Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep and is the most common sleep problem among adults in the U.S. Those who have insomnia complain about having difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early and/or being unable to fall back asleep, or waking up and feeling un-refreshed. Insomnia is most common in women, older persons, those with a medical condition or a psychiatric disorder, and shift workers. Insomnia causes discomfort and anxiety, and it can also cause problems with concentration, sleepiness, and even mood changes.
Transient Insomnia is the inability to sleep well over a period of a few nights but typically lasts less than a month.
Short-term Insomnia occurs a few nights a week for about one to six months.
Chronic Insomnia happens almost every night for more than six months.
The treatment of insomnia combines medication with improving health and sleep habits.
Hypnotics: prescription medications that promote and help maintain sleep. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have found them to be effective and safe. Recent studies have shown that hypnotic medications are most effective when used with behavioral treatments (cognitive behavior treatments, CBT) and healthy sleep practices.
A combination of behavioral treatments have been shown to be effective in treating insomnia.
Relaxation Training: using techniques such as muscle relaxation, yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises to reduce tension and ease the transition into sleep.
Stimulus Control Therapy: making it so your sleep environment is not stimulative and promotes sleep.
Cognitive Therapy: learning to develop positive thoughts and beliefs about sleep.
Sleep Restriction: following a program that limits time in bed to get to sleep and stay asleep.
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