Thursday, March 18, 2010

Insomnia

Insomnia has decided to make a pit stop at our house and it ain’t pretty! Sleepless nights are turning into cranky unproductive days that seem to drag on forever. Despite all attempts to turn my insomniacs into routine sleepers, the nights are becoming longer than the days! Why aren’t they sleeping?!? It is so much fun!!! According to emedicinehealth.com, people have trouble sleeping for various reasons. The key is to discover what the reason(s) is and then address it specifically. “These causes may be divided into situational factors, medical or psychiatric conditions, or primary sleep problems.”


There are many situational factors that can cause insomnia. Many of us have experienced transient insomnia due to changes that have occurred in our lives. Major events, jet lag, changes in daily routine, loud noises, drug withdrawal, or upcoming stressful situations can all cause transient insomnia (1-7 days). Have you ever had one of those nights where you couldn’t shut off your brain? Were you worrying about something, planning something, or just thinking about the days ahead? These were the nights that you may have fell victim to insomnia. Over the counter cold medicines (as well as many prescription medications) can make sleep hard to come by as well. While some drugs, such as Benadryl, may cause drowsiness for some, it may act as a stimulant for others.


While transient insomnia is not detrimental, chronic insomnia, which is more long term, can be very harmful. Chronic insomnia typically stems from an underlying psychological condition. Issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder can lead to insomnia. If you suspect that you or a family member is suffering from any of these conditions, you should consult a doctor immediately. Chronic insomnia can also develop due to physiological conditions. People who are suffering from chronic pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, or other bothersome medical conditions may find trouble sleeping due to discomfort. This group has probably already consulted a doctor regarding their medical condition, but it is still important to inform your doctor of this unwelcomed side effect.


Insomnia can have a very negative effect on your daily life. Lack of sleep can result in headaches, poor appetite, lack of focus, memory decline, irritability, and slower reaction times. I have seen all of these in my insomniacs. It is very probable that sickness and medicine is the cause of the insomnia residing in my house, but it good to be aware of other culprits that are out there. Have you ever had to deal with insomnia? What helped you get back into the sleeping routine? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

6 comments:

2busy said...

I think I have chronic fatigue. It seems like the older my kids get the less sleep I get. But that's a whole different discussion...

Redbonegirl97 said...

I remember when my middle child was sufferin gfrom this. We started giving him a book to read before he fell asleep and that worked like a charm. He has a 9 hour day at school that doesn't seem to exhaust him. I know that he'll be a hard worker when he becomes an adult.

Tiffany
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com

Lesli said...

I think Daylight Savings Time has messed up my sleep patterns this week. Sunday and Monday I had trouble falling asleep. Tuesday I was exhausted. Last night I was in bed by 9:30--ha ha! I think by next week, I will be back to my regular sleep patterns of going to bed at 11:00 and getting up at 7:00--but not this week!

Ryan said...

I had chronic insomnia for years. What helped me was taking the TV out of my room, using my bed just to sleep (meaning no reading, talking on the phone, or internet surfing in bed) and getting rid of all light sources in my room. I also covered my windows with thick curtains that blocked out any light coming from outside. This solved the large majority of my sleeping problems, the rest were solved when I had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. A months sleeping with a CPAP machine followed by a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery took care of that problem.

Kyrstin said...

I have never had insomnia - I am just suffering from being woken up in the middle of the night by my 18 month old. She goes right back to sleep, after I pat her on the butt for a couple of minutes. It is becoming a horrible pattern that is disrupting my sleep pattern!!!

Rebecca said...

Oh my, what a drag! I've not been sleeping much but for a very different reason. New babies don't sleep much. We are working on catching some extra shut eye in the daytime. Sleep is so NOT over-rated.
Cheers to capturing some much needed Zzzzzs!