muscles is used for detection of periodic leg movements
during sleep. Most adults need seven or eight hours of sleep a night, but some
adults are ” short sleepers” and functions well and only there of four
hours. Being that the purpose of sleep could be to allow the body time to repair
and rejurvenate- some find 4 to 6 hours as a sufficient amount at sleep. Sleep
reduces fatigue and relieves stress and dreaming helps to clear the nervous
systems. The amount of time needed for sleep is eshonaly usaible from person to
person. The clinical significanes of insomnia is detemined according to its
sevenrity, frequency, duration, and daytime sequence. Treatment for dramic
insomia consists of: -There are many foods you may try to get est that
would/will aid in putting you to sleep. Foods such as oats, sweet corn, rice,
zawgen, tomatoes, bananas, and barely all are rich in malnutrion which helps
reduce sleep. -Lifestyle changes can also hepls you to sleep better. -Herbal
remedies that as help induce sleep are Valerian roots, skull cap, passion
flower, wood betony or California poppy. -Over the counter sleep medicines are
not usually recommended for the treatment of insomnia . Though using sleeping
pills without supervision of a physican for long periods of time can treat
chronic insomnia. -Tayrs behavioral techniques to improve sleep, such as
rehilbilation therpy, sleep restrictions therapy, and reconditioning may help.


There are specific and effective technques through rehilbilation therapy that
can reduces or eliminate anxiety and body tension. Insomnia can not be cured
without treaty the underlying imbalance that causes it. The Association of Sleep
Disorders Caters was established in 1975; its purpose is to accidet clinics in
the United States and to promote professional education and the development of
standards and guidelines for patient care. Most clinics are based in large urban
hospitals or university medical schools, usually in conjunction with
sleep-research programs . Medical experts from widely diverse fields are
involved in sleep clinics. Psychologists and psychiatrists, internist,
psycologists and specialist in disorders of the heart, lungs, brain, respiratory
system and central nervous system are involved can givers at sleep clinics.


Conclusion Insomnia can be treated if diagnosed properly and medication can be
given to aid in the elimination of the problem.

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