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Insomnia

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Bon Pantalon
739402.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:15 am Reply with quote

When it comes to the facts about insomnia, many people are confused. Some think insomnia is a serious condition in which the affected individual goes for weeks or even months without sleep. Others believe that insomnia can only be treated with prescription drugs and doctor visits. Mistruths and misconceptions like these aside, you're about to discover the true facts about insomnia and how it can affect you.

1. There isn't only one generic case of insomnia. In reality, insomnia has 3 different classifications; transient insomnia, short-term insomnia, and chronic insomnia. Transient typically lasts less then a week; short-term lasts just a few weeks; and chronic insomnia lasts 3 weeks or more.

2. The effect of insomnia spreads much further than a mere lack of concentration and focus. Irritability, impaired motor skills, exhaustion, impaired memory, blurry vision, stress intolerance, constant appetite changes, and discomfort are just a few of the other symptoms of this sleeping disorder.

3. Prescription drugs and medications are not the only way to treat insomnia; and believe it or not, sometimes they are completely unnecessary. Keep in mind though, some cases of insomnia (chronic insomnia for instance) may require drugs and medications in order for the person to achieve a deep sleep.

4. Insomnia can be caused by nearly anything, including: work shirt changes, jet lag, stress, poor diet, poor sleeping environment, drug withdrawal, alcohol abuse, depression, OTC (over the counter) drugs, and much more.

5. There are several ways to prevent insomnia; the easiest of which is to just get a sound sleep each and every night. Relaxation therapy techniques can be used so that you can get relaxed each night before bed. Relaxation is key for getting a good nights rest.

6. The symptoms of insomnia are extremely similar to other illnesses and diseases, which therefore makes this disorder a bit difficult to diagnosis accurately.

7. Insomnia, when left unchecked, is a doorway to other illnesses and diseases. Why? Because of the effect your lack of sleep has on your immune system, which will now have great difficulty fighting off any sort of infections (bacterial or viral).

 
Spud McLaren
739406.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:25 am Reply with quote

Good call! Interesting on a personal level, as well as being generally QI.

 
Sadurian Mike
739413.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:43 am Reply with quote

Bon Pantalon wrote:
4. Insomnia can be caused by nearly anything, including: work shirt changes,

On the other hand, not changing your work shirt can cause problems with your social life.

Insomnia is a real problem and I used to lie awake for hours worrying about it*.

More seriously; good post and one about a condition that I'm sure many of us have suffered. As you rightly point out, a lack of sleep leads to all sorts of other health problems as well as having knock-on effects to your domestic life.

Insomnia is, of course, something that tends to get worse before it gets better as trying desperately to get to sleep is a sure way to stay awake.


*Thankyou Jasper Carrott.


Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Jenny
739416.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:52 am Reply with quote

I have an ongoing problem with this, which has crept up on me over the last five years or so, since the menopause. I remember my mother commenting that she also slept worse since the menopause, so maybe there's a hormonal connection.

My usual problem is getting to sleep - once asleep I'll get a good four or five hour stint, and often be able to get back to sleep for another hour or two if I wake then. I don't take sleeping pills, but I do take half a muscle relaxant pill if I've had a slew of bad nights and I really need some sleep. I find that helps to stop the brain-churning that kills sleep.

The other thing I do is not lie there and toss and turn if I really can't sleep - I put the light on and read for another hour or two until I'm really tired. Fortunately, Woodsman can sleep through anything. He's one of the lucky ones who just closes his eyes and goes off soundly for 7+ hours. The bastard.

 
tetsabb
739445.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:55 pm Reply with quote

Sorry, I fell asleep during Bon Pantalon's post.....

 
samivel
739555.  Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:19 pm Reply with quote

Bon Pantalon wrote:
There are several ways to prevent insomnia; the easiest of which is to just get a sound sleep each and every night.


But the whole point of insomnia is that you can't 'get a sound sleep each and every night'.

Isn't this a bit like saying that the easiest way to prevent a disease is not to have the disease in the first place?

 
RLDavies
739598.  Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:47 am Reply with quote

In the information leaflet for some antibiotics, under the possible side-effects was listed "drowsiness or insomnia". I managed to get both simultaneously. Now there's a combination worth avoiding. Drowsy all day, then go to bed and toss and turn till about five in the morning. The insomnia was really beginning to worry me until I realised it was just the tablets.

It's a common symptom on the autistic spectrum to fight against going to sleep, and I've done this all my life. Even on nights when I'm really tired, or knowing I have to get up early for some reason, I struggle to stay awake for as long as possible. It's pure instinct without any emotion or reason behind it.

 
Mark Tress
765681.  Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:09 am Reply with quote

Do any other animals, apart from humans, suffer from insomnia?

 
Jenny
765787.  Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:06 pm Reply with quote

Interesting question - I'd speculate not. Humans are the only ones who worry if they don't get enough sleep and have occupations that force them not to sleep when they might be sleepy. Humans, I think, are probably the only species who have thoughts that keep them awake when they'd rather be asleep.

 
Amie
765863.  Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:56 pm Reply with quote

IMO, as insomnia can be recognised as a complaint in humans and animals can't complain as such, it would have to be observed in animals which would be difficult.

I tried to research further but I was hit by the usual "Subscription" or "Log In" brick wall when trying to look at journal articles.

samivel wrote:
Bon Pantalon wrote:
There are several ways to prevent insomnia; the easiest of which is to just get a sound sleep each and every night.


But the whole point of insomnia is that you can't 'get a sound sleep each and every night'.

Isn't this a bit like saying that the easiest way to prevent a disease is not to have the disease in the first place?


I agree completely!

 
Arcane
771844.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:24 pm Reply with quote

There is a condition called Familial Fatal Insomnia, only discovered fairly recently, which as the title implies, causes insomnia to the point that the patient does not sleep at all, and eventually dies. Known to occur in approximately 40 families throughout the world, it is a genetic mutation that causes a prion disease which is in the same family as BSE and Kuru. At this time, there is no cure. Patients can live up to three years, with symptoms starting in a person's 30's, or it can occurr up into their 60's.

http://www.suite101.com/content/the-man-who-never-slept-a34650

Article about an FFI patient.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6822468/ns/dateline_nbc/

Article about a family that discovered it had the FFI gene.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_familial_insomnia

Wiki article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781306/

Scientific article on FFI.

 
Efros
771846.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:50 pm Reply with quote

I have about 6 hours sleep in me, no matter how tired i am or what time I go to bed 6 hours later I will be awake. I can be washed out but still cannot sleep for more than 6 hours at a time. If I'm wakened during the night I find it almost impossible to get back to sleep, my dog has caused many an uttered swear word as he decides 2 am is a good time to play the drums outside our bedroom door as he scratches himself and rattles his paw off the floor. It has been getting worse as I get older and I think at some point I will have to get something to knock me out as by the end of the week I am totally knackered.

 
suze
771848.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:53 pm Reply with quote

I'm rather like that. It's fine on school nights - go to bed a bit after 1, up a bit after 7, all is as it should be.

But during the hols, it can get a bit silly!

 
Efros
771850.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:55 pm Reply with quote

I'm at work a bit after 7, I'm up at 4 am. Habit of mine, I need a couple of hours to wake up fully so I always got up about 3 hours before I started work. In the UK that was 6 am, here in the States it's about 4 am.

 
Jenny
771870.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:53 pm Reply with quote

Ugh I can't cope with getting up early - and in fact knowing I have to get up early almost guarantees me a sleepless night. I never set the alarm unless I absolutely have to. Fortunately, I don't have to very often!

 

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