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Insomnia

Sleep Disorders

Primary Insomnia

Primary Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is not caused by a medical condition or environmental factors. If you have noticed that the common symptom, sleeplessness, has persisted for more than one month it is a good idea to seek medical attention. The best way to distinguish primary insomnia from other sleeping disorders is to determine whether or not the sleeplessness is a result another factor. For example, if the sleeplessness is a result of an anxiety disorder or a breathing disorder it cannot be diagnosed as primary insomnia. The same also applies if the sleeplessness is a result of drug use.

Signs

One of the most common symptoms of insomnia is the inability to get an adequate night’s rest. This can be characterized as either difficulty falling asleep or interrupted sleep throughout the night. If you are concerned that a friend or family member may suffer from primary insomnia, their behavior can be a good indicator of the amount of rest they are receiving. If they are generally tired and exhibit low levels of energy, this can be a very good sign of a sleep disorder. If you notice that they are also acting irritable, this could also indicate that they are not well rested. Remember to keep in mind that these symptoms could indicate a sleeping disorder. However, it is only when these symptoms are not caused by an existing medical condition or environmental factor that primary insomnia can be diagnosed.

Causes

Primary insomnia is often caused by experiencing a long period of stress. The prolonged period of high stress levels and anxiety may condition the individual to associate sleep with feelings of anxiousness. The general tension caused by the feelings of stress and anxiety can cause the individual to experience disturbed sleeping patterns. When this is the main cause of primary insomnia, it is not uncommon for the individual to overcome the sleep disorder once they have fallen into a pattern of deeper relaxation. However, this may not always be the case.

The disorder may also be caused by a neurological condition where the brain loses control over localized areas, such as the area responsible for the cycles of sleeping. When this is the case, individuals will be more predisposed to arousal while asleep.

Management

When primary insomnia persists, it is important to learn about different options to manage the sleeping disorder. There are different therapies available as an alternative to prescription drugs.

For example, relaxation therapy will incorporate different relaxation techniques such as meditation in an attempt to relax the individual’s mind and body. Exercise is another good way to alleviate stress which may help you sleep better at night. In addition, be sure to avoid caffeine and tobacco before bedtime. These are common stimulants that may leave you feeling tense or stressed out which could affect your sleep.

However, if these basic tips do not yield any positive results, it is wise to consult a physician. They will often prescribe hypnotics and benzodiazepines which will help alleviate anxiety.

Prognosis

The overall effects of primary insomnia depend largely on the length of time an individual experiences this sleeping disorder. If relaxation techniques are beneficial and the individual is able to adapt healthier sleeping habits, the effects of the disorder will be very minimal.

However, if the condition persists for many years, it may have a negative effect on the person’s health. Certain mental disorders such as depression and anxiety have been linked to poor sleeping habits. This could cause the individual to engage in reckless behavior such as heavy alcohol consumption and taking illicit drugs. Since the body repairs itself while you sleep, an individual suffering from this condition would be deprived of that benefit. As a result, they may be more prone to illness due to a weaker immune system.

 

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