Insomnia and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorders are one of the two main groups of what is described in psychiatry textbooks as mood disorders. This kind of mood disorders are characterized by mania, as they have a manic episode or a hypomanic episode sometimes alone and others in combination with depression. Among Bipolar disorders we may find:

 

Bipolar I disorder (characterized by the occurrence of one manic or mixed episode and no past Major Depressive episode),

Bipolar II disorder (in which may occur periods of hypomania before or after a depression period),

Cyclothymic disorder (is the less severe form of bipolar disorder) and finally,

Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (this one is a residual category).

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Anxiety and Insomnia

Anxiety is a state characterized by feelings like fear, nervousness or impending doom sensation. The syndrome of anxiety is described frequently as a functional cardiac disturbance due to the several physical symptoms that generally come along with the syndrome: dizziness, chest pain, accelerated heart rate, nausea, etc. That is why the differential diagnosis is very important in order to do an accurate diagnosis. Continue reading

Insomnia and Hypnosis

The enormous sale of sleeping pills in this country indicates the huge number of people troubled with this condition. Such sedative pills are manufactured by the billions, their sale being entirely unregulated in many states. Instead of this, we can offer this information under this challenging statement: hypnosis can be a cure for insomnia. Continue reading

Natural cures for insomnia

We are allowed to say natural cures for insomnia are one of the better known areas of alternative medicine, so it is of great help to try with any of these cures. Besides herbs, there are some techniques like drinking hot milk (sweeten it by adding honey instead of sugar). Milk’s casein is so heavy that your bowels will claim much more blood for digestion. This is the way in which the brain stays with less blood, and thus it facilitates to fall asleep. But don’t fear: it is normal (and this is why we always want to take a nap after eating a lot). We do not recommend eating a lot, so a glass of milk will do it –besides, it is so healthy! Continue reading

Why we sleep

Cannot sleep? Here we will see why is sleeping so important -besides it’s so cute!.

You would be making a huge mistake to think that your nights are any less significant or complex than your days. During the hours of sleep, when we appear to be most passive, something within us is intensely active, recharging us for the next day. When we are active, we are expending energy; when we are seemingly inactive, we are building it. It’s interesting that energy is always noted in its expenditures, never in its accumulation. The brain and nervous system operate on nerve energy in the form of electricity. The body, like an electric car, needs to be recharged at night. Sleep is a partial shutdown for recharging. Continue reading

Insomnia Treatments – What Really Works ?

Although over-the-counter medications can help with the occasional episode of insomnia, they are never a good idea to take for an extended period of time. As your body gets used to them, and begins to rely on them more and more, rebound insomnia is often resulted. There are a lot of insomnia treatments available; some are quick and easy home remedies you can do to promote better sleep, others are things you will want to discuss with your physician or a sleep specialist.

Herbs

• Chamomile – Safe for children and adults, chamomile can be used in a tea, added to a bath or inhaled.

• Hops – A primary component in beer, hops pillows can be made in addition to making a tea.

• Passion Flower – This is one of the best insomnia treatments when mental stress or nervous exhaustion is to blame. Passion flower is safe for adults and children.

• Lavender – There is nothing quite like lavender to invoke deep relaxation. It can be inhaled, used as a compress or massage oil or made into a tea.

• Wild Lettuce – Safe and calming, wild lettuce is a preferred herb for children with insomnia.

• Others – Valerian, California poppy, kava kava, St. John’s wort and melatonin are all said to treat insomnia as well.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Studies suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can often control sleeping disorders better than hypnotic medications. Patients are instructed on how to improve their sleep habits, thereby resulting in long-lasting benefits. This is considered a first choice of treatment for insomnia.

Medications

At least 95 percent of insomniacs rely on medication for a restful night sleep.

• Benzodiazepines – These are commonly prescribed however, they can cause physical dependency and side effects including daytime drowsiness, falls and fractures, cognitive impairments and motor vehicle crashes. Although they can initiate sleep, with prolonged use, they can ultimately increase light sleep while decreasing deep sleep. Benzodiazepines must be discontinued gradually to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

• Non-benzodiazepines – These are often prescribed for mild to moderate insomnia symptoms. These drugs can cause both physical and psychological dependency as well as morning sedation and cognitive and memory disturbances.

• Opioids – When insomnia is the result of pain, opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone are often prescribed. This should only be used as a short-term solution as long-term use of opioids can cause a disturbance in sleep patterns.

• Antihistamines – Non-prescription medications like Unisom and Benadryl are commonly used. Although there is a question as to whether dependency is an issue, the effectiveness with extended use is decreased.

• Atypical Antipsychotics – In some cases, a typical antipsychotics may be prescribed but they offer a danger of cognitive, metabolic and neurological side effects, so they are typically a last resort.

• Others – Additional insomnia treatments in this category include L-arginine, L-Glycine and magnesium supplements.

Non-pharmacological

Doctors and sleep specialists typically try to start with non-pharmacological insomnia treatments first. This includes evaluating the sleep environment, stimulus control, sleep restriction therapy, behavioral interventions, relaxation therapy, paradoxical intention and EEG biofeedback.

In addition to these, simple meditation and breathing exercises have become some of the most popular treatments for insomnia today.

What is Insomnia ?

What is insomnia? Seems like a simple, straight-forward question to ask, right? Well, although one might expect a concrete answer, most individuals have their own interpretation of this sleeping disorder. Not to mention, everyone experiences insomnia on a different level, caused by a unique trigger and lasting for a specific length of time, so it’s easy to understand why there are so many variations. Continue reading

Insomnia Symptoms and Causes

If you are wondering what the causes and symptoms of insomnia are, it is important to understand that every person is different. There is an exhausting list of causes and no two people will experience the exact same symptoms. That being said, insomnia is typically not a difficult disorder to diagnose, but self-diagnosis is not an excuse to skip a visit with your doctor. Sometimes, insomnia is a symptom of an underlying medical condition that should be ruled out through proper evaluation. Continue reading

Insomnia symptoms

Studies have shown that a variety of signs and symptoms are associated with insomnia. Often the insomnia symptoms interweaves with those of other medical or mental problems. Most people who suffer from insomnia are complaining that they have a difficulty to fall asleep or they wake up frequently in the night. The stress can be one the problems of insomnia. Then, as you begin to be unable to sleep, the problem may become chronic. Daytime insomnia symptoms often bring the people to seek for medical care.

Daytime insomnia symptoms include the following: very low concentration and focus, memory difficulty, you become uncoordinated, you may become very irritable and this may affect your social interaction, motor vehicle accidents because of your lack of sleep. Usually people worsen these daytime symptoms through their own attempt “to treat” this insomnia symptoms with alcohol and antihistamines, but these may compound the sleep problem, others have tried nonprescription sleep drugs.

Call the doctor

A person who experience insomnia symptoms needs medical care. You have to go and see a doctor if your problem lasts longer than three or four weeks or even sooner if it interferes with your daytime activities and ability to function. Insomnia can also be a symptom of other medical or psychological problems, that a person may need to address first or at the same time. Usually the patient will not be hospitalized for most types of insomnia.

Another symptom of insomnia may be a worsening pain or a very high difficulty in breathing during the night and this can also indicate that you need to seek immediately for medical care. This are the following most common insomnia symptoms: sleep problems, difficulty in falling asleep, frequent waking up in the night, difficulty in returning to sleep, waking up to early in the morning, unrefreshing sleep, thoughtful mind, daytime tiredness, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, irritability, drowsiness. The history is one of the most important things in evaluating insomnia. It includes a complete sleep history, medical history, psychiatric and social history, and a careful treatment review.

Insomnia symptoms may vary from mild symptoms to severe symptoms. Every person experiences insomnia symptoms in a differently way. Some people who suffer from insomnia may have troubles in falling asleep meaning that they are lying in bed and are tossing and turning for up to an hour or even more, waiting to fall asleep. Others wake up in the night and have troubles falling back to sleep. Other people wake up to early in the morning and are feeling very tired when they wake up, as like they did not get enough sleep in the night. Some people feel cranky, sleepy or anxious and are unable to concentrate at their work during the daytime.

Important! The quality of your sleep matters and not the quantity. If you have insomnia you sleep very badly and this make you feel cranky and also stop you from doing your work well. But it also exist the possibility to sleep less than 8 hours in the night and still get the amount of sleep you need. If you are waking up refreshed and with energy and you are able to get things done well in the course of the day, then you were getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect your life in a bad way. It can result in serious problems like injury, accidents, anxiety and depression.
Ask for medical advice if you think that you suffer from insomnia.

Sleep disorders and insomnia

The sleep is very essential and common for a healthy and normal function. Here are the three categories of sleep disorders: lack of sleep (insomnia), disturbed sleep (obstructive sleep apnea) and excessive sleep (narcolepsy).

In the most cases the sleep disorders can be managed if they are properly diagnosed. Insomnia is the most common condition of sleep disorders. Insomnia occurs more at women and at the older people. The hours of sleep that a person needs to function well depends on some factors, including the age. Newborns sleep most of the day, about 16 hours, the adolescents need about 9 hours a day, and the grownups need from 7 to 8 hours a day.

However, some adults need about as much sleep as the younger adults, but they usually sleep for short periods. Studies are shown that about 50% of the people over 65 have some type of sleep disorder. However, this does not yet clear if this happens due to a normal part of aging or is a result of some other factors, like medications that are very much used by the elderly. Falling asleep and waking up are controlled by a number of changes in the brain and in the blood. Some food and medicines can also affect the way we sleep. The caffeine that is found in coffee, tea, alcohol and even chocolate can cause insomnia. Antidepressants, alcohol and tobacco can also cause a loss of sleep.

The sleep is characterized as a process in which the brain is very active. It is not yet very clear why the body needs to sleep, but the loss of sleep can have detrimental effects on health. The sleep is absolutely essential for a normal immune system function and can help you maintain the ability to fight against diseases and sicknesses. The sleep is also essential for the nervous system well function, and for the ability to function well physically and mentally also.

Types of sleep disorders

  • Lack of sleep (insomnia)
    Insomnia means the inability to fall asleep. It is a very common sleep problem that many people experience occasionally. When insomnia occurs, people feel tired the majority of the time. Insomnia can disrupt daily life. Insomnia can result fro the following causes: diet, emotional problems, stress, underlying disease. The sleep deprivation also can damage the immune system.
  • Disturbed sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
    The sleep apnea interrupts the breathing during sleep. This condition, called the sleep apnea ends in loud snoring. Patients with sleep apnea suffer from interruption of sleep as 100 times a night. The lack of oxygen causes headaches in the morning and decreased mental function. The persons who suffer from sleep apnea have an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Excessive sleep (narcolepsy)
    Narcolepsy causes the patients to fall asleep in an uncontrollably way in the course of the day for less than a minute to more than 30 minutes. This kind of condition can happen anytime, even when the person is working. Narcolepsy is usual a genetic condition. This sleep disorder usually occurs at the ages of 15 and 30. Some of the people who suffer from narcolepsy experience increased asleep attacks during illness, fever, stressful period and even during pregnancy. Cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations are also symptoms of the narcolepsy.