Insomnia is a condition in which it is difficult to get to sleep, or to remain soundly asleep, resulting in too short and too low-quality sleep which affects normal functioning. It causes fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It may be classified as acute, lasting a few days or weeks, or chronic, when it lasts longer than a month.
The affected person feels as though he has not slept at all or feels tired and unrefreshed on waking. Sleep may be disturbed, with frequent awakenings. Untimely waking in the early hours of the morning is another symptom. Other insomniacs may take a long time to get to sleep.
Many people with insomnia dread not being able to go to sleep when they want to. This causes a vicious cycle of worry-insomnia-worry. Such people may develop a fear of going to bed. 40-60% of people with insomnia have signs of depression.
Causes of acute Insomnia
Stress, family or work problems, or traumatic events, may all cause insomnia in the short term.
Causes of chronic Insomnia
- Certain illnesses, such as depression, stroke, heartburn, Alzheimer’s or arthritis.
- Drugs or alcohol
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
- Disturbed sleep environment, such as other people in the bedroom who make noise or the presence of too much light.
Insomnia is diagnosed by keeping a sleep diary, as well as by taking a medical history, and a history of lifestyle habits and medications, which may offer a cause for insomnia. A sleep test called polysomnography is useful to diagnose sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and similar sleep disorders.
Things you can do to reduce your risk of lung diseases
- Stop smoking
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Test for radon
- Avoid asbestos
- Protect yourself from dust and chemical fumes
- Eat a healthy diet
- Ask your doctor if you should have a spirometry test
- Ask your doctor about protecting yourself from flu and pneumonia with vaccinations
- See your doctor