To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

A teacher wrote this note in​ one of​ her students' records; “Always late in​ class. Seems inattentive during discussions. to​ inquire regarding his situation.” One day after class, the teacher met with this student to​ ask regarding his condition. She was expecting that her student might relate some problems with his family or​ financially that interferes with his academic performance. She was surprised, however, to​ learn that the reason for her student's constant tardiness and poor performance in​ school is​ lack of​ sleep and difficulty in​ sleeping. She thought that her student was just making up a​ lame excuse and reprimanded him severely. Later that week, when she casually related this to​ her friend who happens to​ be a​ doctor, he told her that her student may actually have a​ serious medical problem called insomnia.

Insomnia is​ defined as​ a​ sleeping disorder where a​ person has difficulty sleeping or​ remaining asleep, thus, lacking a​ high-quality of​ sleep. The length of​ time that this condition persists may vary; from a​ single night to​ possibly a​ week or​ more. This condition may be caused by different factors such as​ physical illness or​ psychological problems. Moreover, its effects may largely impair a​ person's life which is​ why this condition must be regarded seriously. However, like most health problems, insomnia is​ manageable or​ cured given proper treatment.

The length of​ time that the sleep problem is​ experienced serves as​ basis for classification of​ the different types of​ insomnia. The first type which is​ called transient insomnia or​ short-term insomnia may last one night, a​ few nights or​ a​ few weeks. Another type of​ insomnia which persists for a​ longer period of​ time, a​ few months or​ even years, is​ termed as​ chronic insomnia or​ long-term insomnia. Another classification of​ the condition depends on the factors or​ causes related to​ it. if​ the problem exists without any underlying condition and is​ mainly caused by harmful sleeping habits, it​ is​ considered as​ primary insomnia. On the other hand, when sleeping disorders arise as​ a​ symptom of​ another preexisting condition it​ is​ then classified as​ secondary insomnia. The latter method of​ classification helps a​ lot in​ determining what form of​ management or​ treatment should be applied to​ cure the problem.

As mentioned earlier, insomnia may be brought about by different factors or​ causes. it​ can be triggered by mental conditions, food or​ drugs, sleeping behaviors or​ habits, sleeping environment and medical or​ health condition. When a​ person is​ under stress, anxiety or​ fear, this may have an​ effect in​ his or​ her quality of​ sleep. Some medications, caffeine, nicotine and some herbal supplements may also affect sleep. Sleeping can be hindered or​ interfered by events such as​ a​ change in​ time zone or​ work shifts and by activities such as​ napping during the day, exercising before bedtime and eating or​ drinking too much before sleeping. a​ noisy environment, disruptive sleep partner, uncomfortable type of​ bed and unwanted room temperature can also make it​ difficult for a​ person to​ fall asleep. Lastly, trouble in​ sleeping may also be experienced when a​ person has any illness or​ pain, undergoes hormonal changes or​ has medical conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Having this condition can greatly disturb or​ trouble a​ person's sleeping and waking hours. Usually, people with insomnia will undergo undesirable changes in​ their mood and daily activities. They may feel irritable and impatient most of​ the time and experience difficulty in​ concentrating and focusing on tasks. This condition may also lead them to​ often feel depressed and anxious. as​ a​ result, they exhibit poor performance in​ school and at​ work, and somehow become more accident-prone.

Those who are diagnosed to​ have insomnia, however, should not panic or​ feel hopeless because of​ their condition. Fortunately, various treatments or​ solutions are already available to​ address this problem. Medications such as​ hypnotics and sedatives such as​ benzodiazepines, ramelteon and anti-depressants can be prescribed by sleep doctors to​ help decrease or​ eliminate difficulty in​ sleeping. Another therapy available is​ called cognitive-behavior therapy where a​ person is​ advised to​ modify his or​ her daily activities towards having better sleeping habits. Alternative and traditional Chinese medicine such as​ acupuncture and aromatherapy as​ well as​ other substances like herbal supplements can also be used to​ treat sleeping disorders. These treatments, however, should not be taken or​ undergone without proper prescription or​ advice from medical professionals. Inappropriate use or​ application of​ these may cause untoward reactions and side effects such as​ nausea, dizziness and diarrhea, cognitive and memory disturbance, substance abuse and even death. it​ is​ therefore necessary to​ always seek professional advice regarding matters of​ treatment.

Insomnia is​ probably one of​ those unfamiliar or​ misunderstood health problems. This does not mean, however, that the condition is​ uncommon. Everyone probably has experienced or​ knows someone who had experienced one or​ more causes of​ insomnia. Everyone is​ also vulnerable to​ having it. Therefore, it​ is​ important to​ be knowledgeable of​ this condition to​ be able to​ address it​ properly. Had the teacher in​ the situation stated earlier known what insomnia is, what causes it, how it​ affects one's life and what treatments or​ solutions are available, she may have appropriately done something to​ make her student's life better.

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