Insomnia

By: Abby Collins

Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall and/or stay asleep.

Connections

I selected this condition because it interested me and I wanted to learn more about it. I also wanted to find out if I had insomnia.
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Body System Affected By Insomnia

The body system affected by insomnia is the immune system. The immune system is a web of cells, tissues, and organs. These work together to protect your body from infections and bacteria.

How Insomnia Affects The Immune System

The immune system usually fights bacteria and infections. Any stress on the body affects the immune system by making it less effective in fighting these things. This stress includes insomnia. Insomnia will not directly make you sick but continuing to not get enough sleep will put stress on your body and cause your immune system to become weaker.
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Target Poplation



  • Females are more likely to get insomnia than men, partly because of hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
  • The older you are the higher the risk of insomnia.
  • More stressed out people and people with a health problem known to cause pain are more likely to get it.
  • People who had childhood fears,
  • work night shifts,
  • use stimulants such as alcohol, drugs, or medication, are more likely to develop insomnia.
  • Internet addiction.

Onset

People who get insomnia can be divided into two groups. People with primary insomnia do not have insomnia as a symptom/side-effect of another medical condition. It could be life long or a result of stress, jet-lag, work shifts, or other things that disrupt your sleep routine. Primary insomnia normally ends once the issue is resolved, or it could last for years.

The other one is secondary insomnia. It’s the most common type. Secondary insomnia may have a medical cause. Some examples are depression or anxiety, chronic pain, heartburn, other sleep disorders, and/or menopause. It also could result from some medicines, stimulents like tobacco, caffiene, and alcohol, or a poor sleep environment.It normally goes away once the underlying cause is treated, but it can become a primary insomnia.

Diagnosis

Anyone can have insomnia. If you think you have insomnia and have symptoms of insomnia you should talk to your doctor. Your sleep-specialist or doctor will likely diagnose you based on your medical and sleep history and likely perform a physical exam. They also might recommend a sleep study if the cause of your insomnia is unclear. A sleep study usually is performed at a hospital or at a sleep center. You would come to the sleep center in the afternoon so that the test can record your nighttime sleep patterns. A sleep study can also help adjust your treatment plan if you've already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.

Signs And Syptoms

  • Being awake most of the night

  • Having trouble getting asleep

  • Trouble staying asleep

  • Waking up to early

  • Depression

  • Decreased attention span

  • Memory problems

  • Not getting a good night sleep

  • Feeling like you didn’t sleep at all

  • Being stressed, irritable, and/or aggressive, during the day

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Treatment

Treatment of insomnia could include both non-medical and medical aspects. Non-medical treatment of insomnia could include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), such as instituting good sleep hygiene, using relaxation techniques, stimulus control, and only spending time in bed sleeping and not oversleeping. In some cases, insomnia can be treated with medicine. Most sleep medicines are not permanent. Some types are Prescription sleep medicines and Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids. If you think you have insomnia or another sleep problem talk to your doctor or sleep specialist.

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Prognosis

Insomnia is not life threatening in itself. Being sleepy can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Certain surveys have shown that people who have a severe case of insomnia have a lower quality of life. Daytime drowsiness can cause you to have less energy, and be more likely to make mistakes at work and school, and have poorer relationships. People who have chronic insomnia are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. It can also increase the risk of other certain medical problems.


Works Cited

By kolbasun [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mikael Häggström (All used images are in public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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