Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder that prevents people from falling and staying asleep. To show you how prevalent insomnia is in Nigeria, according to a survey carried out by the Department of Family Medicine at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals, about six out of every 10 respondents had sleep disorders. But perhaps what is more worrisome is the fact that a lot of us do not know what insomnia is and the danger it poses to our health.
In light of the above, we have put together this comprehensive article to furnish you with everything you need to know about insomnia—meaning, types, symptoms, causes and treatment.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty in falling and staying asleep, especially during the night. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults need at least 7–9 hours of sleep daily, depending on their age.
Classification of Insomnia
Insomnia is classified based on duration and severity:
There are two types of insomnia based on duration: transient insomnia and chronic insomnia. The former is a short-term problem, while the latter can last for months or years.
Medical experts classify the severity of insomnia into mild, moderate and severe. Mild insomnia causes a lack of sleep that leads to tiredness. In addition, moderate insomnia may affect daily functioning, while severe insomnia may cause a significant impact on daily life.
Causes of Insomnia
Some of the common causes of insomnia include:
- Traumatic events
- Change of environments such as sleeping in a hotel or new home
- Physical pain
- Underlying medical conditions such as depression and schizophrenia
- Excessive use of hard drugs like cocaine
Symptoms of Insomnia
People who experience insomnia usually report at least one of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night or waking up too early in the morning
- Feeling tired but unable to sleep
- Persistent worry about sleep
If you find it difficult to sleep at night, even after the hustle and bustle of the day, you should consider speaking to a Health Connect 24×7 doctor from any convenient location. Upon examination, your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills to help you sleep more.
Avoid using over-the-counter drugs for insomnia. They might have side effects, and they tend to work less well over time.
If you are battling chronic insomnia, you will need treatment for the health problems that are keeping you awake. Your doctor might also suggest behavioral therapy to help you change the things you do that may cause insomnia.