Sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep and intermittent wakefulness. They also include early-morning awakening or a combination of these. These conditions all Insomnia occurs in all age groups. It is more common in the elderly. Insomnia may be short termed due to a life crisis or lifestyle change. It can also be chronic due to medical or psychological problems or drug intake.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Insomnia has many causes. When it occurs secondary to depression, it is often varcharacterized by early-morning wakefulness. Overactivity of the thyroid gland and anxiety caused by stress all may make falling asleep difficult or impossible. A noisy environment, such as a snoring partner, may lead to insomnia. Allergies and early morning asthma may interfere with sleep. Disorders of the heart or lungs, such as congestive heart failure, may aggravate shortness of breath when lying down. Some chronic painful disorders, such as fibromyositis and arthritis often make sleeping difficult. Insomnia can also be produced by urinary or gastrointestinal problems, where frequent trips to the bathroom are necessary. Use of stimulants, such as nicotine, caffeine, decongestants, can interfere with sleep. Erratic work hours or a new environment can disturb sleep on a temporary or chronic basis. Lack of exercise, alcohol or drug abuse and the overuse of sleep inducing medications can all lead to insomnia.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
Insomnia produces restlessness, when trying to fall asleep. Episodes of brief sleep are followed by wakefulness. Often it is difficult or impossible to fall into a normal sleep until very early in the morning (3 a.m. or 4 a.m.). Sleep may be interrupted by frightening thoughts or dreams. Periods of excessive sleep may occur. Sleeping may occur during inconvenient times
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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