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What is Insomnia?

26-03-2012

Insomnia is, if you pardon the pun, a bogeyman. Haunting people during the night, leaving a wake of exhaustion and depression. In short, insomnia is a sleep disorder, or more correctly, a hard to get to sleep disorder.

There is no single ‘insomnia’ but rather a number of different causes that have similar outcomes. Doctors identify three particular types of insomnia: transient, acute and chronic. The major differences, as can be seen from the names for each type, is the severity and rate of occurrence. Transient occurs occasionally and might not be to severe, acute occurs occasionally and can be severe while chronic is ongoing and can be either mild or severe.  The worst type is severe chronic insomnia, which in the most extreme cases can result in a person not having slept at all in years.

The causes of insomnia are many, ranging from depression and stress through to more deeply biological and genetic issues. Scientists are still divided on the exact causes and in many cases there is more than one factor involved.

As could be expected, insomnia has some pretty serious and debilitating symptoms, including anxiety, depression, hallucinations, paranoia and, obviously, extreme exhaustion. Often insomniacs will go through good and bad periods, both with levels of sleep itself and with the severity of symptoms.

As there are a number of causes, finding a single solution is hard, but often simple things, like creating a pre-bed routine, exercise and ensuring the sleep environment is perfect, can help immensely.


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