Insomnia is a commonplace condition which affects millions of people every year. The Encarta Dictionary defines the word “Insomnia” as the “inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when this is a problem that continues over time”.
What causes insomnia? Causes vary; the reason might be due to a medical condition, disease, or personal circumstance.
Insomnia causes vary as do those it affects. Insomnia can impinge upon the old and the young, men and women. It is neither consistent as to why, nor impartial as to whom it affects, although studies have revealed insomnia is more than one and a half times more likely to affect women than men and is more common in adults. Whether man, woman, adult or youngster, when suffering from insomnia it is unlikely you will wake up in the morning feeling re-energized.
Transient insomnia is a common occurrence. In this case disruptions in sleep patterns will only be short term – possibly only a matter of days. Short term insomnia causes are usually due to temporary situations: examinations, an argument, problems with finances or work, etc. Therefore, once that situation has resolved itself, so will the insomnia.
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Chronic insomnia can be much harder to resolve because the causes in this instance are often more complex. The condition is more long term and the longer it goes on, the greater the negative effects it will have on everyday life. Without sleep, both our motor and mental faculties can begin to fail us; usually leading to constant drowsiness and poor concentration, possibly even leading to depression. A good night’s sleep is essential for both mental and physical restoration.
Chronic causes of insomnia can be multiple. There can be several combining factors causing the problem. Insomnia might be due to practical problems, such as a change is working times – a move from the day to nightshift for instance. It could be down to the use of psychoactive drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, or stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Emotional stress brought on by the loss of a job, relationship, or loved one; on-going financial problems, or can all lead to chronic insomnia. In women, hormone shifts, like those experienced during menopause is a common cause of insomnia. Any one or any combination of these insomnia causes can lead to elevated problems in the long term. Therefore, the sooner they are addressed, the better.