Insomnia Causes, Types and Diagnosis
The inability to fall asleep or remain sleeping is known as insomnia. The causes of this condition can be any number of things. Insomnia can present itself as a temporary issue or a continuing pattern. Transient insomnia is an episode that is only temporary. If it begins to last for a few weeks or more, it is known as permanent insomnia. Insomnia usually affects more women than men. This is most likely because of the constant hormonal changes that a woman goes through. Insomnia will also become more frequent as a person gets older. This is because of a reduction in physical activity, medical conditions, and reactions to prescription medications.
Temporary insomnia can be caused by a number of different factors, such as stress, entering a different time zone, or various environmental factors. These would include increased noise levels or changes in temperature. Other factors include excessive light, or even someone else snoring nearby. Any of these can create a difficult situation for falling asleep.
For temporary cases of insomnia, it is usually not necessary to seek medical treatment. If the problem is due to some external factor, it usually goes away when whatever was causing the problem is corrected.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with chronic or permanent insomnia. There is often an underlying condition that causes this type of insomnia. To correctly determine the severity of the problem, it is essential that a thorough physical examination is conducted in order to find out what that cause is. When you begin to experience a repeated pattern of insomnia, sit down with your doctor and discuss your options.
Some possible causes of this type of insomnia include abuse of alcohol or narcotics, caffeine, or the type of shift you work. More serious underlying conditions could be physical or mental in nature. These include depression, anxiety, kidney and heart trouble, restless leg syndrome, asthma, Parkinson's Disease, or sleep apnea. The list of possible reasons for a person not being able to fall asleep or stay sleeping could go on and on.
It may take a considerable amount of time and effort to figure out what is causing chronic insomnia. This may include a variety of different medical tests and evaluations. This is the only way to identify the cause of the condition and the possible treatment options. The treatment may be medical in nature, or it may require some type of counseling to modify certain behaviors or attitudes.
The difficulty in diagnosing insomnia is due to the differing opinions and views on how much sleep is actually necessary. The proper amount of sleep required is going to be different from person to person. On way to know if you are suffering from insomnia is if you are having difficulty staying alert and awake during the day.
If you think you have a problem, begin by keeping a sleep journal. Make any notes about your sleep that you think may be helpful. It may also be necessary to consult a sleep specialist to help you diagnose the problem.