Insomnia is a medical condition associated with the sleep pattern of an individual. This disorder could either affect the quantity or quality of sleep. Insomnia is known to affect individuals in two different ways. While some patients of insomnia may not be able to sleep at all; there are others who complain of disrupted sleep.
Insomnia can be categorized into three forms; transient insomnia that lasts from a few days to a few weeks; acute or short term insomnia that affects the individual for many weeks; and finally chronic or long term insomnia that may persist for months and even years.
Insomnia could be a symptom of underlying medical disorders such as brain lesion, tumors, stroke, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, congestive heart failure, angina, acid reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, sleep apnea, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hyperthyroidism, and arthritis. It may also be caused due to certain other physical or psychological factors that include intake of drugs, alcohol, and over the counter medicines, jet lag, changes in the job shift, high altitudes, noisiness, hot or cold weather, stress, anxiety, depression, mania, schizophrenia, hormonal imbalance, sleeping next to a person who snores incessantly, parasites, overactive mind and pregnancy.
The diagnosis of insomnia is carried out by a sleep specialist after enquiring about the patient’s medical history and also his or her sleep patterns. The patient is also tested for any physical or psychiatric disorders and forms of abuse that may be causing the condition. Insomnia should be treated at the earliest as it can disrupt one’s life to a large extent by causing poor concentration power and memory, anxiety, agitation, irritability, reduced reaction time, depression and decreased immunity.
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