Modern life has its perks, too many to list but just like everything else, it has its downsides. One of the things that have led to the cause of other ailments is stress which in turn leads to sleep disorders like insomnia.
Insomnia is a symptom of a condition characterized by difficulty falling and staying asleep and/or by the lack of non-restorative sleep so much that the lack of proper sleep begins to disrupt your ability to function during normal working hours.
It is one of the most common medical issues as most adults have experienced insomnia at one point or another during their life and approximately 10% – 12% experience chronic insomnia.
Insomnia affects any age group and the numbers are higher in adults. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 73 million Americans suffered from insomnia regularly. They also state that insomnia is more prevalent in women as compared to men.
Non-restorative sleep means you usually feel like you did not have a good night sleep and you awake feeling tired.
So, how much sleep do we need? And when do we know we have had enough sleep?
The general rule of thumb is that adults normally need seven to eight hours of restorative sleep. Restorative sleep is being able to attain Stage four and five (deep sleep) of the sleep cycle.
Although the amount of sleep required may vary from person to person, restorative sleep is the key and you are the one who can decide if you feel like you got a good night’s sleep or not.
Once you attain such levels of sleep you wake up feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready for the day. If you are not getting enough restorative sleep each night and you do not address your insomnia issues, it can lead to chronic insomnia.
There are three types of insomnia and each with their causes and characteristics. These three types include transient, acute or short-term, and chronic or long-term. What is chronic insomnia?.
Transient and Acute Insomnia
Transient insomnia lasts less than seven days while acute or short-term insomnia can last from one to three weeks. The causes of these two types of insomnia are somewhat similar and can be as simple as taking too much caffeine, ate too much food too late in the evening, or simply a change in your normal routine.
An example of a change in routine could be changing shifts at work, travelling across time zones, both of which disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms.
Other examples for transient or acute insomnia might be a life stressor such as loss of or changing jobs, an acute illness. Life stressors like fear and anxiety about something going on in your life such as an upcoming exam or a serious medical condition of your own or of a loved one, all of these can be the source of your insomnia.
The side effects of some medication can be the reason for acute insomnia and once discontinued the insomnia stops.