What comes to mind when asked the question, "What is insomnia?" The general insomnia definition is defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. Another definition of insomnia is when a person has difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep. A person experiencing insomnia doesn't get the restorative functions usually associated with sleep and therefore experiences loss or impairment of functional ability throughout the day. People experiencing an inability to deal with stress for a period longer than a month may also experience bouts of insomnia.
Doctors associate a variety of signs and symptoms with insomnia. Oftentimes, the symptoms of insomnia are associated with mental conditions such as dementia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or hyperthyroidism.
Insomnia can be classified into three categories: transient, acute, and chronic.
Transient insomnia is when the symptoms of insomnia last for less than a week. It can be caused by another disorder or by changes in your sleep environment, stress, a difference in the timing of your sleep, or by severe depression. The consequences of this lack of sleep are sleepiness and impaired physical and mental performances (psychomotor retardation) - similar to the effects of sleep deprivation.
Acute insomnia is when an individual has trouble sleeping consistently for a period less than a month.
Chronic insomnia may be caused by another disorder and its effects vary depending on the cause. This type of insomnia may include mental fatigue, muscular fatigue, or even hallucinations. It lasts for more than a month, and some people who live with this kind of disorder may experience double vision or a visual slow down of events - seeing things as if they are happening in slow motion.
People experiencing insomnia don't feel refreshed when they wake up. It affects their ability to actually get to sleep as well as the quality of the sleep they do get. Unfortunately, it's a fairly common disorder which affects millions of people worldwide. Because insomnia can have long term physical and emotional effects, early diagnosis of the disorder itself as well as the cause(s) of the disorder is essential.
If you suffer from insomnia or believe you're suffering from insomnia, there are many things that you can do to alleviate or cure the problem. However, before taking any prescription medications, educate yourself about insomnia treatments. Now that you know the insomnia definition, learn more about what causes insomnia.