Sleep Problems

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences poor sleep or has trouble sleeping. Insomnia can involve: Difficulty falling asleep Difficulty staying asleep (that is, waking up many times during the night), without necessarily having had any difficulty falling asleep Waking up too early in the morning Not feeling refreshed after a night’s

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Who Gets Insomnia?

Over 90 percent of people experience some degree of insomnia at some point in their lives. Studies indicate that insomnia affects one in three adults every year in the United States. Several factors increase a person’s chances of developing insomnia: Gender. In general, insomnia is more common in women than men. However, older men have more

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What Causes Insomnia?

There are many possible causes of insomnia. Sometimes there is one main cause, but often several factors interacting together will cause a sleep disturbance. The causes of insomnia include: Psychological causes Physical causes Temporary events or factors Psychological Causes In many people, insomnia can be the result of: Anxiety, a condition in which individuals feel

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How Is Insomnia Diagnosed?

Insomnia is almost always the result of some other problem and is not an ‘illness’ in its own right. Discovering its cause is the most important step in relieving it. Your doctor will ask questions such as: How would you describe your sleep problem (for example, do you have trouble falling asleep, or is the

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How Is Insomnia Treated?

Sleep research has led to major advances in the treatment of insomnia. Many experts now consider sleeping pills to be overused, as well as dangerous because they can become addictive. They suggest that medication be used a last option, after other treatments have been tried. Non-medicine treatment options include: Physical relaxation Mental relaxation Other techniques

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Can Medication Help Insomnia?

Sleep medications should not be taken lightly. Low-dose sleep medication can help short-term insomnia but is rarely helpful for long-term sleep problems. Many experts today recommend only trying medications as a last resort, after other treatments for insomnia have failed, because they can be addictive and can have serious side effects. Hypnotics (sedatives, minor tranquilizers, and

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How Can I Avoid Insomnia?

Prevention of sleeplessness is very much dependent on your ability to relax and learn techniques for sleeping well. How-To Information: Here are some tips to help improve your sleep: Learn to use physical and mental relaxation techniques. Establish a regular sleep schedule. This involves setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time and making every attempt

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Insomnia: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which individuals experience poor sleep or have trouble sleeping. Poor sleep for any length of time can lead to mood disturbances, lack of motivation, decreased attention span, trouble with concentration, low levels of energy, and increased

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Insomnia: Glossary

Here are definitions of medical terms related to insomnia. Early morning awakening: A sleep disorder in which people fall asleep normally but wake up several hours after and are unable to fall asleep again. Insomnia: An ongoing inability to sleep or to remain asleep throughout the night. Melatonin: A hormone (a chemical produced by the body and carried

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Insomnia: Additional Sources Of Information

Here are some reliable sources that can provide more information on insomnia. National Center on Sleep Disorders Research NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  Phone: 301-435-0199 Books The Complete Book of Sleep, by Dianne Hales (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Ma., 1981) Insomnia and Other Sleeping Problems, by Peter Lambley (Pinnacle Books, New York, 1982) A

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