Chronic insomnia refers to occurring of sleep difficulty at least three nights per week for one month or more. Many different factors acting singly or in grouping and often occurs in combination with other health problems may cause chronic insomnia.
In other cases, sleep disturbance is the chief or sole complaint and involves abnormal sleep-wake regulation or physiology during sleep. Since treatment of underlying conditions is crucial in the management of insomnia, identifying specific associations is important.
Patients with chronic insomnia frequently complain of weariness, mood changes, concentration difficulties and impaired daytime functioning. The consequences may not be uniform as there are varieties of causes for insomnia.
Almost one third of Americans say they have trouble sleeping. Although poor sleep is more common in the elderly, anyone can get chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia can cause problems in your life and can even lead to problems at work.
Insomnia might make you so exhausted that you can't do a good job at work. Also, people with insomnia have a higher danger of accidents. If you aren't sleeping well at night, it's easy to fall asleep while driving a car.
Causes Of Chronic Insomnia
Causes of chronic insomnia are more complex. Often, the causes of chronic insomnia are combination of factors, including basic physical or mental disorders. Medical illness can cause chronic insomnia.
Some of the medicines used for other illnesses treatment can cause sleep problems. Steroids can also cause sleep problems. Depression is one of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Other underlying causes include
- Sleep apnea
- Pain, nervousness
- Chronic stress
- Kidney disease
- Heart failure
- Parkinson's disease
- Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
- Restless legs syndrome
- Disrupted sleep/wake cycles
Chronic Insomnia Treatment:
Chronic insomnia treatment consists of:
- Identifying behaviors, diagnosing and treating underlying medical or psychological factors that may worsen insomnia and stopping (or reducing) them.
- To improve the sleep, try behavioral techniques, such as relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, reconditioning, exercising, and using bright light.
A patient taking any sleeping pill should be under the supervision of a doctor to closely evaluate effectiveness and minimize side effects.
Self care For Chronic Insomnia
- Exercise during the day (3 to 4 hours before bedtime).
- Have a routine bedtime and waking time, even on weekends and days you don't go to work.
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Use your bed only for sleeping or for having sex. Try not to eat, worry or watch TV in bed.
- Limit or stop using nicotine, caffeine and alcohol--especially close to bedtime. Try avoiding coffee, tea or caffeinated sodas after noon.
- Eat meals on a regular schedule. Don't eat a large meal close to your bedtime.