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    By Rohan Hulonce
  • 2. What Is Insomnia?
    Definition of Insomnia – ‘’Insomnia is a condition that occurs when a person is unable to get long enough of refreshing enough sleep at night. An inability to fall asleep, and inability to stay asleep, or waking to early before having gotten enough sleep are all forms of insomnia.’’ Definition from the Gale encyclopaedia of Mental Health
  • 3. Description
    Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which the person affected is unable to get enough, or deep enough sleep. There are two types of Insomnia, acute insomnia ( also sometimes known as transient insomnia), and Chronic Insomnia.
    Acute insomnia can be described as when the symptoms last a relatively short time where as Chronic insomnia the symptoms last over a much longer period.
    There is also Primary, and Secondary Insomnia. Primary insomnia cannot be traced back to any other condition. Secondary Insomnia can be caused by other reasoning such as medication, alcohol and other substances or mental disorders.
  • 4. Symptoms
    Insomniacs can suffer from symptoms such as;
    • Trouble falling to sleep at night
    • 5. Trouble staying asleep
    • 6. Awaken very early in the morning and cannot go back to sleep
    • 7. Get enough sleep at night, but the sleep is too light and therefore they do not feel rested
    • 8. Inability to concentrate during the day
    • 9. Drowsiness during the day
    • 10. Decreased alertness
  • Causes
    There are many things that are said to cause insomnia;
    • Starting a new job
    • 11. Changes in routine
    • 12. Anxiety
    Other factors such as taking medications, drug abuse, exercising before bedtime, drinking tea or having a large meal close to trying to go to sleep.
    Also, doing things not associated with sleep and relaxation in bed ( for example, watching television or reading) can make it hard to fall asleep when you desire.
  • 13. Diagnosis
    For a person to be diagnoses with Insomnia firstly they must have been experiencing the symptoms for at least one month and must be causing some distress or preventing the person from functioning normally.
    There is currently no test to diagnose Insomnia. Insomnia is usually self reported
  • 14. Treatments
    Some Treatments for Insomnia include;
    • Sleep clinics
    • 15. Behavioural and educational therapies
    • 16. Changing pre-bedtime activities
    • 17. Avoiding large meals, caffeine alcohol etc before bed
    • 18. Attempting to change mental associations with bed ( for example the patients mental association with the bedroom should be linked with only sleep)
    • 19. Relaxation Techniques
    • 20. There are also many medicines to treat insomnia, which are all called hypnotics
  • Previous studies about Insomnia
    There have been many past studies on Insomnia, for example features in ‘Monitor on Psychology’ October 2005, Vol 36, No. 9 a study found that Insomnia can precede and maintain Depression.
    Another study has found that Insomnia can be linked to suicidal behaviour.
  • 21. Bibliography
    The Gale Encyclopaedia of Mental Health, Second Edition ( A-L) Vol 1 pg 604-605, ‘Insomnia’ (2008) by Drake Road published by Gale cengage learning.
    eMedicineHealth‘Insomnia’ (2010) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/insomnia/article_em.htm
    Better Health Channel, ‘ Sleep problems – Insomnia’ (2009) http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sleep_problems_insomnia