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Insomnia

Currently one in three American adults complain of difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. This type of behavior is commonly termed insomnia. Individuals who suffer from insomnia are often faced with difficulties during the waking hours as well as the sleeping hours.

Insomnia affects people of all ages, and in most cases the disruption will only last for one to two nights, but in some cases it can persist for weeks, months, or years. Recent advances in understanding its effects are making it possible for healthcare providers to help the majority of troubled sleepers. Currently insomnia is broken down into three distinctive categories.

An inability to sleep over a period of a few nights is called Transient Insomnia. This type of insomnia is usually brought on by excitement or
stress. Adults might typically experience this before important meetings at work or after having a dispute with your spouse. Children may also exhibit this behavior the night before the first day of school or before an important sporting event. People are also likely to experience this if they frequently travel or workout vigorously too close to bedtime (typically within four hours) and an illness can also temporarily disrupt a person's sleep. Another type of insomnia is Short-term Insomnia which can be the result of periods of consistent stress at home or at work which can result in two to three weeks of poor sleep. In most cases when the stressful situation ends or the sleeper becomes accustomed to it, sleep usually returns to normal.

Today the most common complaint of insomnia falls into the category of Chronic Insomnia. It is estimated that 35 million Americans complain of chronic insomnia, which is sleeping poorly every night or most nights or their lives. While most insomniacs worry about their sleep, one should not blame all troubled sleep on worrying. During  a study by the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, physical ailments such as disorders of breathing (Sleep Apnea, Snoring) or muscle activity (Periodic Leg Movements or Restless Legs) are the cause of more than half of all cases of persistent insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by any number of factors such as Psychological factors, Lifestyle, Environmental factors, or Physical illness. Many of these factors can be eliminated by simply practicing good sleep habits like getting up at the same time every day, establishing pre-sleep rituals such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack, just to name a few. For additional good sleep habits refer to our discussion of sleep hygiene in "Sleep Tips"

The most common question among those who complain of insomnia is "Do sleeping pills work?".    It is true that sleeping pills can provide sounder sleep and improve alertness the following day in most cases, but this relief is only temporary, since sleeping pills are not a cure for insomnia. For types of insomnia associated with breathing disorders,
sleeping pills can be potentially dangerous.  If you think you have insomnia, it needs to be accurately diagnosed and discussed with a Certified Sleep Specialist before treatment with medications is undertaken.


For additional information please contact the Sleep Institute of the
Gulf Coast at 868-7593.

Sleep Institute of the Gulf Coast
10051 Lorraine Road, Suite B
Gulfport, MS 39503 US
Phone: 228-868-7593
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