People with insomnia have trouble getting quality or quantity
of sleep and sometimes keep themselves awake by worrying about
going to sleep. Keeping sleep in perspective can be difficult
for people with insomnia and, they are normally frustrated or
annoyed by it. This emotional state contributes to keeping them
This problem can result from stress, jet lag, diet,
or many other factors like an overactive thyroid gland, diabetes,
violent muscle twitching, or drinking caffeine-containing beverages
before going to bed, but experts estimate that in three-fourths
of all cases the reason is a psychological one. Sleeping problems
occur in almost all people going through emotional problems or
have mental disorders, including those with depression and schizophrenia,
and those who have just experienced traumatic events like death
of a loved one or even losing one’s job.
People with depression, for example, often awaken
in the early hours of the morning and find themselves unable to
get back to sleep. The amount of sleep a person gets also strongly
influences the symptoms of mental disorders. Sleep deprivation
is an effective therapy for people with certain types of depression,
while it can actually cause depression in other people. Another
cause could be medical related. For example, problems like stroke
and asthma attacks tend to occur more frequently during the night
and early morning, perhaps due to changes in hormones, heart rate,
and other characteristics associated with sleep.
Over one third of people experience insomnia from
time to time, but only around five per cent need treatment for
the condition. Sleep disorder can be short term, also known as
transient insomnia or persistent insomnia.
Short insomnia is
typically caused by stressful episodes like jet lag, change in
sleeping environments, some acute medical illnesses and stimulant
medications. Normal sleeping habits return once the acute event
is over. Unlike the latter, the problem continues.
is also called chronic insomnia. The person will experience sleeping
difficulties for a month or more and there are many causes of
persistent insomnia. They can be categorised broadly into:
1) Secondary insomnia
- due to a range of medical and psychiatric problems and the chronic
use of drugs and alcohol.
2) Primary sleep disorders
- include circadian rhythm disorders, central sleep apnoea-insomnia
syndrome, inadequate sleep syndromes and periodic limb movement
or restless legs syndromes.
3) Idiopathic insomnia
- sleeplessness without a known cause, formerly called childhood