Monday, April 7, 2014

Suffering with Insomia, Causes and Cures

The inability to sleep at night can take a toll on a person's body and tin he way they interact with others on a daily bases. Then depression, mood swings and depression can develop leaving the person isolated from society and thoughtless as each day goes by.
I have been having a problem falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. To no avail sleeping pills, relaxing meditation and yoga have not helped me fall asleep. This problem has also caused me to get massive headaches only at night as I am in bed. I began to do some Googling on the matter and I found some interesting facts about insomnia I never thought would affect me this way. As you read note that the parts highlighted in red are the things I am going through at this moment causing my insomia.
( More than 25 percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally, while 10% experience insomnia almost every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, how do you tell if you've simply hit a rough patch that will pass, or if you have a chronic sleep problem?)

There isn't a hard number, says Tracey Marks, MD, psychiatrist in Atlanta and author of Master Your Sleep. A good marker is to look at a week or month and add up whether you've had trouble sleeping more nights than not. Acute insomnia, which lasts for a few days, can be connected to a particular event like a work deadline or examination. Sleep usually gets better when the stressor goes away, says Deirdre Conroy, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Michigan.

It's common to have temporary insomnia, says William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, Fla. You don't need to be overly concerned about a couple nights of restless sleep. But if insomnia persists and interferes with your functioning, then it's time to evaluate the nature of the problem. Chronic insomnia, which lasts for longer than three weeks, can affect your daytime functioning. You may notice changes in your mood, difficulty concentrating, or decreased productivity.

Identifying a Probable Cause

A lot of times sleep problems are related to mood problems, says Conroy. So you should ask yourself: Has my mood changed? Do I feel more depressed? Am I more irritable than usual?
If you're prone to worry, anxiety can be making your sleep worse. But sleep problems also develop without any associated mood problems. Sometimes you can point to a primary stressor like losing a job or worrying about the mortgage. But there doesn't have to be a particular stressor associated with insomnia. Just worrying about sleep can snowball over time, says Conroy.
Other underlying reasons for insomnia include pain, medications, sleep disorders, and poor sleep

There are three different types of insomnia. Transient, acute and chronic. Transient insomnia is considered insomnia lasting from one night to a few weeks. Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of three weeks to six months. The most serious form of insomnia is chronic insomnia. This type of insomnia lasts for at least a month and sometimes longer. Chronic insomnia is more complex and often results from a combination of factors, including underlying physical or mental disorders.

One of the most common causes of chronic insomnia is depression. Other underlying causes include arthritis, kidney disease, heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and hyperthyroidism. However, chronic insomnia may also be due to behavioral factors, including the misuse of caffeine, alcohol, or other substances; disrupted sleep/wake cycles as may occur with shift work or other nighttime activity schedules; and chronic stress.

There are two levels to each type of insomnia, primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia occurs when the inability to sleep does not occur because of a medical or environmental cause; however secondary insomnia occurs when the inability to sleep is caused by a health condition.

There are different kinds of insomnia:

Sleep Onset Insomnia (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome):

A disorder in which the major sleep episode is delayed in relation to the desired clock time that results in symptoms of sleep onset insomnia or difficulty in awakening at the desired time.
Idiopathic Insomnia: A lifelong inability to obtain adequate sleep that is presumably due to an abnormality of the neurological control of the sleep-wake system. The insomnia is long-standing, commonly beginning in early childhood, sometimes since birth. Psycho physiological Insomnia: A disorder of somatized tension (conversion of anxiety into physical symptoms) and learned sleep-preventing association that results in a complaint of insomnia and associated decreased functioning during wakefulness.

Childhood Insomnia (Limit-Setting Sleep Disorder):

Primarily a childhood disorder that is characterized by the inadequate enforcement of bedtimes by a caretaker with resultant stalling or refusal to go to bed at the appropriate time.
Another kind of insomnia that generally affects children is called Sleep-Onset Association Disorder. This disorder occurs when sleep onset is impaired by the absence of a certain object or set of circumstances, such as being held, rocked or nursed; television watching, radio listening, etc.

***Food Allergy Insomnia:

A disorder of initiating and maintaining sleep due to an allergic response to food allergens. It is typically associated with the introduction of a new food or drink, i.e., cow's milk.
Environmental Insomnia (Environmental Sleep Disorder): A sleep disturbance due to a disturbing environmental factor that causes a complaint of either insomnia or excessive sleepiness.

Transient Insomnia (Adjustment Sleep Disorder):

 Represents sleep disturbance temporally related to acute stress, conflict or environmental change causing emotional agitation.

***Periodic Insomnia (Non 24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome):

Consists of a chronic steady pattern consisting of 1-2 hour daily delays in sleep onset and wake times in an individual living in society.

Corticosteroids - used for treating patients with allergic reactions, gout, Sjögren's syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation of the muscles and blood vessels. Examples include: prednisone, triamcinolone, methylprednisolone and cortisone.

  • Statins - medications used for treating high cholesterol levels. Examples include:
  • simvastatin, rosuvastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin.
  • Alpha blockers - used for treating hypertension (high blood pressure, Raynaud's disease and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Examples include: terazosin, silodosin, alfuzosin, prazosin, doxazosin and tamsulosin.
  • Beta blockers - used for treating hypertension and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias). Examples include: timolol, carvedilol, propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol and sotalol.
  • SSRI antidepressants - used for treating depression.
  • Examples include: fluoxetine, citalopram, paroxetine, escitalopram, sertraline and fluvoxamine.
  • ACE inhibitors - used for the treatment of hypertension, and other heart conditions. Examples include: ramipril, fosinopril, trandolapril, quinapril, benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril, moexipril, perindopril and captopril.
  • ARBs (Angiotensin II-receptor blockers) - used when the patient cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors or has type 2 diabetes or kidney disease from diabetes.
  •  Examples include: candesartan, valsartan, telmisartan, losartan and irbesartan.
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors - used for treating memory loss and other symptoms for patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
  • Examples include: rivastigmine, donepezil and galantamine.
  • 2nd generation (non-sedating) H1 agonists - used for treating allergic reactions. Examples include: loratadine, levocetirizine, fexofenadine, desloratadine, cetirizine and azelastine.
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin - dietary supplements used for relieving the symptoms of joint pain and to reduce inflammation.

  • Altitude Insomnia:

    An acute (short and sharp course, not chronic) insomnia usually accompanied by headaches, loss of appetite, and fatigue, that occurs following ascent to high altitudes.

    Hypnotic-Dependency Insomnia (Hypnotic-Dependent Sleep Disorder):

     Characterized by insomnia or excessive sleepiness that is associated with tolerance to or withdrawal from hypnotic medications.

    Stimulant-Dependent Sleep Disorder: Characterized by a reduction of sleepiness or suppression of sleep by central stimulants, and resultant alterations in wakefulness following drug abstinence.

    Alcohol-Dependent Insomnia (Alcohol-Dependent Sleep Disorder): Characterized by the assisted initiation of sleep onset by the sustained ingestion of alcohol that is used for its hypnotic effect.

    Toxin-Induced Sleep Disorder: Characterized by either insomnia or excessive sleepiness produced by poisoning with heavy metals or organic toxins.

    What You Can Do

    If you've noticed signs of insomnia and the problem has been going on for a few weeks, set up an appointment with your doctor to discuss your sleep concerns. If your doctor suspects an underlying sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, he or she may refer you to a sleep specialist.
    Change your diet to prevent allergies and try to seek medical attention to this matter.

    After reading all this I realized that there are some problems on these notes I need to address. Worrying about many things in life can really play on how you function each day. It is now 2:30 am and this is the 7th day without much sleep. I must seek medical attention accompanied by spiritual help with prayer. I know Heavenly Father will help me sleep, my faith will see that...I am blessed no matter what.


    1 comment:

    1. reading all this is enough to put you to! It's 4:30 am and I'm not sleeping...