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Insomnia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Remedies, Treatments

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-12

Synopsis: Insomnia is a symptom of a sleep disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. A complete diagnosis will differentiate between having freestanding primary insomnia, insomnia as secondary to another condition, and primary insomnia comorbid with one or more conditions. Although there are several degrees of insomnia, three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic. Using aromatherapy, including jasmine oil, lavender oil, Mahabhringaraj and other relaxing essential oils, may also help induce a state of restfulness. Many believe that listening to slow paced music will also help insomniacs fall asleep. Some insomniacs use herbs such as valerian, chamomile, lavender, hops, and passion-flower.

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Main Document

Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. Many adults experience insomnia at some point, but some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and non-organic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder. There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

Insomnia Publications (5)

A complete diagnosis will differentiate between freestanding primary insomnia, insomnia as secondary to another condition, and primary insomnia comorbid with one or more conditions.

Although there are several degrees of insomnia, three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic.

An over-active mind or physical pain may also be the cause. Specialists in sleep medicine are qualified to diagnose the many sleep disorders.

Finding the underlying cause of insomnia is usually necessary to cure it. Insomnia can be common after the loss of a loved one, even years or decades after the death, if they have not gone through the grieving process. Overall, symptoms and the degree of their severity affect each individual differently depending on their mental health, physical condition, and attitude or personality.

A common misperception is that the amount of sleep a person requires decreases as he or she ages. The ability to sleep for long periods, rather than the need for sleep, appears to be lost as people get older. Some elderly insomniacs toss and turn in bed and occasionally fall off the bed at night, diminishing the amount of sleep they receive.

Patients with various disorders including delayed sleep phase syndrome are often misdiagnosed with insomnia. If a patient has trouble getting to sleep, but has normal sleep architecture once asleep, a circadian rhythm disorder is a likely cause.

Woman laying sideways on a double bed trying to fall asleep.
Woman laying sideways on a double bed trying to fall asleep.

Insomnia Treatments

In numerous instances, insomnia is caused by another disease, side effects from medications or a psychological problem. It is important to identify or rule out medical and psychological before deciding on the treatment for the insomnia.

Many insomniacs rely on sleeping tablets and other sedatives to get rest. All sedative drugs have the potential of causing psychological dependence, where the individual cannot psychologically accept that they can sleep without drugs.

The antihistamine Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is widely used in non-prescription sleep aids such as Tylenol PM, with a 50 mg recommended dose mandated by the FDA. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries, a 50 to 100 mg recommended dose is permitted.

Herbal Remedies

Using aromatherapy, including jasmine oil, lavender oil, Mahabhringaraj and other relaxing essential oils, may also help induce a state of restfulness. Many believe that listening to slow paced music will also help insomniacs fall asleep. Some insomniacs use herbs such as valerian, chamomile, lavender, hops, and passion-flower. Valerian has undergone multiple studies and appears to be modestly effective. Some traditional and anecdotal remedies for insomnia include:

Insomnia Facts and Statistics

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Subtopics and Associated Subjects

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 12). Insomnia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Remedies, Treatments. Disabled World. Retrieved June 30, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/sleepdisorders/insomnia/

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