Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting one in three Americans
This sleep disorder presents itself as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Not only are your sleeping hours disturbed, but your waking hours are disrupted by feeling sleepy during the day.
Insomnia is usually a symptom of another problem that is going on in your life. These problems could be:
- Medication you may be taking.
- Lifestyle choices, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, shift work or inactivity
Insomnia is more than a minor inconvenience. Despite the perception that insomnia is not a serious problem, there is substantial evidence that untreated and persistent insomnia is associated with:
- Reduced quality of life
- Poor work performance
- Increased occurrence of accidents
- Risk for medical illness
- Risk for psychiatric illness
Types of Insomnia
There are basically three different types of insomnia. Transient,
Short-term and Chronic insomnia.
Transient insomnia is the inability to sleep restfully over a couple
of nights. Usually stress or excitement brings on transient insomnia.
Children may toss and turn the night before a big test. Adults may have
difficulty sleeping after a stressful day at work or the night before leaving
on a trip.
Short-term insomnia is when the restless nights continue for two to
Chronic insomnia affects more than 35 million Americans. This is when
poor sleep happens every night, or at least on most nights. In almost half of the cases of insomnia, a physical ailment is to blame.
Cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia is a new treatment solution that
research shows is as or more effective than sleeping pills, without the potential
We do not advocate the persistent use of sleeping pills. In some cases of
short-term insomnia when the cause is a traumatic event such as a death
in the family or a divorce, sleeping pills may be warranted. If sleeping pills
need to be taken for more than two-three weeks, then the cause of
your insomnia should be fully investigated.