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Insomnia - Disorder or Symptom?

Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder and affects about 100 million people in the USA and approximately 25 % of the Australian population and in the Uk about 30-40 % of adults in any given year. But really figures like this although interesting don't help people with insomnia.

But what is Insomnia and how is it classified?

Actually there are several common descriptions of insomnia:

a) "Transient" insomnia which can last for a few days:

Transient or Temporary Insomnia is experienced by most people at some time throughout their lives. It's caused by stress situations and associated worry e.g. things like your job, or a relationship, a family member, health and a 'biggie' being money

Sometimes this sleep disorder occurs due to a disruption of their circadian cycle, which is a persons natural sleep cycle, caused by jet lag or a shift change at work. Transient insomnia goes away once the stress issue has passed.

b) "Short Term" that can last for weeks:

Short term insomnia is often caused by similar stressors as transient insomnia. If the sufferer of this sleep disorder cannot break the cycle of poor sleep, it often develops into chronic insomnia.

c) Chronic Insomnia:

This is the most debilitating because sleep loss extends beyond several weeks and seems to be ongoing. Despair can start to creep in because the body systems can't return to some form of normality that can rebalance the hormonal and chemical upheaval that prevails.

As many are aware, this affects every aspect of life, so close scrutiny is required.

People do not come into this world as an insomniac (unless they are born with a physical condition) so being brutally honest with your Yourself and your Health Care professional is crucial.

Many a client has come to me and said they "have a bit of a problem sleeping". That statement doesn't sound too bad. However, further investigation reveals they have had the problem for years - and have been using sleeping pills for years - a major problem!!

They have become so used to not getting adequate sleep, that it is an everyday occurrence and so a part of life and it's (downplayed) as a "difficulty". The impact on quality of life and in fact on longevity is quite significant.

It is important therefore to be honest with yourself about what is going on in your life and obtain a clear understanding of this symptom. I specifically mention symptom (as opposed to disorder) because it is so often an outcome of something else.

Life's experiences and an overactive mind (worry/fear) are the biggest and most common problems for not getting quality sleep and in these circumstances and whether you like it or not, you are creating conditions in your body that prevents sleep from happening. Sleep comes to you - you don't 'Go' to sleep. Theres nowhere to go.

So look closely at what's going on in your life and taking some form of action will help tremendously.

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