All sufferers of insomnia and poor sleep can tell us how frustrating and anxious it must be to not be able to fall asleep. Tossing and turning in bed causes the anxiety to become worse as one starts to imagine how terrible the next day will be if he or she is unable to sleep soon.
Insomnia is a very common problem and occurs frequently in teenagers and elderly. As we get older our quality of sleep will also deteriorate.
Poor sleep can occur as:
difficulty in the initiation of sleep or inability to fall asleep
poor maintenance of sleep and intermittent nocturnal awakening
poor quality sleep resulting in feelings of not being rested
Types of Insomnia
- Primary insomnia or poor sleep without other psychiatric or medical causes.
- Insomnia secondary and due to other causes.
There may be many reasons resulting in secondary insomnia. Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, dementia, or ADHD can cause poor sleep. Medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, pain, hyperthyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis can cause sleep problems. Many a times, poor sleep is simply caused by poor personal sleep hygiene.
Insomnia can be acute lasting for less than one month or chronic. In acute insomnia, the poor sleep is often caused by stressful events or worries. The poor sleep will go away quickly once the stress or worries have been resolved. Sometimes, insomnia can persist and become chronic in nature lasting for a long time.
Management and Treatment of Insomnia
Sufferers of longstanding insomnia face frustration and are confronted with anxiety about their poor sleep. It is important to seek help from your doctor to determine that there are no medical causes resulting in the poor sleep. Treating the medical causes or psychiatric conditions causing the poor sleep will alleviate the problem.
Your psychiatrist will also assist you in improving your sleep hygiene and to provide short term medication and relief if appropriate. Cognitive behavioural therapy is also effective in the treatment of insomnia.