or interrupted sleep?
Insomnia : Latin, from insomnis sleepless, from in- + somnus sleep
If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep or you are waking up to early in the morning, you may suffer from insomnia.
Good quality sleep is essential for the body to work properly and, although the amount we need varies from person to person, it is something that we cannot do without if we want to be able to continue with our daily routines.
Insomnia due to stress
Disturbed sleep is often the result of stress, tension and/or mild anxiety and can cause different health disorders such as:
- memory and concentration problems
- impaired motor coordination (being uncoordinated)
- motor vehicle accidents due to fatigued, sleep-deprived drivers
- low mood
- irritability and impaired social interaction
- growth suppression
- risk of obesity
- increased heart rate variability
- impaired immune system
There are three types of insomnia
Transient insomnia: lasts from days to weeks.
Acute insomnia: lasts from two-three weeks to six months
Chronic insomnia: lasts for more than 6 months
There are also different insomnia patterns
Onset insomnia: difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.
Middle insomnia: waking during the middle of the night, difficulty maintaining sleep.
Terminal insomnia: early morning waking.
Many factors can affect the quality of our sleep
These are just few examples:
- Problems like stress, emotional tension, work problems, financial stress
- Hormone shifts: before menstruation and during menopause
- Disturbances of the circadian rhythm: shift work, jet lag
- Disruptive sleep events: nightmares, sleepwalking, etc
- Any injury or condition that causes pain
- Restless Legs Syndrome: the need to move the legs or other body parts to relieve discomforting sensations
- Psychoactive drugs or stimulants
- Rebound insomnia due to sleep aid abuse
- Poor sleep hygiene: light, noise, etc.
Sleeping problems quickly enter a vicious circle whereby the anticipation of not sleeping becomes one of the reasons for poor sleep, as you lie there worrying about how little sleep you’re getting and how hard it is to drop off.