Can I just get some sleep!?
The occasional poor nights sleep is normal and easily overcome.
This is not so for the frustrated 10% of adults who struggle with chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is defined as difficulty in falling asleep, or in staying asleep or disturbed sleep patterns resulting in insufficient sleep. It is part of a larger group of sleep disorders that are disturbances that affect the ability to fall or stay asleep, that involve sleeping too much, or that result in abnormal sleep-related behavior.
Different subsets of insomnia exist including; transient insomnia (lasts for no more then 1 week) and short-term insomnia (1 month to 3 months). Longer-term bouts of insomnia are regarded as chronic insomnia. Further, insomnia is also divided into sleep-onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) and sleep-disruption insomnia (waking early or interrupted sleep).
Chronic insomnia can lead to difficulty staying awake throughout the day, fatigue, irritability, decreased concentration, increase in appetite, and impaired memory. In addition, its a source of anxiety for many whose sleep patterns are unpredictable.
Insomnia is caused by a number of factors most which over-excite the nervous system. Sleep-onset Insomnia is generally caused by anxiety, pain, caffeine, alcohol, change of environment, and certain medications like corticosteroids, some antidepressants, and stimulants. It also may be caused by Restless Leg Syndrome.
Sleep-disruption Insomnia like early morning-awakening is commonly caused by depression, medications, low blood sugar levels, high stress hormone levels, and circadian rhythm disorders.