Psychology 20 Major Project #2

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is, in fact, a symptom. Scientists have stated that 30% - 40% of adults will experience insomnia in their lifetime. Only 10% have claimed to have chronic insomnia. There are different types of insomnia, some people have trouble falling asleep, while others have troubles staying asleep or are waking up too early. There is short term, not very troubling, meaning it only lasts a few days to a week, or very serious which is chronic, lasting from up to a month and more. If you consider it a problem or an annoyance then this is when it is starting to interfere with your life and family.

Here is a list provided to show how many hours of sleep you need as you get older and older.

  • Newborn: 13 - 17 hours
  • 2 years: 9 - 13 hours
  • 10 years: 10 - 11 hours
  • 16 to 65 years: 6 - 9 hours
  • Over 65 years: 6 - 8 hours

Its mind blowing really how some people can survive off little sleep at such an old age, you'd think they'd need sleep the most. Though still lots of people complain or claim that lack of sleep affects their daily schedules, this is correct, depending on the person. Around half of the people in this world will experience insomnia.

What Are The Causes Of This Disease?

There are many causes of Insomnia, which include:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • A change in sleeping environment
  • An uncomfortable sleeping environment
  • An uncomfortable mattress
  • Pajamas that are too tight
  • Having a bed partner who snores or has disruptive sleep patterns
  • Using electronics, reading a book or problem-solving in your bed
  • Eating a heavy meal before bedtime
  • Taking a prescription medication that has insomnia as a side effect
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages before bedtime
  • Having a high intake of beverages containing caffeine
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Exercising immediately before bedtime
  • Not exercising enough during the day, so you have energy to spare
  • Taking a hot bath or shower before bed
  • Shift work

What Are Some Ways To Treat Insomnia?

  • Relaxation therapy - Mediation and Yoga can help greatly before bed.
  • Sleep restriction - Not sleeping and then slowly increasing the time you are asleep.

There are also lots of sleeping pills to help a person fall asleep at night. These are some of many sleeping pills that people have used or tried.

  • Tylenol PM - Relieves pain so you can sleep.
  • Unisom - Sleep aid medication, used for insomnia in most cases.
  • Valium - Relieves anxiety and relaxs the muscles.
  • Halcion - Usually given to people who have insomnia/sleeping problems.
  • Ativan - Treats anxiety and tension.
  • ProSom - Frequently prescribed sleeping pill.
  • Restoril - A sleeping pill that lasts long enough to help those who have troubles falling asleep/frequently wake up during the night.

What Are The Symptoms?

The main symptom of insomnia is trouble falling or staying asleep, which leads to very little sleep. Signs that you have insomnia:

The lack of sleep can cause other symptoms. You may wake up feeling tired, and you may feel tired during the day. You also may have trouble staying on tasks. Insomnia could make you to feel anxious, depressed, or irritable.

  • Lie awake for a long time before you fall asleep
  • Sleep for only short periods of time
  • Be awake for much of the night
  • Feeling like you haven't slept at all
  • Wake up too early

Some Preventions?

Lifestyle changes that can help you sleep are, follow a sleep routine, exercise, limit your coffee and alcohol intake before you go to bed. Relieve stress before bed with things like yoga or meditation, and there are more. In severe cases, your doctor can send you to a sleep clinic to see how they would treat your insomnia. Sleep medications is a faster way to start treating insomnia. Two of them are Melatonin, which is a hormone. Melatonin helps regulate your sleep patterns. Valerian is another popular alternative for sleep issues. Valerian could improve your sleep quality without leaving you feeling overly tired the next morning.

Social And Cultural Views:

To a lot of people Insomnia is not as big of a deal as some of the other mental disorders out there. The people who have insomnia don't really like to share it, so insomnia is rarely ever talked about. Although people who do talk about it are often responded with, "oh you can't sleep, that's not that bad." Although if you have chronic insomnia, it's becomes a little different as it's more serious than the short term.


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