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Insomnia – Definition, Causes and Side Effects

Insomnia is a condition where a person experiences poor sleep or has trouble sleeping. Insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Remaining asleep (waking up many times during the night)
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Not feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep

In any of these cases the person feels tired in the next day or feels as if he or she did not have enough sleep.

Insomnia can affect all age groups and is more common in adult men as well as adult women. About one-third of the adult population in the world experiences insomnia in their life.

Poor sleep for any length of time can lead to mood disorders, lack of motivation, less energy, problems with concentration and increased fatigue. That is why healthy sleep is vital to the human body and is important for the optimal functioning of the brain and other organs.

There are three types of insomnia:

  • Mild or transient insomnia – sleep disorders that last for several days, there is little evidence or even no signs of decreasing function during the day
  • Medium or short-term insomnia – sleep disorders that last less than a month, which mildly affect the function during the day, together with feelings of anger and fatigue
  • Chronic or severe insomnia – sleep disorders that lasts for more than a month, which is very disturbing function during the day, and cause intense feelings of anxiety, fatigue and irritability.

What are the Side Effects of Insomnia?

Insomnia can have physical and psychological effects. The side effects of insomnia include:

  • Impaired mental function
    Insomnia can affect concentration and memory and can affect a person’s ability to perform tasks daily.
  • Stress and depression
    Insomnia increases the activity of hormones and pathways in the brain that causes stress, and changes in sleep patterns have been shown to significantly affect on mood. Continuous Insomnia may be a sign of anxiety and depression.
  • Headache
    Headaches that occur at night or early morning may be related to insomnia.
  • Heart disease
    A study shown that people with chronic insomnia had signs of heart and nervous system activity that may put them at risk of heart disease.
  • Accidents
    Insomnia endangers public safety by contributing to industrial and traffic accidents. Many studies have shown that fatigue play a major role in a car accident. As much as 100,000 car accidents, accounting for 1,500 deaths, are caused by sleepiness or insomnia.
  • Economic effects
    Insomnia cost the U.S. approximately $ 100 billion per year in medical costs and decreased productivity.

What Causes Insomnia?

There are many possible causes of insomnia. Sometimes there is one major cause, but often several factors interacting together that cause sleep disturbance or insomnia.

Some of the main causes of insomnia include:

  • Drugs and substances misuse: These include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and recreational drugs such as benzodiazepines, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, solvents, etc.
  • Physical factors: Insomnia can be caused by an underlying physical conditions, including heart disease, respiratory disease, neurological disease, such as (alzheimer’s disease or parkinson disease), and hormone problems (such as estrogen, overactive thyroid, muscle problems, gastrointestinal disease, and genetic problems).
  • Psychological factors: Underlying mental health problems can also affect your sleeping patterns, such as stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc.
  • Other factors: Sleep beside snoring partner, parasites, and pregnancy.

If you suffer from insomnia, there are many things you can do to get to sleep. Practicing regular sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time every night and do not nap during the day, can help. Abstain from alcohol or caffeine before bedtime can also help you get a good sleep.