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An estimated 30%-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), and 10% have chronic insomnia. People today are sleeping on average 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Women are between 1.5 and 2 times more likely to suffer from insomnia than men. 90% of people suffering from depression experience insomnia. People who suffer from sleep deprivation are 27% more likely to become overweight/obese which in turn causes a number of other disorders.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a symptom of any of several sleep disorders, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity.

What kind of a disease is insomnia?

Insomnia is NOT a disease. It is a symptom, which means that it is clue to other underlying diseases or causes. Insomnia without any underlying cause (which can only be detected by a trained physician) is called as primary insomnia or sleep disorder.

What can cause insomnia?

Insomnia can be caused by a number of issues. From drugs, medicines to stress, illness and mental issues can cause insomnia. But a significant number of people with stress and wellness related issues are also affected with sleep problems.

What are the types of insomnia?

Although there are several different degrees of insomnia, three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic. 1. Transient insomnia lasts from days to weeks. It can be caused by another disorder, by changes in the sleep environment, by the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences - sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance - are similar to those of sleep deprivation. 2. Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of between three weeks to six months. 3. Chronic insomnia lasts for years at a time. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include sleepiness, muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and/or mental fatigue; but people with chronic insomnia often show increased alertness. Some people that live with this disorder see things as though they were happening in slow motion

What are the patterns of insomnia?

1. Onset insomnia - difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night, often associated with anxiety disorders. 2. Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia - Insomnia characterized by difficulty returning to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning. Also referred to as nocturnal awakenings. 3. Middle insomnia - waking during the middle of the night, difficulty maintaining sleep. Often associated with pain disorders or medical illness. 4. Terminal (or late) insomnia - early morning waking. Often a characteristic of clinical depression.

I call myself an Owl. I am most active late at night and feel sleepy during the day. Is this normal?

There is a condition called the Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome which is very often confused with insomnia. Your pattern might fit into this. In this, people are not able to fall asleep when the 'society' requires them to. They find that they are not fresh as soon as they wake up, but feel absolutely normal if they are allowed to sleep late into the day. Conditions like this can be confused with insomnia and that is why it is important that you meet your doctor, if sleep issues affect you! If you are not sleeping when the society requires you to sleep, BUT you do not feel sleep deprived, then do not worry!

QUOTES

America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention.

- Tom Harkin

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

- Abraham Maslow

There are six components of wellness: proper weight and diet, proper exercise, breaking the smoking habit, control of alcohol, stress management and periodic exams.

- Kenneth H. Cooper

Water is a only drink for a wise man

- Henry David

Your stomach is not a waste basket

- Anonymous

The ground work of all happiness is good health

– Leigh Hunt

"To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life

– William Londen

Improved diet and physical activity are more effective than medication in reducing the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.

- New England Journal of Medicine