Insomnia is a persistent and distressing disorder relating to a difficulty with sleeping. Symptoms include:
- Getting to sleep which takes more than 30 minutes.
- Waking in the night for more than 30 – 45 minutes
- Waking too early, and/or waking too early and being unable to return to sleep
- A combination of all of the above.
People who suffer from insomnia often suffer from daytime fatigue, including a lack of energy and irritability. Difficulties with memory and concentration problems may also occur. Studies show that insomnia can also worsen or trigger depression.
Temporary or short term insomnia is common and symptoms may be due to stresses from work, family (such as divorce or loss of a loved one), finances, shift work and recent illness or surgery. Other factors include use of, or withdrawal of caffeine, alcohol or illegal drugs, and some medications such as steroids, beta blockers or asthma inhalers. Most people have experienced insomnia at some time in their life and at any given time at least 10% of the population are suffering from it.
Chronic or long-term insomnia is characterised by the inability to sleep or a total lack of sleep. Chronic insomnia – lasting over a month is less common than temporary or transient insomnia, but is still found in about 10% of the population. Chronic insomnia is more common in older people and is usually linked to an underlying psychiatric or medical condition such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic stress, or physical conditions such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome or heart problems etc. This can have a significant impact on quality of life and is associated with poor health. Treatment should be sought necessary qualified physicians.
Treatment for insomnia
Poor sleep habits need to be addressed. Cognitive behavioural therapy is more effective in the long term than sleeping tablets (taking these should be monitored for side effects). Stress, depression and anxiety are best treated by specialists but taking steps to improve sleep can also help with these.
Sleeping tablets taken occasionally can give you a good nights’ sleep, but too often and you get used to them and they won’t work as effectively Also they can be habit forming and it can become very difficult to stop taking them.
This is where herbal/homeopathic remedies can be a big help – Chamomile tea before bedtime can be very relaxing, and our Stress and Tension tablets can also be very helpful. These are an Australian preparation of Arnica, Chamomile and Hypericum presented as easy to take pilules – one pill per hour or as needed to a maximum of 8 pills in 24 hours – see http://www.seabuckthornaustralia.com.au/SNT
4 gm Stress and Tension – 180 pilules for $24.90
Other steps include:
Avoid daytime naps, caffeine, heavy meals close to bedtime and TV or computer screens and games before bedtime. It is also important to have a regular bedtime routine.
Insomnia is a symptom not a disease. Most people seek medical attention when their insomnia becomes chronic so that the cause or causes of insomnia can be identified and corrected.
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We are not healthcare or medical professionals and the information contained here is not to be taken as medical advice. It is recommended that you consult you healthcare professional prior to taking any supplements and always read the label, use only as directed, and if symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.